Sunday, September 13, 2009

Motorola unveils Cliq smartphones

Motorola introduced its first smartphone based on Google's Android software, in a move that's key to the company's goal of regaining its place among the world's top cellphone manufacturers.

The device, dubbed the Cliq, will first be made available later this year in the US through T-Mobile. The touch-screen phone will run a new service from Motorola called MotoBlur, which synchronises all user messages and contacts, Motorola chief executive Sanjay Jha said at the Mobilize conference in San Francisco.

"MotoBlur makes text, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter feeds and photos from sources like MySpace, Gmail, Yahoo and corporate e-mail appear in a single stream and sync them together with no different logins," Jha said. "This means you can focus on what people have said instead of how and where they said it."

The Cliq will feature a full, slide-out keyboard, a 5-megapixel camera and access to all the Google programmes and applications available for the company's Android platform.

The phone will be called the Dext in markets outside the U.S. and will launch in France, Britain and Latin America later in the year, Jha said. No pricing was available for the device.

Analysts said the integration of social networking into phones could give Motorola and other manufacturers a foot in the door in their battle to challenge the iPhone as the world's dominant smartphone.

Motorola has been especially hard hit by the move to smartphones, selling just 18.8 million handsets in the most recent quarter, down from 28.1 million a year ago. Earlier this decade, the company's Razr was the world's most popular cellphone.

Jha said that Motorola was now refocused on producing cutting-edge mobile devices. He said the Cliq was crucial to the company's recovery.

"It's a very important starting point for us," Jha said. "I see smartphones as the future of computing. If it doesn't fit in your pocket, I don't think it's going to be a relevant device."

Agencies

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