Motorola jazzed by continued Droid demand

Motorola (NYSE:MOT) is having trouble keeping up with demand for its Droid smartphone due to component shortages, co-CEO Sanjay Jha said. He also said the handset maker is going to release phones geared toward video chatting later this year.

Verizon Wireless has heavily promoted the Motorola Droid since launching it late last year.Jha, speaking at a meeting for a group of executives in Chicago, said the Droid, which is sold by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), is still faring well in the market despite the introduction of other Verizon phones running on Google's Android platform, including the HTC Droid Incredible.

Without getting into details, Jha said Motorola is suffering from the same kinds of component shortages HTC is facing. "(Droid) sales are going extremely well," Jha said. "If I could build more I'd sell more."

Last month Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam blamed Droid Incredible delays on shortages of a screen made by Samsung used in the gadget. McAdam said Samsung has ramped up production, and Verizon expects to be able to meet demand for the smartphone within the next 30 to 60 days.

Jha also said Motorola will release between two and four phones this year with front-facing cameras for video chatting. The service is being featured on two new high-end phones--the HTC Evo for Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) as well as Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iPhone 4. 

The Motorola executive also touched on whether the company will move its handset headquarters out of the Chicago suburbs when the handset division spins off with Motorola's set-top box unit early next year. Speculation has swirled that Jha might move the unit to Silicon Valley or somewhere in Texas. Motorola has had offices in Chicago and the suburb of Schaumburg for more than 80 years.

Jha, who will be running the new company, said the firm will make a decision by year-end, but that a move might not happen until 2011 or 2012. Jha also downplayed the significance of any move. "Whatever happens, the vast majority of the folks here in Chicago will continue to stay here," he said. "I anticipate that if I do take the headquarters out of here, I'll take 150 to 200 people."

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Chicago Daily Herald article

Related Articles:
Motorola plans tablet, follow-up to Droid
Motorola may move new handset company to California
Motorola scores Q1 profit as smartphone sales rise
Motorola to break out results of set-top box, networks units
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