Ina Fried

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Motorola Pledges to Take More “Smart Actions” in 2012

After already promising it will introduce fewer new phones this year than last, Motorola said on Tuesday that it is doubling down on some of the bets it made last year.

In particular, Motorola plans to continue investing in so-called “smart actions” — rules designed to make it easier for novice users to make their phones act the way they want them to.

For example, if a phone is consistently running low on battery, the phone recommends settings to improve battery life. If a user misses several calls in a row, the phone can suggest turning up the ringer.

All of those options were there, Motorola says, but required users to know the exact control panels and settings that needed to be tweaked.

“You need to be a geek to do that,” Senior VP Alain Mutricy said in a briefing with reporters.

Motorola also plans to expand the Razr line introduced last year, and will continue investing in the Webtop software that allows phones to connect to laptop-like docking stations. The phone maker has already introduced the Razr Maxx — a new, high-end version of the Razr with a more capable battery.

While not going into details about new devices or the company’s soon-to-be-reported earnings, Mutricy said that Motorola is focused primarily on the high end of the U.S. market, particularly as carriers upgrade to high-speed 4G LTE networks.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik