Motorola's Jha: Android will eclipse Apple's iPhone

Motorola (NYSE:MOT) co-CEO Sanjay Jha bet his company's fortunes on the success of Google's Android platform, so it should come as no surprise that he predicted the vast majority of mobile device shipments over the next five years will be running Android.

Jha, who made his comments at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, also said Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) position in the mobile market may erode, just as Apple led early in the PC business but then fell behind as Microsoft's Windows became more popular.

Motorola has been releasing Android phones at a dizzying pace, and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is busy promoting Motorola's latest high-end device, the Droid X. Jha praised the partnerships Motorola has struck with both Verizon and Google, and noted his long-time relationship with Andy Rubin, Google's senior vice president of engineering and Android guru.

He also said Motorola's desire to differentiate its devices with its MotoBLUR user interface and Google's push to make Android more standardized has not hampered the companies' relationship. Jha said there will be "more than three and less than seven" mobile operating systems in the long term and that Motorola will not develop its own OS unless it can create a large enough ecosystem. Motorola sparked speculation in May that it might go that route after reports surfaced that it purchased Azingo, which offered a Linux-based OS.

Jha also touched on Motorola's impending split in the first quarter of next year; he will lead the firm's handset division and set-top box unit in a company called Motorola Mobility. The new firm will have no debt, he said, and expects to release products that combine elements from both units next fall. Motorola reports its second-quarter earnings July 29.

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