Last week when asked how Motorola planned to deal with the iPhone Ed Zander replied, "How do they deal with us? That's the question." Of course, that doesn't really mean a whole lot until you see what these phones are they've had cooking -- and that happens today. MOTOZNDR and co. are expected to launch a couple new JUIX 3G phones (as usual, probably not for the US), and at least one decked out video centric device intended to beat the iPhone at its own game. "It's happening and it's happening big time." We'll see. Will they deliver?
10:06AM EST - Say I can has cheezburger, Ed!
10:09 - Still waiting to get started. There are a few Z8s and q9s being pased around the reserved Motorola section. Zader still has his trusty, nee vintage, RAZR.
10:12 - Moto has slides of these totally ridiculous trivia questions about Moto history, like their best selling products, the very first carphone, etc. How quaint!
10:14 - We're being told to take our seats. Unfortunately for the announcer, everyone is seated, we're all just waiting for Zander to get up and do this thing.
10:15 - Lights go down.
10:17 - Showing a video of Motorola media appearances, Oprah, RED, Shaun White, all that standard stuff. Showing their Chinese stuff too. "Ladies and gentlemen, Ed Zander."
10:18 - Introducing their executive cadre. "We've been working real hard over the past four months. We talked about things we have to go do. We've been really resetting our strategy, our markets, our investments. We're going to talk about some exciting new products that will put the wow back in the things we're doing. Three things: Linux Java, more 3G products, and multimedia messaging. It's just the beginning, we've got lots of work to do.
10:20 - Focus on three major categories: feature phones, everyday communications, and multimedia messaging experiences. Everyday: W-series, MOTOFONE, low-cost entry level stuff. "We're going after the growth markets.. So, what's after RAZR?"
10:22 - Jim Wicks, VP of design coming up stage, man behind the RAZR, etc. "Motorola invented thin. There's a right way and a wrong way to do thin. We do it right and we do it without compromise. Going forward we're introducing a layering effect on top of thin -- completely new functionality through Linux Java; hybrid touch interface, voice interaction, contextual interaction... we'll also drive innovation in existing form factors."
10:23 - "One of the most important things our consumers care about is a clear sense of modality. It's less about the mechanics of the device, and more about the digital facelift. Going forward it's less about one particular product that transforms our business, it's about a suite of products that define our brand. When we launched RAZR we defined our brand through fantastic technology and innovation -- very hardware driven, consumers' desire to have these as objects of self-expression."
10:25 - "It's about creating rich experiences with familiar form factors. Here to showcase is Jeremy Dale, VP of marketing for mobile devices." Great, that was totally worthless, thanks Jim!
10:26 - "There's a great irony in the modern world: technology promises to make our life more manageable, but it just gives our life more to manage. At Moto, we want our devices to work for us instead of against us. That's why it's so compelling for everything to converge onto one device, and the cellphone will be that device. This morning we're going to take you on a journey through our products. Let's look at messaging." Yay PowerPoint! "There's a lot of attention on a certain forthcoming touchscreen device." Shows MING, Moto's Asian touchscreen phone. Meh.
10:27 - Showing off Ming features from well over a year ago. Great, way to take on the iPhone. Ah the Q, never heard of it Jeremy. "It expanded the category. People. Prefer. Keyboards." True, true.
10:28 - Q8 GSM and Q9 HSDPA available worldwide as of now. Kind of.
10:29 - More like, available in select markets of select countries, but not in the US, at least not yet. "This has no compromises. HSDPA (twice as fast as its nearest competitor), QWERTY keyboard, Windows Mobile 6." Um? Only if you're not using Cingular which caps its data far, far slower than 3.6Mbps.
10:30 - Showing speed demo of Q9 vs BlackJack and iPhone; it handily beats out both.
10:31 - He's going on and on about the keyboard. Sorry Moto, but we're just not into the q9's keyboard. "It's so fast, we would save you over a day of your life each year typing if you spent a half hour on the q9 keyboard."
10:35 - "It operates on the 'familiar' Windows Mobile 6 platform. This open OS to configure your Q to be just that: your Q. It has the most advanced multitasking system in the world. Most importantly, the Q is a great phone, a leader in call quality, our best speakerphone to date." Demoing how this influences lifestyle productivity. Meh.
10:38 - "No longer do I have to juggle different devices to juggle the different parts of my life. Messaging is the Ming and the Q, the touchscreen and the keypad -- the east and the west, the yin and the yang. Let's move on to music. We've shipped 50m music enabled." ROKR Z6
10:39 - "The three things: music sync, management, and enjoyment."
10:40 - Uses USB 2.0 and external storage (microSD), not internal memory. Blah. Has drag and drop in Windows Media player.
10:42 - So, thus far they've shown four phones -- all of which previously announced. We going to get to the NEW PHONES yet, guys?
10:43 - "For many people this will make their current MP3 player obsolete. It launches today, it will roll out around the world in the next few weeks. The S9 headsets will be in box in Europe. The ROKR franchise will grow further before the year is out."
10:44 - "Mobile video -- the switch of power from the media owners to the media users. The MOTOZ8."
10:45 - They spent like 5 minutes hyping the Z8. Which they already launched at 3GSM. Motorola, please, you're killing us, you made us come all the way out to liveblog an event where you're not introducing any new products?
