Dec 04 AT 2:32 AM Taylor Wimberly 16 Comments

Secret Motorola LaJolla could be the cheapest Android phone yet

We have been sitting on this information for awhile, but the pieces are beginning to fall into place.

Motorola recently released the source code for the CLIQ Android phone. Hidden inside the code was mention of several other upcoming Android phones. The usbloader makes specific mention of the Morrison (CLIQ), Motus, and Zeppelin which were revealed in the leaked Motorola roadmap.

Also included was the codename for a brand new Android phone, the Motorola LaJolla. According to Wikipedia, LaJolla is Spanish for “the jewel”. La Jolla is a wealthy seaside resort community in San Diego, CA where Motorola has offices located so that is probably where the codename came from.

As seen in:  /bootable/bootloader/legacy/archive/usbloader/main.c

As seen in: /bootable/bootloader/legacy/archive/usbloader/main.c

After a little more digging, we were able to find the following specs.

  • Qualcomm 7201A Processor (528 MHz ARM11)
  • MAX7359 Keypad
  • Kionix 3-axis accelerometer driver for LaJolla board.
  • Motorola Halo i2c touchscreen (240 x 400)

The most interesting feature of LaJolla was the display which features a 240×400 resolution. That was an unsupported screen size for Android, until today. Google just released the latest Android 2.0.1 SDK which includes support for several new screen sizes. One of the new standards is WQVGA (Widescreen quarter VGA) which has a 240×400 low density screen.

Example of WQVGA 240x400 screen size.

Example of WQVGA 240x400 screen size.

Motorola has been dropping a lot of hints over the last few months that they intend to produce an ultra cheap Android phone.

“Our core strategy really is to take Android and take Android to as low down the feature phone tier, as we possibly can, by bringing in Smartphone features, best of Internet, best of messaging, best of multi-media, best of location services.”

“And we have various different strategies for doing that but without saying whether it is 2010, 2011, whether it’s $200 or $150 or $250, but it’s that kind of a range that we need to deliver to really expand the scope of where Android can play and that’s part of our strategy.”

With its small screen, the LaJolla could be one of these $150-250 devices that Motorola has been alluding to. Current Android phones from Motorola are priced at $399 (CLIQ) and $559 (Droid).

We have seen some very creative designs out of Motorola lately (like the Motus) and the LaJolla might continue that trend. The device driver for the display includes the definition: MDDI_VENDOR_SHARP. A quick search on Google reveals that Qualcomm’s MDDI standard provides a proven solution for the interconnect challenge between the upper and lower clamshell in a flip phone.

No one has produced an Android flip phone, but we have heard some rumors that form factor would eventually show up. I have absolutely no idea what this phone will look like, but it is fun to speculate. Maybe it could look like the Sharp W61SH which also featured the same 240×400 display.

The Sharp W61SH.

The Sharp W61SH.

[Thank you Justin Shapcott for contributing to this article.]

Of course, we could be way off on all of this. If someone wants to fill us in on the LaJolla, hit up our tip line.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.lament.us Jason

    The community is actually 2 words.. La Jolla aka “The Jewel” in Spanish.

  • http://Website marty fingleton

    im begining to not like this. the apple has essentially 2, at most 3 devices it supports, ipod touch, iphone 3g variant and iphone edge. if this type of a device is true, we are seeing android all over the place.

    before android and iphones when was the last time you heard of a cell carrier giving your phone an OS update? never. im really beginning to fear that these phones will come out with android on them and they won’t get upgrades to the newer versions. MAYBE, maybe there will be minor updates to them like what happened to the cliq, but i think its going to fall such that if a phone comes out with android 2.0, you’re stuck with it until your phone melts.

    the best possible scenario i see for this is each carrier has one or two (current great android phone and last gen great android phone) android phones they keep pushing full updates to.

    oh android world, please don’t become bloated and crap :(.

    • JAG

      I think competition is good, Android is the new OS for mobil phones and companies are exploiting it

      • http://Website niagara_view

        I don’t think it’s competition* so much as the point of Android: to be an open and flexible OS. I think it’s great that there is a good chance of getting an Android phone from the maker I want, with the physical features I want, with the carrier I want.

        *The Open Handset Alliance is made up of 50 firms including most big and small name handset manufacturers. While I’m sure there is some competition, I don’t think it’s at the level you imply.

    • sha

      Don’t expect manufacturers to offer 2 years upgrade for free when they sell a $150 phone with razor-thin margins….

      You can’t upgrade dumbphones anyway… so a very low cost Android based phone, only updatable to minor revisions makes sense to me… I’d rather see an Android user buy my app than a Symbian one

  • j_norton

    Just so there’s no confusion, this is pronounced “la hoy-ya” and it’s also where UCSD is located, presumably where many of these fools got their learnin’.

  • http://Website Brian Hanifin

    As someone from San Diego, it is hard for me to understand why they would name a low cost phone after a “wealthy seaside community”. Shouldn’t a phone named after a wealthy community be jewel encrusted or something?

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  • http://Website joya

    jewel – joya

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