Motorola and Verizon Tag-Team the iPad

Motorola XOOM

Motorola and Verizon will be teaming up on a tablet that will allow users to watch television on it, according to a report from The Financial Times this week. So a mini-me TV tablet. This will be Motorola going after the market that Apple created with the Apple iPad, and they are teaming up with Verizon to do so. It will have a 10 inch screen and will run on Google’s Android operating system. The distinguishing factor is the tablet’s ability to connect to Verizon’s FiOS cable service says FT’s anonymous source.

The tablet is going to attack the Apple iPad directly on many levels, a lot like the multitude of other devices that have flooded the market trying to improve on the iPad’s perceived weaknesses. It will support Adobe Flash, and is expected to be thinner and lighter than the iPad. Motorola’s tablet will also support tethering, have two cameras — one front-facing for video conferences and a rear-facing for taking photographs. There was no price or name given for the device, but the report said we could expect it as early as this fall. According to Financial Times Motorola, Google and Verizon all declined to comment.

Motorola and Verizon tag-teaming a TV tablet could be cool. Especially if the first release is able to do some of the things we expect it to. For example: Stream live television, access Hulu (flash-based video). The competitive advantage with Verizon’s FiOS cable service is nothing to overlook either. Will it support Google TV too? This marriage of the minds makes sense. Motorola and Verizon have invested heavily in the Android platform. They were in bed together as recently as the newelly launched Droid X.

And the big competitors better get a move on it. The Apple iPad went on sale in the first of April and seemingly hasn’t been able to keep up with demand, per usual Apple products. In less than 3 months Apple has sold over 3 million iPads. 3 million in 80 days to be exact. So along with the Motorola + Verizon team, all of the talkers better become doers fast *ahem* Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Research IN Motion (RIM) maker of the blackberry, etc. Heck, the small company out of Hollywood, Florida Augen’s already has a tablet on the market.

The space is going to get crowded, and crowded fast. But for consumers that is always a good thing. Competition breeds innovation. Innovation breeds pricing wars. Pricing wars breeds choices. Liken the tablet wars to the laptop wars of the 90’s. As I’ve said before (and I’ll say it again)–tablets are the new coffee table magazine.

Verizon is represented by a number of PR agencies – such as Allison+Partners (owned by MDC Partners), & Crenshaw Communications – Motorola is represented by Weber Shandwick.


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