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Mot spins new LiMo phone, new mobile chief

Aug 5, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

The day after announcing that its MotoZine ZN5 was compliant with LiMo, Motorola announced a musically-oriented Rokr EM30 that also speaks LiMo. In other news, Motorola named Qualcomm COO Sanjay Jha to head up the “mobile” half of Motorola when it splits next year.

(Click for larger view of the Rokr EM30)

The Rokr EM30 is Motorola's eighth LiMo-compliant handset and the LiMo Foundation's 22nd compliant phone. It follows yesterday's announcement that the MotoZine ZN5 and six handsets from Panasonic and NEC are also in sync with the Linux mobile middleware spec.

Targeted at “mass-market” music lovers, the Rokr EM30 is a GSM quad-band phone based on the Rokr E8. It offers the same “ModeShift” technology, which changes with the phone's mode and enables single-click shifts between modes. For example, the keyboard glows red in music mode and blue in phone mode for easier identification of status. However, Motorola has replaced the E8's innovative haptic scroll interface with a traditional four-sided wheel. It is likely that the EM30 will be sold as a more affordable version of the E8.

Two views of the Rokr EM30
(Click any to enlarge)

Compared to the E8, the Rokr EM30 adds GPS, improved navigation via the “D-pad”, and an “enhanced” LCD display, although the company does not list the actual display dimensions. The handset offers a two-megapixel camera and an optional 8GB microSD removable storage card for storing music. Other music-oriented features include a built-in speaker, a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, and a Bluetooth radio that supports wireless headsets. Motorola also touts its CrystalTalk technology, which it claims “keeps sounds crisp and clear even in noisy environments.”

The EM30 offers “high-fidelity audio and seconds-fast MP3 downloads,” says Motorola. There's also an FM radio with Radio Data System (RDS), which provides users with the song and title. The EM30 is said to be compatible with a long list of music formats, and supports Windows Media Player 11.

Rokr E8
(Click for details)

Specifications for the Rokr EM30 include:

  • Cellular — Quad Band; GPRS/EDGE class 12
  • Storage — Optional 8GB microSD removable storage card
  • USB — 1 x USB 2.0
  • Audio I/O — 3.5mm stereo headset jack; supports wireless Bluetooth headset
  • Audio formats — MIDI, MP3, AAC, AAC+, Enhanced AAC+, WMA, WAV, AMR-NB, Real Audio (RA) v10
  • Camera — 2 megapixel camera with 8X digital zoom
  • Dimensions — 4.5 x 2.1 x 0.4 inches (115 x 53 x 10.6 mm)
  • Weight — 3.52 ounces (100 grams)
  • Battery — BK60 970mAh with up to 360 minutes talk-time; up to 300 hours standby
  • Operating system — Linux (LiMo-compliant)
  • Additional features:
    • ModeShift technology for switching between phone and music
    • Airplane mode for uninterrupted music
    • CrystalTalk technology
    • FM radio with RDS technology
    • Text-to-speech recognition

A new CEO for Moto's mobile biz

In other Mot news, the company yesterday announced Sanjay Jha as the new Co-CEO of the company. Jha will take on the role of CEO of Motorola's new Mobile Devices Business when the company splits sometime next year. Former Mot CEO Greg Brown is now co-CEO, but will be CEO of Motorola's other half: the Broadband Mobility Solutions business, which will include Home & Networks Mobility and Enterprise Mobility Solutions businesses.

Sanjay Jha

The 45-year old Jha was COO of Qualcomm, where he oversaw R&D for Qualcomm Flarion Technologies (QFT). He also served as president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT), the company's chipset and software division. Jha started at Qualcomm in 1994, and was promoted to VP engineering in 1997, SVP engineering in 1998, and EVP and QCT president in 2003. He was named COO in December 2006. Previously, Jha held lead design engineering roles with Brooktree and GEC Hirst Research Labs. Jha earned a Ph.D. in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

Motorola's current prospects appear to be as mixed as the current management. A recent ABI Research study said that Motorola has held onto its third-place position in global handset sales, after falling last year from the number two spot, but that it risks being passed by LG “by the end of 3Q, 2008.” The same day, however, Motorola reported a “positive cash flow” of $204 million for the quarter, claiming it had shipped 28.1 million handsets, for revenues of $3.3 billion. This was 22 percent down year over year but was a significant sequential reversal. Motorola credited its recent upturn in part to launching “ten new products to key markets around the globe” during the quarter, including several flagship models based on Linux.

Stated Jha, “I welcome the opportunity to lead this Company into the future, while working to create a successful independent Mobile Devices company that will continue to innovate and grow for years to come.”


The Rokr EM30 is expected first this quarter in Taiwan and then in other markets throughout the quarter, says Motorola. More information on the Rokr EM30 may be found here

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