Motorola unveils Android-powered landline phone, lacks Skype or Google's app store


At this year’s CeBit, Motorola showed off a cordless landline telephone running Google’s Android operating system, as reported by Engadget earlier this month. Known as the HS1001, the device is built by Binatone, and is expected to ship in the third quarter of this year with a price tag of $150. The hardware sports a 2.8″ touch screen and loud-speaker. And as you’d expect, the handset uses DECT technology, but surprisingly, it also has WiFi.

The phone won’t carry the Android market place, however, or even have Skype installed, though you’ll still be able to access email and browse the web just as with any other Android phone.

The HS1001 is the first of a generation of landline phones made according to the DSP Group’s “Home Phone” specification. In their own words:

Combining industry-leading expertise and innovation, DSP Group has developed a highly advanced multimedia handset reference design. Part of the Company’s connected multimedia screen family portfolio, the reference design enables the cost-effective development of always-on multimedia handsets featuring an intuitive interface, user-friendly touch screen and virtual keyboard …

… Changing the way users perceive their home phone, the next-generation handset provides immediate access to information and diverse applications including web browsing, widgets, music and e-mail…

… Highly portable, built on an open platform, and easily personalized, the DSP Group-designed multimedia handset is based on the Company’s innovative XpandR II, a comprehensive system-on-a-chip solution that integrates Wi-Fi and DECT.

It’s certainly an intriguing concept. While it may seem overkill to have such a powerful device as your landline phone, there are some seemingly mundane advantages here. For starters, getting contact details from your mobile to your landline is never a pleasant experience. But if both your mobile and landline phone are plugged into Google’s services, then your most up-to-date contact list will always be at hand. Similarly, as a family device, this could be yet another way to keep track of your partner’s schedule via Google Calendar.

Of course, some might justifiably say “we don’t need another smartphone in the house”. However, it will be interesting to see if providing a more feature packed experience to landline handsets will make using the landline more enticing in the face of growing mobile adoption.

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last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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