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Moto Mobility Promises 5 LTE Devices for 2011

Sarah Thomas
7/28/2011

Motorola Mobility LLC will introduce five total Long Term Evolution (LTE) devices before the end of the year, CEO Sanjay Jha announced Thursday, promising the delays of its first two LTE devices won't plague future phones and tablets.

The Motorola Xoom tablet and Droid Bionic smartphone were Moto's first two LTE devices, and both have yet to come to market. The vendor has now confirmed that Xoom owners can expect the update to 4G sometime in September. (See Moto Xoom to Go 4G in September? and Moto Ships 250K Xooms But Waits on LTE.)

At this time, Verizon Wireless will also launch the LTE Bionic smartphone, which was supposed to debut in the second quarter and then was pushed back to summer and now the fall, owing to compatibility issues with the LTE network.

"That's an exception rather than a rule," Jha said about the Bionic delay. "We've been pretty explicit that we all view that as a disappointing event."

Jha told investors on its second-quarter earnings call that three more LTE devices would launch in the fourth quarter, including at least one LTE smartphone and two tablets -- another 10-inch version and a smaller design.

These new devices and differentiated features will be important for Motorola as competition stiffens in the Android camp and the iPhone 5 comes to market. It is expecting a slightly improved third quarter, but has the most growth planned in the fourth quarter when its LTE devices are launched with carrier support. (See Verizon Intros First LTE Tablet From Samsung and Here Comes the iPhone 5 (Rumors).)

"We believe LTE will be a strong focus for carriers in the fourth quarter, and I would say we believe we have a very good position with some of the devices we're offering in the fourth quarter," Jha said on the call.

Moto expects to sell 1.3 million to 1.5 tablets, and 21 million to 23 million total devices, for the full year. (See Moto Mobility Posts Q2 Loss, Beats Estimates.)

Jha also promised enhancements to its Web-top app that synchs the smartphone with a tablet monitor, including improved office productivity and multimedia capabilities. And, he said Moto would introduce two new lapdocks, one priced lower for consumers and a higher-end one for the enterprise.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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