Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting for This Killer Phone

Have you heard? Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) will release a smartphone this year that doubles the processor speed of the current cream of the crop. CEO Sanjay Jha said so himself, according to reports.

If true, that's a mighty powerful gadget. Other sources within the company reportedly went a bit further: This beast will run the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android operating system -- presumably the tasty Froyo version, at that -- and feature "everything that is technologically possible in a smartphone today." Like the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPhone 4, it will have a gyroscope. Unlike Apple's finest, it will run Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE  ) Flash, and the screen will be a marvel to behold.

Oooh! Aaah!

OK, don't hold your breath waiting on it. As delicious as this sounds, and well within the realm of reason, some other claims seem to sink the credibility of the non-CEO tipsters. NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA  ) is supposed to provide Tegra-based graphics hardware, seemingly separate from the main processor. But Tegra is a system-on-a-chip solution, and you would get the whole package or nothing at all. Furthermore, NVIDIA says that the latest and greatest Tegra line tops out at 1GHz speeds. The QUALCOMM (Nasdaq: QCOM  ) Snapdragon that powers phones like the Google Nexus One and HTC Droid Incredible is just as fast, so that would be a step sideways at best.

Moreover, the best Android phones have this irritating habit of launching in Japan or Europe first, then trickling over to the States very slowly or not at all. If this magical 2GHz Motorola phone exists, Jha could be telling the truth, and we still wouldn't see the product over here until next year. The Droid 2 is slated for Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) Wireless this fall, but that's a very different product that won't have anywhere near this level of impressive hardware.

As much as I'd love to see monster phones like this as soon as possible, this particular spin of the rumor mill fails the sniff test. Android still might save Motorola's mobile bacon in the long run, and this sort of product should play a part in that drama. But it's a long turnaround process, and Motorola still might sell the phone division when it's all said and done.

Are you holding your breath for the next killer smartphone? Which one, then? Discuss your mobile dreams in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. He rocks an HTC Magic phone these days, in the raiment of a T-Mobile MyTouch. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple, Adobe Systems, and NVIDIA are Stock Advisor choices. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


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  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2010, at 4:18 PM, gslusher wrote:

    This wold be a great technological advance, but there are other reasons for not holding one's breath. Increasing CPU speed can certainly be done (laptops are usually at 2 gHz now), but at some significant expense. Power consumption goes way up and the heat output goes up in proportion. Battery life would drop quite a bit and the phone would get quite warm. (I have read that the demo of Adobe's mobile Flash caused those phones to become uncomfortably warm.) This is why some "laptops" today really can't be used on one's lap unless there is some sort of heat barrier between. Some of this could probably be mitigated by throttling the CPU, but that could affect perceived performance.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2010, at 7:27 PM, FirstLemming wrote:

    The Tegra has two ARM Processors, so "double" the cpu power is present, and "speed" rumours may be about application performance, not just raw gHz. If the operating system does a good job taking advantage of all the different processors on the chip then we might have something special coming onto the market.

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