Coincidence? Moloney returns just as Moto, Verizon FiOS tablet talks heat up

Now the picture starts to clear. Dan Moloney, who took six months away, has returned to Motorola (NYSE: MOT) just as the vendor reportedly finalizes a deal to build an iPad-like tablet device for Verizon FiOS. Moloney's history with Verizon (NYSE: VZ) stretches back several decades when General Instrument (now Motorola) was within a few words on a contract of supplying Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) with equipment to start up a competitive cable TV business. Now he's returned in time to help Verizon put its competitive FiOS TV business on mobile devices.

Putting aside for a moment that the device, which reportedly will have Flash support, front and rear facing cameras and a 10-inch screen sounds suspiciously like what used to be called a portable TV, the new Moto unit's big selling feature is that it will give consumers access to FiOS TV.

Reports say that the device could be on the market as early as this fall. From the Verizon perspective, it could be a big winner in the TV market--if people indeed want to watch TV everywhere--because it would access FiOS. Apple and the iPad are still struggling with the concept of Apple TV.

From the Motorola perspective, the device falls under the mobility business, which Moloney has been brought back to oversee as president.

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