Report: Motorola, Verizon Working on TV Tablet

The Financial Times is reporting that Motorola has teamed up with Verizon Wireless to develop a Android-based tablet device that would allow users to watch television on it. While it’s not clear if this is a mobile DTV-based offering or what, it appears somehow tied to Verizon’s FiOS entertainment service.

The device would have a 10-inch screen — which is in line with Apple’s iPad and BlackBerry’s apparently upcoming tablet device — and would likely launch in the fall. That autumn release date is also what RIM is targeting, meaning it could be an all out battle royale for tablet supremacy this winter.

Motorola has made it no secret that they are lusting after carving out their own spot in the tablet market, one that is all but owned by Apple’s iPad at the moment. The television functionality, depending on how it works, could provide a crucial differentiating point in attracting consumers to the device. Also working with Verizon Wireless, who currently has the most widespread 3G network, is also a crucial selling point.

The device will also support Flash, just like RIM’s tablet, which means the iPad again stands alone as the only modern tablet device not to support the now near-ubiquitous multimedia format.

My question is now with all these competitors, is Apple itself prepared for trench warfare? Obviously the easiest way to compete with Apple is on price — the “Apple tax” is well documented. But functionality of the iPad is going to have to also increase, meaning we may see new versions of the device sooner than the typical upgrade cycle from Cupertino.

Personally, a price break is what I’m waiting for.


5 comments

,

  1. Hamranhansenhansen August 4, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    > The device would have a 10-inch screen — which is in line with Apple’s iPad

    Android doesn't support 1024×768 yet, so it would have to be a lower resolution than iPad.

    > it could be an all out battle royale for tablet supremacy this winter.

    Almost certainly not until 2011.

    > iPad again stands alone as the only modern tablet device not to support
    > the now near-ubiquitous multimedia format.

    iPad stands alone as the only modern tablet device, period.

    Modern tablet devices are smartphone-family. There is only one smartphone system that supports FlashPlayer, Android v2.2, and it has almost no installed base. That is not at all ubiquitous. And Android v2.2 can't play Hulu, the most-requested Flash app, while iPad and iPhone both have Hulu Plus as native apps.

    Flash is not a "multimedia format" it is an application platform, similar to Java or CocoaTouch (iOS) or Cocoa (Mac OS) or Win32 (Windows). The video format in both FlashPlayer and iOS is the same ISO MPEG-4 H.264, same as every other video player. There is an old proprietary FlashPlayer codec but it was retired in 2008 and does not support HD, it will not be a factor in online video from 2010-2020. So there is no need for FlashPlayer in modern devices. They all have their own built in hardware "online DVD" players that play MPEG-4, the successor to the MPEG-2 in a DVD Player.

  2. N8nnc August 4, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    Thanks for saying what I was thinking as I read the article (of course, you said better and had more supporting data, too). My only quibble is with the statement "iPod touch went 3 years with no competitive threat". I think "went" should be "has gone", since it continues to alone in the market.

  3. Igor August 14, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    OMG – this Hamranhansenhansen is a totall Apple fabboy-marketing freak.

    He is right on some points but since he's wrong on so many others I'll just touch those.

    First, he says there are few v2.2 devices but fails to mention that almost all v2.1 were converting to Froyo in just a couple of weeks.

    Second, he says the iPad just needs a "simple" add-on for webcam, but there is nothing simple in dangling a camera or clipping on one EACH time! Integrated is the only real solution.

    Third. iOS split from OSX along time ago and most new features are NOT reused e.g. (fake) multitasking plus iOS 4 was rushed out too soon (fear of Android?) as can be seen in many crashes people are experiencing (do Google search…) and weird anomolies like proximity sensor malfunction, etc.

    Fourth. the guy lies about Android hardware being cheaper… does iPhone have 4G? does it have AMOLED? etc

    Fifth. the guy says Flash sucks even though 98% of the world uses it regularly and can get to all kinds of multmedia content. Whatever is not on Hulu is easily found elsewhere.

  4. Igor August 14, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    commends below

  5. Michel de Nostredame April 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I predict this will be called the Motorola Xoom and it will come in two flavors, 3G with WiFi and WiFi-Only. It will also use a new version of Android for tablets only called Honeycomb. Yes, I have predicted it and so it shall be!