Motorola Sholes (Motorola Tao?) Slides Through FCC


We were hoping to get a glimpse of the Motorola Sholes -along with an official announcement – at Mobilize 2009 where the Motorola CLIQ was announced. Afterall, it is rumored to be Verizon Wireless’ first Android Phone and Big Red is the most popular carrier in arguably the most important mobile market in the world. And while Moto and VZW still aren’t delivering the goods, Uncle Sam and friends are bringing us what little relief they can offer – FCC certification.

motorola-taoThe only bits of official info we learn about the Motorola Sholes A855 are the it comes with EVDO Rev A, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, CDMA 800/1900, aGPS and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR. The Wi-Fi bit is an important one to note as Verizon has purposefully removed Wi-Fi in phones past just so their own network, and thus data plan, needs to be utilized for content.

The folks at Phone Arena seem to think it will be called the Motorola Tao when launched in late October. Seems more difficult than the code-name “Sholes” to pronounce – at least from an American English perspective – so I’m wondering the decision and authenticity of this rumor. Anyone want to weigh in?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Since when is the US the most important mobile market in the world considering US mobile networks don’t even follow international 3G standards?

  2. @Emil – Where else can you release a phone and have it reach so many people? And since when does adherence to standards coincide with importance? I’m not saying the US is the most important mobile market, but a reasonable argument can be made that it is, so settle down.

    As far as the Sholes…or Tao…or whatever it ends up being called, I’m reserving judgment until we see what Verizon does. If Verizon doesn’t get in the way, it could be the best phone I’ve seen…or it could be completely worthless. No way of knowing until we know how much Verizon messes with it.

  3. I’m kinda with Emil here… sorry, but this sounds a bit like the self-righteous BS from America that leaves bad impressions in Europe and elsewhere.

    Anyway… Motorola really needs to step up the pace. Only the Cliq announced so far. This will be the second phone with a keyboard – they’ll need to target different kinds of people as well. Bring on a phone without a keyboard, I say.

  4. I think mobile phone technology is more pervasive in other countries. Mobilie phones became ubiquitous in Europe several years before they did in the USA. That being said, the iPhone might have been the biggest game changer in the cell phone market, but it’s only been on sale in the USA until very recently. Meanwhile, the network that the iPhone is on can’t seem to handle it. I wonder if the Orange network will be able to…

  5. Martin; its called the A1600. Why not bring out a flip phone without a keyboard or dial pad ( oh, I forgot, that was called the A780 :~) ) But I do agree with you, Motorola should do these things… and in fact has done these things. Just not today. Android does however present a very interesting marketing opportunity for them. Between Android and 3rd parties like Cyanogen, Motorola has the opportunity ( just like anybody else ) to be a solid purveyor of slick H/W and not worry about the S/W.

  6. Since all of Europe uses the same standard for 3G (as far as I know, might be wrong), you can put out the same phone all over Europe and you don’t even have to cooperate with the operators.

    But anyway, sorry for my bad morning mood :P

  7. Wow. Sensitive Europeans and “elsewhere’s” whining again… who saw that one coming? It’s because we have the BIGGEST economy in the world (bigger than the next 3 combined) and that translates to “importance” for corporations who want to make money selling handsets (read: all of them.)

    That said, no one is more aware of the inferiority of US wireless carriers than US customers. But what are you gonna do? Whine about your status in the world, apparently…

    @topic, I thought this was delayed til December anyway? Not due to VZ or Moto but because Android 2.0 wasn’t going to be ready for launch until then. If VZ disables the wifi then it’ll be a no-go for most. If they keep their grubby hands off and let it fly, then it may be the first Android handset to challenge the iPhone. Time will tell.

  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao
    Tao is a cool name, slightly exotic – I would buy a Tao over a Scholes any day ;)


    Says on first bullet point that we may get a sneak peek of their handsets (plural)
    So might get a glimpse on October 6th
    Hopefully a dev can take some pictures/video

  9. @kedmond: Huh? “Until very recently”? As far as I recall, the iPhone was launched in several European countries (Germany, France, UK for example) shortly after it was launched in the US. And the first iPhone is a few years old – how is that “until very recently”?

  10. He said it was “arguably” the most important market, and I think you guys at least proved there’s an argument to be had.

  11. Europeans, known for reading more than assuming, failed to read what was written: “Big Red is the most popular carrier in arguably the most important mobile market in the world.” Any of us would be stupid to believe that the US is the most important carrier nation in the world. By sheer numbers and per capita, the US is way down on the list.

    So, for the Europeans that jumped all over the article, please loosed up the manties, use a manpon, and take a few midol. For the US, the VZW/Moto-??? is teh most important announcement coming.

  12. This is why i love phandroid. Kudos a7man.

  13. Why do we have to be so arrogant, Big Red might be the largest carrier here in the US, but come on. China Mobile has more subscribers than the US has people, try 475 million subs. If I’m a handset manufacturer, they’re way more important to me than some measly Big Red that pales in comparison. Sorry guys, but you’re wrong.

  14. @jeff.

    European market is bigger than the U.S. and there is one single standard for cell phones. The U.S is on the other hand, a mess.

  15. Even though my last name is Sholes and my great-grandfather, Christopher Latham Sholes, invented the typewriter, I have to say that I don’t get the name Sholes for this phone.

  16. Can’t wait to see when the “Tao/Sholes” hits. If the other chatter is true, about HTC releasing some Android phones on VZW, then the Holidays will be real good at my house this year.

  17. While China Mobile has more subscribers than the entire United States, I would doubt if their disposable income is near large enough on average for massive quantities of smart phones to be sold.

    I’m pretty sure you can argue that since the USA has the highest GDP/capita, they have the highest disposable income. Thus are more inclined to by luxury goods, like overpriced cellphones with expensive data plans. Sounds like a good reason to me.

