Motorola will be bringing its Webtop apps and their corresponding docks to all of its high-end smartphones in the second half of this year, CEO Sanjay Jha told investors today.
That means Motorola’s Atrix, one of our favorite gadgets from the Consumer Electronics Show in January, won’t be the only Motorola phone that can plug into a dock and turn into an ultraportable laptop using its Webtop app. It makes sense, because the Atrix’s high-end hardware will likely be matched by upcoming Motorola phones, like the Droid Bionic on Verizon. There’s no good reason for the company to keep such innovative technology in one device.
It’s unclear if future phones will come with docks of their own, or if they’ll somehow connect to the Atrix’s dock.
Hopefully the news will also lead to Motorola will wising up about its Webtop dock pricing. The company is offering the Atrix bundled with its dock for $499.99 with a two-year contract. The dock on its own retails for $499.99 as well — a price which seems egregious when you can get full-blown laptops at that price.
Motorola’s dock is basically a thin shell with a screen, battery and keyboard. All of the hardware that powers it — including the CPU, RAM and storage — is contained in the Atrix phone. Given that it’s really not packing too much power, it seems more fair for Motorola to price the dock somewhere around $200 and under.
AT&T is also forcing Atrix users to sign up for its tethering plan at $20 a month, if they want to get the phone bundled with the Laptop Dock. I suppose it makes sense since the dock relies on the Atrix’s network connection, but it still seems ridiculous for AT&T to demand even more money when the dock itself is overpriced. Hopefully future Motorola docks will come with fewer carrier restrictions.