Motorola backs Android

October 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Android, News

It seems that the ailing US mobile telecommunications vendor Motorola wants to further streamline its crisis-stricken mobile unit, counting on, among others, Google’s Android platform to do so. The unit’s new CEO Sanjay Jha wants to simplify the development and production of new mobile phones and cut further jobs, reported the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources. According to the newspaper, Jha will present his plans this Thursday, when the company announces its current quarterly figures.

Jha, who came to Motorola from chip manufacturer Qualcomm, wants to limit the number of software platforms Motorola uses on its devices to three, says the report. These apparently include Google’s Android and two other operating systems. This would mean that at least four platforms would be discontinued. This in turn is likely to affect many jobs in the development and network provider customisation departments. At the same time, Motorola appears to have bolstered its Android development team which has reportedly been expanding. In other areas though, Motorola has already axed thousands of jobs in the last few months.

By limiting its production to three platforms – Motorola’s own P2K for beginner models, Android for its mid-range models and Microsoft Windows Mobile for the business class models –, Jha wants to speed up the development of urgently needed new models, says the report. At the same time, it is also likely that the change will cause the development of dozens of new concepts to be discontinued, which could affect the breadth of the vendor’s product portfolio in the coming quarters. Reports about an Android mobile phone by Motorola have already been circulating in the last week last week.

Motorola wants to split off the loss-making mobile phone unit and turn it into a separate listed company. Apart from being the new company’s CEO, Jha will also have a chair on the overall company’s executive board. Initially, the CEO’s job will be to stabilise the mobile phone unit so that it can become a separate company by 2010.

Tivo owners to get Netflix through the box

October 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Home Entertainment

Netflix movie streaming is coming to TiVo by the end of the year. Testing begins immediately, with general availability in early December for those with HD- and Series3-class machines.

The world takes another step closer to the glorious entertainment future of One Box To Rule Them All.

Consumers will buy more electronics

October 30, 2008 by  
Filed under News

While some consumers might be strapped for cash this holiday season, that’s not going to stop them from racking up on the latest electronics to dole out as gifts.

While consumers plan to spend less amid the slowing economy, they actually plan to allot more of their budget fund to electronic gifts, according to the Consumer Electronics Association’s 15th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study.

The survey found consumers plan to spend $1,437 this year on holiday shopping, including gifts, food and decorations, down nearly $200 from last year as consumers grapple with cost-of-living increases and economic concerns.

Still, while spending less, many are preparing to spend more on consumer electronics. Twenty-eight percent of the total holiday budget is being allocated for CE purchases, an increase of 6 percent from last holiday, according to the survey.

Since electronics products continue to top the holiday wish lists of adults and teens, the projected growth for fourth quarter industry shipments totaled 3.5 percent growth compared to last year.

Nearly 80 percent of adults expressed interest in receiving an electronic product as a gift this holiday season, an increase of four points from last year and 84 percent of teens wish for electronics this year, up eight percent from 2007. Computers, cell phones, televisions and video game systems are among the top 10 hottest electronic items.