Motorola Mobility Going Back to Future With Razr: CEO
Special to CNBC.com
Handset maker Motorola Mobility isn't waiting for its merger with Google to be completed to introduce a host of products aimed at the consumer and business markets.
CEO Sanjay Jha told CNBC Tuesday the company will challenge Apple on two fronts: introducing two tablet computers later this year and now offering its Motoactv, a Nano-sized music player that also monitors heartrates for people who want to listen to music while they work out. Unlike the Apple Nano, he said, the Motoactv has a wireless headphone and Bluetooth capabilities.
At $61 billion, the U.S. weight-loss market is significant, he said. People were using the Nano for their workouts because of its small size, light weight, and ability to hold hundreds of songs. As a result, "we went back and said we have to meet the total needs" of the public with its own wireless product, which costs about $100 more than the Nano.
Jha spoke after the company introduced a 4G smartphone version of its old Razr phone, to be priced at $299. He said a lot of phones made for businesses have been very popular with consumers, and that presents an opportunity for Motorola Mobility to boost enterprise sales, perhaps at the expense of Research in Motion.
Jha told CNBC the Razr was, in effect, ahead of its time in being a slim, stylish phone. "People have fond memories of the Razr," he said. It was slim, metallic, and had "a wonderful display. That's why we went back to the Razr brand."
And, of course, the new version, besides being on Verizon's 4G LTE network, runs Google's Android. Jha would not say whether he would be staying with the company if the merger is closed at the end of this year or early next year as expected.
"It is too early to speculate on what the roles may be," he said.