  18. Motorola has been having some trouble lately so it’s nice to see they are still trying to stay in the market. I actually think their MotoBlur service is going to be really big. It seems very handy, and no one else out there (except for Palm and their synergy) seems to be doing anything like that.

    I like the interface, I like the widgets, and I like Motorola’s design. If it turns out they release this thing in a reasonable amount of time, I’ll be hard pressed not to go with it. I’m a die hard Windows Mobile user too, and it’s hard for me to say this… but Windows Mobile has really let all their customers down. My relationship with Windows Mobile is probably going to be limited to the Zune HD from now on. Android seems very capable, very awesome, and is something I can totally get behind.

  19. There are 650 millions of people in the EUropean Union. Around twice the amount of population in usa. The UE economy is slightly larger than its counterpart. That said, per capita usa peeps have more cash to spend…

    Or is it overevaluated by a speculative economy / culture ? I am a bit at a loss these days and am waiting to see how it plays out. Oh one thing i am sure of: real estate speculation is a monopoly game, almost nobody can afford prices raising faster than purchase power. Every nation needs a law to reign in.

    /mode offtopic 0

    Sholes/Tao has been on my radar for quite some time. I might be interested in the samsung bigfoot and the successor of the htc g1/dream if it ever comes out. Keyboard is useful when using modded roms or chatting during a game.

    If i settle for a keyboard less mobile, i might wait for the sony ericsson x3 or archos phone.

  20. @vincent,

    Or you could wait for the Tao Tablet on AT&T ????
    (Pure Speculation)

  21. I was born in the USA and my parents were born in Europe, so which is more important my DNA or my epigenome? ;-)
    I think I’ll want to get this phone if Verizon doesn’t cripple it.

  22. 1: Virtual keyboards will always have latency issues. It has nothing to do with tactile keyboards, the software just can’t keep up with the speed at which some people can type (read: me).

    2: Verizon & Sprint/Nextel are the ones that didn’t follow global 3G standards, but that’s about to change, seeing LTE is considered a 3G technology, probably becoming a 4G technology once the standards are hammered out in the ITU-R

    3: I left at&t/iPhone for VZW/Storm and can’t WAIT to get back to a Moto product, which I swear by, and an open based OS.

  23. Verizon is probably one of the least important markets for phone manufacturers. If you make a phone for Verizon’s CDMA network that’s the *only* market you can sell it in (afaik), whereas if you make a GSM phone you can sell it more or less anywhere:


  24. I’m afraid Moto Blur UI is too ugly for me to get into (just my taste), however, I’m afraid that the Hero’s 528MHz processor is barely making the cut despite firmware updates. Consequently, I’ve been checking out Sense/Hero roms on youtube and I’ve liked what I’ve seen.
    Anyone know if it would it be difficult to port those roms to the Moto Sholes/Tao? One challenge is that the G1 & Hero have the same display size (3.2″) while the Tao/Sholes is considerably larger (3.7″). I know the latest versions of Android will support different display sizes, but I don’t know what this means for roms.

  25. @StephenSaurusRex

    (1) There is no such thing as “Blur UI”, read more about it at Motorola’s site, you will be surprised. You can have any, all or none of their three active widgets on any of your five home screens. There is no “ugly” mess unless you decide it.


    (2) Sholes/Tao will not have Blur on it and will be the fastest Android yet, with an OMAP3430 – 600 MHz ARM Cortex A8 + PowerVR SGX 530 GPU + 430MHz C64x+ DSP + ISP (Image Signal Processor)

    It will have support for OpenGL ES 2.0.

    (3) It will have Android 2.0 (Eclair), actually Motorola are driving this work and working closely with Google.

    ….. So you want to do what ?????

  26. @Crypto
    Whoa, whoa, whoa… so motoblur is just a package of (3) widgets? I guess I missed the memo, b/c rumors labled it as a user interface. Hmmm…
    I knew the sholes was supposed to be the fastest Android phone upon launch (soon to be leap frogged by Acer’s & then Sony’s phones). But I guess I just wanted it to look as attractive as the hero, software-wise. Despite your excitement (& trust me, i’m excited about sholes too), I dont see why your explanation would want to deter me from running a sexy looking rom like hero. Please explain, I’m an eager learner.
    Androidn 2.0 IS exciting… And dont get me wrong, i’d rather have stock android than no android (ie, iphone), but I’d rather have Sense UI so much more. especially if Shole’s hardware will help it run fast.
    So if Sholes isnt going to have blur, any sense of what Motorola is going to do to differentiate it from android (in software)?

  27. The Moto Morrison passed FCC on 8/30 and eleven days later the Cliq was announced at the conference in San Fransisco. The Sholes passes FCC on 9/28 and thirteen days later is the Motodev summit. Coincidence? Maybe, but I hope note.

  28. okay, when looking at the photos of the Droid and the “Sholes” — it is being said that they are in fact the same phone, but they are not! The only information on the VZW site is about Droid, no Sholes, and the two phones are seriously different — so where is the Sholes going to be sold and when will it be released?

  29. I didn’t know what sholes meant, really. Which meant I was ignorant using their mods… til the last week and they’ve went mainstream. BAD IDEA! Wow, farging sholes… whatever it means, get it free at sholes.info… Horrible idea.

  30. I think you are all idiots if you think motorola is behind. They hit a slump for a while, but this droid platform has way surpassed apple and all iphones. Apple comes out with the same damn crap over and over,iphone after iphone. It’s all the same just one little new thing after another, its nothing special at all, and the all touch iphone is old. Keyboards are the new thing along with touch, all touch will never be 100% sure fire, thats a fact, there are always going to be flaws with pixels and touch sensitivity.

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