Deploying multitouch on handsets in the US is.. well.. touchy. Patents and licensing issues scare a number of hardware manufacturers away from deploying it, even when the hardware itself supports it. Take the Motorola Droid for example; the European variant, the Milestone, packed multitouch support out of the box, whilst the US Droid was limited to one finger’s worth of input at a time.
Some hardware makers — Palm and HTC, to name a few — have the chutzpah to look at these patents and scoff them off as the nonsense they are, either rolling out their own multi-touch technology or just daring someone to pull them into court for it. It looks like Motorola might be about to do the same.
In an interview with Laptop Magazine, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha had this to say:
I think you will see us deliver multitouch in the majority of our devices going forward. There’s a complex set of factors, not all of them technical. But I think you’ll see us being proactive on multitouch because the user feedback on multitouch is very good.
So there you have it – Motorola will support multitouch on the “majority” of their devices from here on out. Sure, this could very well mean “the majority of our devices [outside of the US]”, but considering that Sanjay specifically mentions the non-technical factors — that is, the aforementioned licensing holdups, which really only apply in the US — we’ve got hope.