Motorola Rings in 1995 With the Launch of the Marco Wireless Communicator
MACWORLD Attendees Get First Look at the World's
Only Newton(-Based Integrated Wireless Hand-Held
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- January 4, 1995 Today at MACWORLD, Motorola's Wireless Data Group (WDG) introduced the Marco(R) Wireless Communicator, the first wireless communications device based on Apple's Newton( platform, the industry's leading hand-held operating platform. The Marco Wireless Communicator integrates two- way, wide-area wireless communications into the Newton platform and operates on ARDIS, the industry's premier wireless data communications network. Without plugging in to a phone line, the Marco device allows users to exchange messages with their workgroups and the Internet, access company or industry- specific information using custom wireless applications, send wireless messages to fax machines and receive wireless news and stock market updates. This product is ideal for mobile professionals and users in specialized markets including sales automation, real estate, healthcare, financial services and field service." Motorola believes that integrated wireless communications is the catalyst that will help spark the growth of the PDA market," said Rick Lane, general manager of Motorola Wireless Data Group's Personal Communicator Product organization." To this end, our strategy is to integrate Motorola's proven wireless technology expertise into the industry's leading hand-held platforms. We believe it is products like Motorola's recently shipped Envoy(R) Wireless Communicator and our new Marco device that will demonstrate to users the true value of portable wireless communicators and accelerate the overall growth of the market."
" We are developing for the Marco Wireless Communicator because it enables us to easily build Newton applications that run wirelessly," said Steven G. Elms, founder of info@hand, Inc. and president of Newton Source. "The breadth and quality of development tools available for the Newton platform and the momentum behind the platform make it a compelling development environment. When Motorola integrated its wireless technology into Newton to create the Marco device, the company opened up a new world of opportunity to developers who want to develop leading-edge applications and benefit from the growing market demand for wireless applications. We have been waiting for a product like the Marco communicator."
Marco Communication Network and Services The Marco communicator currently runs on the ARDIS network, the world's leading wireless data communications network. ARDIS provides on-street, in-vehicle and in-building coverage to 90 percent of the business areas in the United States.
This includes 400 metropolitan areas including 10,700 cities and towns. Motorola intends to expand its support to include other networks, including RAM Mobile Data and CDPD, based on customer feedback. For wireless messaging, the Marco Wireless Communicator will be available with both RadioMail and ARDIS PersonalMessaging services. Users can sign up to have both services, or choose just one:
connects users to anyone communicating on the Internet or via public e-mail services such as America Online, CompuServe or Prodigy.
provides peer-to-peer wireless message exchange between PersonalMessaging users on communicators and desktop computers as well as wireless messaging to fax machines. Provides cost-effective and reliable communications to workgroups who may not require or wantInternet access.
The Marco product allows users to immediately run a growing library of retail Newton applications including Notion and Money Magazine Financial Assistant. In addition, users will soon be able to connect to their desktop e-mail with MobileVision, an application currently under development by CE Software that will provide a wireless extension to QuickMail, a leading desktop e-mail package.
Custom solutions are also under development for the Marco device. Motorola's goal is to offer users a wide range of applications designed to meet their specific industry needs. Applications currently available for the Marco product include:
Sales Automation SalesMate from KPMG Peat Marwick, provides order entry, inventory query and new product information to users; SkySales from SkyNotes, offers Marco communicator users a sales tracking tool based on Lotus Notes.
SkyDispatch from SkyNotes, offers field service personnel an electronic clipboard to track the reporting of time logs, job completion forms and trouble reports through a Lotus Notes database.
bonds@hand from info@hand, delivers up-to-the-moment access to treasury certificate quotes and foreign exchange rates as well as news and commentary.
Design and Specifications
The Marco Wireless Communicator's ergonomic design allows it to fit conveniently into a briefcase, handbag or compact carrying case.
The Marco product weighs 1.8 pounds and is 7.5 inches high, 5.8 inches wide and 1.4 inches deep.
The device features a portrait screen that is bright and crisp to allow easy reading in many lighting conditions.
The pen is carefully weighted to feel more like a traditional pen.
The edges are tapered and the casing is dark to allow the unit to survive the wear and tear of constant use.
The Marco device provides users with 1MB of internal memory and a PCMCIA Type II slot for memory expansion, software flexibility and access to wireline fax modem and other peripherals. Communication between devices is also supported via a Newton-compatible infrared port. Connection to the desktop or to printers is handled via an Appletalk-compatible serial port. The device features a NiCad battery that provides users with up to eight hours of run time.
Pricing, Distribution and Availability
The street price of the Marco device is likely to range from $900 to $1,400, depending upon the system bundle that users choose. Prices for peripherals are set by their respective vendors and Motorola envisions a wide range of services with different pricing structures.
The Marco product will be sold through Motorola's Wireless Communicator distribution channel, which is currently under development. Motorola's strategy is to work closely with resellers, distributors, VARs, systems integrators and specialty retailers that are interested in providing users with the highest- quality wireless solutions and support. Initially, Motorola will limit the number of organizations distributing Marco and focus its efforts on ensuring maximum product sell-through and user satisfaction.
" The wireless industry is in its infancy, but user interest is intense," said Lane. "At Motorola, we have a responsibility to make sure the first experiences users have with wireless technology are positive. For this reason, it isn't important to us to sign on a large number of retailers - instead, it is essential to partner with the organizations that can deliver what users need to enjoy their introduction to wireless communication. This is a new industry and it requires a new distribution channel. Motorola is committed to developing a channel that works for wireless customers."
The Marco device will be available in January 1995. Some of the initial
J&R ComputerWorld, New York, New York
Newton Source, New York, New York
Totally Wireless, San Jose, California
For general information on Motorola's wireless solutions and other Marco dealer locations, users can call 1-800-8WIRELESS. Service and Support
The Marco Wireless Communicator will be supported by Marco retailers as well as Motorola's Helpdesk. In addition, the Marco device will offer users on-line support through integrated connections to RadioMail, ARDIS and the Motorola Helpdesk.
Motorola's address on the Internet's World Wide Web (WWW) is www.mot.com .
The Wireless Data Group is part of Motorola's Messaging, Information and Media Sector and incorporates the company's business activities involved with the design, manufacturing and distribution of wireless data products, infrastructure equipment and systems for worldwide markets. Motorola is one of the world's leading providers of wireless communications, semiconductors and advanced electronic systems and services. Sales in 1993 were approximately U.S. $17 billion.
Motorola, Marco and Envoy are registered trademarks of Motorola, Inc.
Newton is a registered trademark and the lightbulb logo is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc., used under license.
Other names and product names may be registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.
Cunningham Communication, Inc.