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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Motorola unveils Android-powered smartphone, the Cliq

Motorola on Thursday unveiled a new smartphone, the Cliq, powered by Google's Android software which the US handset maker hopes will help turn around its flagging fortunes.

Motorola co-chief executive Sanjay Jha previewed the touch-screen phone, which is to be available through US carrier T-Mobile, at the GigaOm Mobilize09 event in San Francisco.

"Android gives us a platform to innovate and enhance user experiences," he said.

Described as "the first phone with social skills," the Cliq is heavily geared toward social networking with easy access and features built around sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

For example, Jha said, caller ID on the phone will display the name of the incoming caller, their latest profile picture and latest status update.

The Cliq also features a camera and video camera and a full complement of Google mobile services such as Google calendar, Google maps and built-in GPS.

Jha said the Cliq was one of two smartphones Motorola expected to release by the end of the year running Google's open-source Android operating system.

The other device would be unveiled "in the coming weeks," he said, and both would hit store shelves in time for the holiday season.

"We expect (the Cliq) to be one of our hottest-selling devices in the fourth quarter," said T-Mobile chief technology officer Cole Brodman, who appeared on stage with Jha.

Google and T-Mobile released the first so-called "Google Phone," the T-Mobile G1, which is manufactured by Taiwan's HTC Corp., in October of last year.

US wireless carrier Sprint Nextel and HTC announced plans last week to release a touch-screen mobile phone in October, the HTC Hero, powered by Android.

Motorola enjoyed success with its popular Razr phone launched in 2005 but has been losing ground since to Apple's popular iPhone and Research in Motion's Blackberry as well as other major cell phone makers such as Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

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