Motorola Q Could Spell Trouble For Treo

If you weren’t confused enough in deciding between Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry and the Palm Treo, Motorola
today unveiled its Moto Q phone.

Verizon Wireless says it will offer
the slim smartphone online starting May 31.

Powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 and using Verizon’s high-speed EVDO network, the Q is described by Motorola as a “mini-notebook” for
home and office. “The Moto brings together all the converged
solutions you need to work, stay in touch or have fun,” Ed Zander,
Motorola CEO said in a statement.

Contextual Tabs

Is the Q a Treo killer?

Source: Motorola

With a design based on Motorola’s best-selling RAZR slim-line
phone, the Q is 11.5mm thick with thumbwheel navigation, the ability
to sync calendars and contacts and a wireless e-mail package from Good
Technology.

The Q offers Windows applications, integrates with corporate IT and
emphasizes security, including VPNs and password authentication.

Good’s e-mail software, GoodLink, provides IT departments “peace of
mind of end-to-end security and control,” according to a statement by
Mark Shockley, vice president of seamless mobility devices for Motorola
Mobile Devices.

The Q, priced at $199.99 (before $100 rebate) plus a Verizon
monthly calling plan ranging from $79.99 to $169.99, also features
Integrated Bluetooth and dual stereo speakers.

“Enterprise technology, consumer electronics and mobile are
converging to create major productivity advantages for the work
world,” Denny Strigi, Verizon president and CEO, said in a statement.

Despite the comparisons to other smartphones on the market, the Q still has a ways to go, according to some analysts.

Ken Dulaney of Gartner said the product is missing critical pieces needed to compete with RIM, even though a a year ago he said that it is the closest device we have seen to the BlackBerry.

For Motorola to attract corporate buyers, the mobile phone company
“will have to recast their machine,” Dulaney said.

Todd Kort, an analyst with Gartner, said that the Q is more of a “prosumer” device and so doesn’t expect many BlackBerry users to be swayed.

“I expect Motorola will launch a camera-less version of the Q that will be
targeted more directly at the BlackBerry,” Kort said. Motorola will
compete most strongly with RIM in 2007.

Kort predicts the Q “will blunt RIM’s efforts to succeed in the
prosumer space” as RIM launches BlackBerries with digital cameras,
MP3 players and MiniSD slots.

But that’s the BlackBerry.

Last week, Palm unveiled its latest smartphone,
the Treo 700p, which uses the Palm OS and supports EVDO. And there’s the Palm 700w, which is a direct alternative to the Motorola Q, according to Bill Hughes, an analyst with In-Stat.

The 700w uses Windows Mobile, as does the Q. The
competition is based on additional phone features.

“The Palm Treo (especially the 700w) is going to feel the impact
of the Q more than the BlackBerry will,” said Kort. Palm will need to
reconsider the Treo’s pricing. “Only hard core Palm fans will remain
loyal to Palm Treo 700p.”

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