CES 2007: Motorola aims to raise the level of personalization for mobile devices

Las Vegas (NV) - When Ed Zander took over Motorola in 2004 after resigning as president and COO of Sun Microsystems, few people expected him to revitalize the beleaguered technology company. But thanks to new products like the popular RAZR phone, Motorola's mobile phone market share has increased from 13% to 22% in just a couple of years and its products have come to symbolize the increasing personalization of mobile devices.

So why did Zander take the stage at CES riding a yellow bicycle? Cost cutting, he joked. "I practiced that a lot," Zander said. In truth, he used the bike to show how people can store and charge their mobile devices on their bikes today rather than just their cars. That shows just how far mobile communication devices have come, he said.

Zander began his keynote by communicating the massive growth of mobile communication devices, saying there are four births per second on Earth compared to 25 mobile phone purchases every second. And more than any other device, Zander said, the mobile device is the most personal consumer technology item in today's world. "Nothing is as personal, and nothing is as ubiquitous as this device," Zander said, holding a Motorola phone. "This is just the beginning."

Zander said that new features like digital cameras, MP3 downloads, digital video and Internet on mobile phones are being adopted more quickly than anything he's ever seen in his 25 years in the technology industry, which is helping to make generation devices more personal and intuitive than ever before. He added that the MotoFone, Motorola's recently introduced new phone, is so intuitive that even people who can't read are able to use the phone, thanks to the voice-activated command features.

Ed Zander

During the keynote, Zander announced a new Motorola partnership with Yahoo! Go 2.0, a new personal Internet service for mobile devices from Yahoo. In addition to search capabilities, the Yahoo! Go service can also deliver personalized news, sports, stock prices and other media. The Yahoo! Go service was indicative of Motorola's strategy to make mobile phones more like PCs. "We're pushing full throttle to get as much on these devices as have on the PC," he said.

Among the products Motorola introduced were a wireless Bluetooth-enabled head set with S9 stereo headphones that connects to Motorola phones and also streams digital music; the MOTORIZR Z6, a Linux-based music device; and the MOTOMING device, also Linux-based, which features Motorola's Edge technology to enable high-speed video and entertainment media downloads. All three products are part of Motorola's MOTOMUSIC Experience platform, which includes the above products and newly announced alliances with Warner Music Group and Microsoft for downloadable content.

Zander said most of the new products will be available in the first half of 2007.