Motorola, Microsoft unveil slim Windows smart phone

Motorola Inc. unveiled a slim smart phone with a QWERTY keyboard and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile 5.0 at its analyst conference on Monday night, but details of the company's mobile music deal with Apple Computer Inc. are still waiting in the wings.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ed Zander showed off the Q smart phone at the Motonow event Monday night in Rosemont, Illinois, monitored via webcast. It has a design similar to the popular Razr clamshell phone, though without a hinge, and should ship in the first quarter of next year, said Ron Garriques, executive vice president of Motorola and president of mobile devices at the company. The Q will include Bluetooth, a one-handed navigation thumbwheel and a 1.3M pixel camera with flash, according to Motorola.

The sales forces of both companies will market the handset to enterprises, said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who joined the meeting via videoconference to help announce the device.

Zander and Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs announced at the conference last year that consumers would be able to download music to Motorola phones via a mobile version of iTunes in the first half of 2005, but that offering has yet to hit the market. Zander tried to reassure analysts by reading a prepared statement Monday night.

"We're not going to launch the iTunes phone today, Steve Jobs is not going to jump out of a cake, and we're not going to launch it tomorrow," Zander read. "... but it's real and it's happening. Stay tuned for iTunes."

Motorola followed up last year's announcement of the Razr by unveiling an expanded Razr lineup as well as a variety of other upcoming handsets and other products. One of the new Razr models is a UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) version, scheduled to ship at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Zander also showed off the previously announced Pebl line of phones, coming in the third quarter, which have a smooth, rounded clamshell design and can be opened with a tap of the finger, and the Slvr line of slim "candy-bar" style phones, coming out worldwide in the fourth quarter. He also demonstrated the Razrwire, a Bluetooth headset on a pair of sunglasses, developed along with sunglass maker Oakley Inc.

Among other highlighted technologies were the following:

- a video voice-mail system for the company's Ojo Personal Video Phone

- Whole Home Media, a technology that will let consumers send saved video programs from a Motorola digital video recorder to multiple devices around a home, including mobile devices

- a wireless broadband product portfolio called Wi4, to be based on the emerging IEEE 802.16e mobile WiMax standard and positioned as the fourth generation of wireless mobile technology for carriers.

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