Motorola's tablet temperature - How the mobile industry is responding to the iPad

Although Motorola (NYSE:MOT) is in the midst of turning around its cell phone business--while preparing for a company split next year--Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha recently hinted that tablets may well be a part of the company's immediate future.

motorola tablet lte androidDuring a recent analyst conference appearance, Jha discussed a "companion product" to a TV that would sport a 7-10 inch screen and that would allow users to walk around their house and watch TV.

"We're very focused on participating in this convergence between mobility and home, and I actually think you will see some products from us in a very short period of time," he said, without providing details. Jha indicated Android would be a suitable operating system for such a product.

The action wouldn't come as a total surprise; Motorola showed off a prototype Android tablet earlier this year as part of a demonstration of Verizon Wireless' forthcoming LTE network.

But Motorola has a long ways to go, according to some analysts.

"I think they're still perceived as a has-been by a lot of the market," said ABI's Jeff Orr. "That missing brand element ... is going to require a lot of money, and I don't think Motorola is going to be putting that up."

"They still need to get their phone house in order," said Charles Golvin, principal analyst at Forrester. "They have fallen a long way, a long, long way, in the phone world. ... A new device category for them would be deemed a distraction by their board of directors. ... I think that would be a hard sell."

That said, Golvin added that "I would definitely see it on their roadmap for the future."

Concluded IDC analyst Will Stofega: "I think it would be a good thing for them to experiment a little," but noted the company first needs to solidify its smartphone position.

Motorola's tablet temperature - How the mobile industry is responding to the iPad
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