Motorola will release more tablets, bring webtop app to high-end smartphones

Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) will unveil additional tablets later this year to complement its Xoom gadget, and also plans to bring its webtop desktop browser application to more high-end smartphones, CEO Sanjay Jha said.

Click here to watch the Motorola webtop app in action.Speaking at the the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Jha said Motorola will "absolutely" have more tablet products later this year and that Motorola is interested in releasing a 7-inch tablet at some point. He also said tablet prices should start to come down in the second half of the year as component prices drop. "I think we will have much more understanding and knowledge of how to optimize the pricing for the second half," he said.

Jha said the Xoom has been selling "relatively well" in its first few days on the market. Although the Xoom is $800 unsubsidized and $600 with a two-year contract from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), Jha said he felt the device's performance justified the price. Jha also acknowledged impending competition from Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad 2, which the company is expected to announce Wednesday. "We had to shoot a little bit in front of where iPad was, knowing that the iPad 2 is coming out," Jha said. "We felt $799 was the right price point for an unsubsidized device."

The Motorola chief also discussed the company's smartphones. He said the Motorola webtop application, which is available on the Atrix smartphone when it connects to a laptop dock, will be available in the second half of the year on most of the company's "high-tier performance phones." While in the webtop application, users can run their Android applications in a window on the laptop and then browse websites with a full Firefox desktop browser, send instant messages and make phone calls, all at the same time. Motorola sells its Atrix laptop dock for $499. It's unclear whether the dock will also work on additional webtop-capable Motorola devices.

Jha also said Motorola will try to get Mozilla Firefox 4.0 available on the app by year-end.

Jha said Motorola is working to foster a "more software-centric culture." Motorola has recently made a string of software acquisitions, including of Zecter, which makes ZumoCast, a solution that can stream stored content to mobile devices. Motorola also just completed a deal for a company called 3LM, which is focused on mobile enterprise software security. Jha said there is revenue potential from licensing these technologies, and that ZumoCast will become much more deeply integrated with Motorola's devices.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Engadget post

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