Motorola Prepping a 2GHz Android Phone for Year-End
Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha gave a speech at Chicago's Executive Club on Wednesday in which he revealed the company plans to release an Android-based smartphone running at an unheard of 2GHz, twice the speed of the current top of the line Android phones.
Jha, who will be in charge of the consumer side of Motorola (NYSE: MOT) after the company finishes its corporate mitosis and splits into two firms, was there to discuss his vision for the mobile devices industry, according to the blog Conceivably Tech. Jha expressed the belief that mobile computers will die off within a few years and firms will begin giving employees smartphones instead of notebooks.
So, believing users will need a more powerful phone, Jha said his firm will release a smartphone phone with a 2GHz processor by the end of the year. A spokesperson for Motorola confirmed to InternetNews.com he did indeed make such an announcement.
Jha did not elaborate further, but Wolfgang Gruener, editor of Conceivably Tech, said he spoke to another Motorola executive who asked to remain anonymous who said the Android-powered phone would come with a gyroscope like the new iPhone 4, and use an Nvidia Tegra for graphics processing, including Flash 10.1 support. The chip would be an evolution of the current 1GHz Snapdragon chip, an ARM derivative.
Snapdragon is a popular processor and one of the fastest on the market. It powers the Motorola Droid, HTC Incredible, HTC EVO 4 and Google Nexus One. Qualcomm recently announced plans to bump the speed to 1.5 GHz, but 2GHz is beyond even that.
"Welcome to Moore's Law," quipped Avi Greengart, research director for mobile and consumer devices with Current Analysis. "It does show how today's mobile phones are really mobile computing devices, and quite frankly, we're seeing more and more user scenarios where what would be PC-level performance would be necessary."
Greengart said the chip's power draw would definitely be an issue. Some Snapdragon customers have downclocked the chip to below 1GHz, and Apple has downclocked its ARM processors in the iPhone 3G and 3GS to save power.
"I'm curious to see how that works in the real world. It could be it doesn't run at 2GHz at all times, they have some various speed clocking. It could be it's capable of doing 2GHz and they don't ship it that way. Or maybe this thing will sacrifice battery life for performance. We know there are laptops like that, maybe Motorola thinks we need a phone like that," Greengart told InternetNews.com.
High definition video recording while doing background downloads is one user scenario that would seem to require extra power. "I don't ever want to underestimate the need for power or storage on a mobile device," said Greengart.
In other Motorola news, the firm has settled a patent fight with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM). Moto sued RIM in January, accusing the company of illegally using Motorolas patented technology since 2007, after expiration of the agreed license period.
Under terms of the settlement, RIM will pay an up-front payment and ongoing royalties to Motorola, there will be a patent exchange between the two firms. Other details remain confidential.