Motorola Mobility reaffirmed launch timing for the Motorola Xoom tablet and Atrix 4G and Droid Bionic smartphones. Meanwhile, the company's Q4 smartphone shipments missed expectations.
Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha reaffirmed launch timing
for the Motorola Xoom tablet and Atrix 4G and Droid Bionic smartphones three
weeks after wowing the Consumer Electronics Show crowds with the gadgets.
Jha, who disappointed financial analysts in announcing lower-than-expected
smartphone shipments for Motorola's fourth quarter, said
the Atrix 4G smartphone will launch from
AT&T by the end of February.
He currently expects the Xoom 3G tablet will arrive from
Verizon Wireless in the same time frame. However, he allowed during the earnings call that the
Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet, which sports improved graphics capabilities
optimized for larger touchs creens offered by tablets, could slip to March.
The Droid Bionic
features a dual-core processor, and 4G LTE versions of the Xoom will arrive from Verizon at
the end of the second quarter, which meshes with the target times Jha offered
for the products at CES.
The update follows a Jan. 16 report from Android Central
that the Atrix 4G, which sports a dual-core processor and the ability to dock to a computer, was
coming March 1. The blog cited an internal AT&T screen showing March 1 as
the launch date for the device.
However, the blog noted that March 1 falls on a Tuesday
this year and AT&T typically launches phones on Sunday. Given Jha's firmer
target date of late February, perhaps the Atrix 4G will launch Sunday, Feb. 27.
Meanwhile, Engadget received
an internal Best Buy document pegging
the Xoom 3G launch date at Feb. 17, ahead of Jha's target time latest time
frame. It's important to note that the 3G-enabled Xooms will be upgradeable to
Verizon's snappier 4G LTE network.
Jha's latest updates will be encouraging to Motorola watchers and Android
gadget fans, particularly after the company shipped only 4.9 million
smartphones compared to analyst consensus of 5.2 million for the fourth quarter.
Jha said Motorola is weathering the news hit that
Verizon, its main Android carrier, would launch
the iPhone 4 Feb. 10.
He said Motorola's first-quarter phone sales, which
typically fall 7 percent to 10 percent from Q4 holiday sales, will fall even
more with the Verizon iPhone coming.
Some analysts aren't as nervous. Susquehanna Research's Jeffrey
Fidacaro said in a Jan. 27 research note: "We believe consumer
interest in 4G , and the
launch of the Xoom tablet could help offset the impact from the
Motorola Mobility Jan. 4 officially split
into two publicly-traded
companies. Jha's company sells smartphones and tablets, while Motorola
Solutions sells enterprise products.