THE COMPANY does not exist yet but Motorola Mobility has already announced that it is looking into streaming video to portable devices.
Earlier this week, Motorola revealed that it will spin off its set-top box and mobile phone business on 4 January 2011 to create Motorola Mobility. A month before its planned inception, Motorola has already said that the firm will look to stream video, presumably from its own set-top boxes, to mobile devices.
The new company will showcase products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which will get underway barely a day after Motorola Mobility's birth. Speaking at the Global Media Summit, Daniel Moloney, who will become president of Motorola Mobility said, "It's one consumer proposition that will come sooner rather than later." Moloney understands the importance of streaming media but might be disappointed to find out that firms such as Apple and Google already offer media streaming services to all sorts of devices including computers, televisions, smartphones and tablets.
Moloney said that video streaming will only be done to devices "within the home" at this time. Presumably this means over WiFi connectivity rather than 3G or Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks and, according to Moloney, moving video streaming content outside the home will take considerably longer.
Motorola already has a relatively successful set-top box business, however using it to liberate content could prove hard, as the media cartels have repeatedly given firms the cold shoulder. Even Steve Jobs was unable get some of the most blinkered media outfits to realise that allowing users to view content everywhere could be a good thing for all parties concerned.
All this hinges on whether Motorola Mobility will actually be able to make a go of things once free from the shackles of its parent outfit. As part of Motorola, the division returned a miserable 0.1 percent profit margin and Moloney said the plan is to increase the margin to somewhere in the range of eight to 12 per cent within three to five years.
Streaming media to devices is becoming a major battleground for companies with users expecting seamless content viewing across a variety of devices. While Motorola has the right idea going after this market, it is likely to prove a very hard nut to crack, especially for a firm that will be grappling with administrative restructuring.
While mobile devices from Motorola Mobility might tip up at CES, given that Moloney has put a timeframe of five years on video streaming technology, it is likely that Apple, Google, Microsoft or even smaller outfits will be able to provide similar technology long before Motorola Mobility gets anything worthy of note on the market. µ
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