Blog Post

@ CES: Motorola Gains Momentum With Android; Unveils BackFlip

Motorola’s Co-CEO Sanjay Jha has been a busy guy. In the past two days, he’s made appearances at Google’s Mountain View headquarters, and then was at AT&T’s press conference this morning in Las Vegas.

Jha topped it off with a press conference of his own this evening to talk about the momentum Motorola (NYSE: MOT) is having as it attempts to rebuild the company focusing on the Android operating platform. Jha said it has now introduced an Android device to 23 carriers in 15 countries. Jha: “Motorola brings the global reach to the worldwide distribution. We’ll leverage the Motorola name in North America, where its still strong, and in Latin America and China.” As part of the event, Jha formally announced its latest Android device — the BackFlip, which will roll-out to multiple carriers, and likely AT&T (NYSE: T) (although he would not confirm that).

The BackFlip folds in half. Imagine a long rectangular clam shell flip phone. The design enables the keyboard to be much larger because it can use the entire surface of the device, rather than reserving a bit for the slider hinge.

In addition to the BackFlip, Jha said that Motorola has been working closely with Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) to bring Flash 10.1 to the Android platform to enable better internet browsing, such as ticker quotes scrolling across the screen. “We’ve been working with Adobe on integrating 10.1 Flash into Droid hardware, it’s quite important, and Adobe team has been doing a good job.” He said it will be pushed out to the Motorola Droid on Verizon in subsequent software upgrades.

He also announced his intention to continue to upgrade devices already in the marketplace with the latest software. The updates are important if Motorola doesn’t want to alienate its current install base by making just-purchased devices nearly obsolete. By upgrading as soon as possible, it will also alleviate some fragmentation issues within the developer community. He said the Motorola CLIQ, which runs on T-Mobile, will be upgraded to the latest 2.1 software. “This is an important part of our strategy. They have to be upgradeable and have to be able to grow with you.”