10:46 - "The shutter button is in the place you'd expect to see the shutter button -- on the top." Brilliant design! "When it's a camera, you hold it like a camera. People want form to define function." Going over the specs, HSDPA, 2 megapixel camera, blah blah, you all already know this.
10:47 - "First ever high res screen, 16m color screen that switches orientation." CIF video at 30fps. Jeez, Moto, please, you're embarrassing yourselves here.
10:50 - "This device is your home cinema gone mobile. A great mobile cinema experience. Watching movies on a device this size makes watching movies an enjoyable and realistic experience for the first time." He's just going on and on about how now they have an external memory card slot. We're shifting in our seat. "I'm pleased to announce a partnership with Universal to bring their movies to this device when it launches in Europe. We're also working with Sony and Warner and hope to make some further announcements in the near future." So you're not announcing anything for the US?
10:52 - "I'm pleased to announce an arrangement with EA to bring some leading titles to our unit. In August it will come with SSX3 pre-loaded. 2 million polygons per second. Unbelievable game experience. We're told it's on par with portable game handhelds today." Umm...
10:54 - "The device for 'the rise of you' generation. It's your mobile cinema experience, multi-channel TV content to your phone, constant access to the power of the internet, a gaming device as powerful as the best handhelds today, and the ultimate life recording device. And, critically, it's a very, very good phone." Ok, sold, we'll take 20.
10:55 - "It's the kick-slider that kicks butt. It ships across Europe this June. I hope you'll agree that what we talked about this morning, they're all amazingly cool in design and the experience they deliver. We try to make devices that work for us, not against us. These devices will make your life a little more manageable, and a whole lot more enjoyable. Your next laptop won't be a laptop, your next MP3 player... television won't be a television." Yeah, we got it. "We can assure you, these products are just the start of how we will enable tomorrow's consumer." Ed's back up.
10:58 - "That leaves one more area to talk about, the stylish feature fashion market, the area we pioneered with the RAZR. Your watch, your clothes, your wallet, your handbag, your phone, it really defines you. RAZR isn't a product, it's a brand." No way! "This is a brand we'll continue to market for many years to come. During the day today we've sold over 98m RAZRs. This quarter we'll have shipped our 100 millionth RAZR." Applause. "Every continent, every radio, every color, even tattoos. This summer we'll introduce five new color versions for the GSM markets. We wanted to build on RAZR, take it to the next level."
10:59 - "We wanted to keep what people loved about RAZR, and take it to the next level. Make it slimmer, yet more stunning. Make it stronger, yet sleeker. Make it smarter, yet simpler. More experiences, avoid the complexity. These were the must-haves. The ultimate fashion feature phone. RAZR v2."
11:01 - 2mm slimmer, better brighter display, new 2-inch display on the outside. The largest external screen, twice the brightness. The chin on RAZR has been lost; you can't see the joint. Cast aluminum joints over 100k times. It supports over 180 pounds." Bangs the device. "Don't be afraid to do that."
11:02 - "This represents our biggest upgrade. We're launching with EV-DO, GSM / EDGE, and HSDPA, all this summer." 500MHz ARM processor. USB 2.0. This runs Linux / Java on SOME versions of RAZR 2 -- not all.
11:03 - Completely redesigned UI, demoing with Danica Patrick. Crystal Talk that accounts for background noise, ups the volume. "It's also a talking phone." Has some text to speech going on, reads off some SMS. And SMS can be read and replied to without opening the flip.
11:06 - The third application is music: it does really great music. It has the best music experience in a feature fashion style phone today. 2GB memory onboard. WMP sync. A2DP, USB 2.0."
11:08 - "The Walkman phone requires you to be a sysadmin to set it up. It features our new haptics technology, a first for moto." Touch the glass on the external display, feel a button press. This we want to see.
11:09 - Fergie dancing on the display, she's totally unenthusiastic, it's hilarious. Let's get it started indeed. Then she has a pretend conversation with ZNDR, but he's not responding. "No, she doesn't really call me."
11:10 - "Internet and email: RAZR 2 features a full HTML browser, now you can access all the sites you know and love. Access your gMail, Hotmail, etc. It also has our unique Motosync software, giving you access to your work email and calendar on your corporate server."
11:11 - "Look how fast, how clear, how big the images appear on the RAZR 2. Last application: imaging, photo and video. Hard to beat the 'media monster', but this has twice the screen resolution, view in landscape and portrait. 2mp camera, Bluetooth printing, multi-shot photography."
11:13 - "See what I see" -- use the camera to stream live video footage to your caller. "Video conferencing now goes personal."
11:14 - "RAZR 2 redefines experiences in a feature-style mobile device. Shipping in Asia in July, available in all versions over the summer. RAZR just got sharper. They've done it again. Thanks for coming..." review stuff. Platforms are raising up with phones in them.
11:16 - "RAZR put style and fashion back in style in fashion. There's more to come, we have lots more to do, this is a new start, so stay tuned. But before I do, I want to introduce a couple of special people... VP of products... VP of media phones... we had a great time presenting, thanks so much." And we had a great time being presented to. Stay tuned for some hot hands on action in just a few....