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Following Motorola (s MOT) Co-CEO Sanjay Jha’s presentation at Mobilize of the new Moto phone Cliq and Android-powered OS MotoBlur, Jha paused amidst a papparazzi-like onslaught of attention for his new phone for a lively on-stage discussion about the big picture with Google (s GOOG) VP Engineering Andy Rubin and GigaOM founder Om Malik.
Jha diffused expectations for the Cliq by saying it’s not “the make-or-break phone,” but rather “the first step in a long journey,” and promised tens of products over the next 15-18 months in the MotoBlur family.
Rubin described the goal of Android and MotoBlur as bringing the web to people’s pockets. “The Internet is the destination,” he said. When a phone is connected to the Internet and cloud services, it can be in your pocket, with its screen off, working on your behalf (and bring more people to the web to see Google ads), he said.
Rubin explained he expected many industries — the enterprise, schools — to be transformed by the modern smartphone, but not directly. “When it becomes personal, it’s up to the consumer to bring it into the industry.”
Jha elaborated, “I see the smartphone as the future of consumer and prosumer computing. For enterprise it’s possible there are other form factors. But for consumers, I can’t see that in 5-10 years’ time, people don’t view this as their primary computer. If it doesn’t fit in the pocket, I don’t think it’s going to be a relevant device from a consumer/prosumer point of view.”
Rubin said the next big development in smartphones is for modernized browsers (aka HTML 5) to get mobile, so the developer base becomes broad and unified across various platforms. Jha said circa 2011 he thinks the big stories in smartphones will be context awareness, trust, healthcare and fitness, and multimedia/4G.
The only jab Om could get out of Rubin or Jha with regards to Apple’s (s AAPL) iPhone was for Jha to say that he thinks having applications deeply integrated into the phone is preferable to swiping through seven pages of 16 icons.