Motorola to release Android TV Tablet with Verizon this fall?

August 3, 2010: 11:52 PM ET

According to the Financial Times, Motorola and Verizon's Android will compete very well with the iPad.

Motorola Tablet TV concept device

Here is a rundown of what the Financial Times says about the tablet that Verizon (VZ) and Motorola (MOT) might just be working furiously on:

  • It will have a 10-inch screen
  • Front and back cameras for video conferencing and taking video/stills
  • It will run Android (no version stated)
  • It is expected to tie closely to Verizon's FiOS digital pay-television service
  • Motorola tablet's integration with TV is a key competitive advantage against rival developers.
  • It will support Adobe Flash, "the software that underpins some 90 per cent of web videos"
  • Motorola's device is expected to be thinner and lighter than the iPad and to let users share its wireless data connection with nearby devices (hotspot)

This isn't the first we've heard about Motorola's tablet plans. Co-CEO Sanjay Jha in May said:

"I think that a companion 7- to 10-inch device in a home will become very important, [both] as an augmentation to your TV experience [and] also as a way of walking around the house and streaming TV to that device," Jha said. "I think we're very focused in participating in this convergence that's coming between mobility and home, and I think you will actually see some products from us in a very short period of time."

The first question I have: Is this just a portable GoogleTV?

It would seem likely to be running a new version of Android, something similar to the version that powers GoogleTV for a number of reasons.  First, current Froyo builds don't support resolutions that would make TV watching on a 10-inch screen exciting.  Sure, you can do 720P video out, but as far as touch screen real estate, Motorola's Droids max out at 480x854 pixels.

Next, GoogleTV will support TV-centric things like YouTube Leanback and searching and controlling TV features.  This certainly seems right up this supposed tablet's alley.

Also, the timing coincides perfectly.  Both are set for release in the fall, about the same time that Android 3.0 Gingerbread is supposed to debut.

If true, this deal is interesting for a number of other reasons.  While at first glance, this seems to be an extension of the Verizon/Motorola Juggernaut that is currently blowing up the smartphone industry, the companies involved here are actually quite different.  Verizon wireless is a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone, with Verizon owning the majority share.  On the Motorola side, this product seems to be coming from the set top box division

It was expected to tie closely to Verizon's FiOS digital pay-television service, people briefed on the plans said. Motorola also manufactures the TV set-top boxes for the FiOS television service.

Motorola's set top box business and mobile phone business are set to split off at some point next year.

Samsung is also expected to reveal an Android tablet later this year with the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab.

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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