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Unread 2012-05-22, 09:44 AM   #26
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Google officially owns Motorola, replaces CEO with a Google veteran



Motorola is now officially owned and operated by Google. The landmark acquisition was first announced in August 2011, but it did not become official until the deal gained approval from the United States, European Union, and China. Now that these three major hurdles have cleared, Google can start playing with its new toy.
Google has stated that Motorola will operate as a separate business, but it has replaced CEO Sanjay Jha with Dennis Woodside, a Google veteran who has experience at various operations in Europe and Africa. Though Jha will no longer run Motorola, he will continue during a transitional period.
“I’ve known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he’s been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google’s biggest bets,” Google CEO Larry Page said in an announcement of the deal. “Dennis has always been a committed partner to our customers and I know he will be an outstanding leader of Motorola–and he’s already off to great start with some very strong new hires for the Motorola team.”
Jha stepping down to make way for Woodside doesn’t come as a surprise; previous rumors suggested that this would happen once the deal closed. Still, there may be surprises to come following the acquisition. With Woodside at the help, might we see more stock Android phones, faster updates, or Google TV set-top boxes?
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Unread 2012-07-18, 09:23 AM   #27
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Law & Disorder / Civilization & Discontents

Import ban on Motorola's Android products takes effect Wednesday

But Motorola has a plan to maintain device availability in the US.




The Motorola Xoom is one of 18 Android products affected by a pending import ban.
Motorola
An import ban on Motorola Android devices ordered by the US International Trade Commission is scheduled to take effect tomorrow. Motorola Mobility says it has a plan to make sure its Android phones and tablets remain available to US consumers—but the company isn't revealing just what that plan is.
The ITC ordered the import ban two months ago, after ruling that 18 Motorola Mobility products infringe a Microsoft patent. The patent is related to Exchange Active Sync and covers the generation of meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device. The ruling was subject to a 60-day Presidential review period, which will expire Wednesday.
Motorola, which is owned by Google, has several options. It could pay Microsoft for a license to the ActiveSync technology, just as it did between 2003 and 2007 before deciding that it wouldn't do so anymore. Motorola could also remove the infringing feature, or issue a software update that implements it in another way that doesn't infringe Microsoft's patent.
Motorola hasn't said what option it will choose, but told Ars in a statement that it will make sure US customers can still buy the devices.
"In view of the ITC exclusion order which becomes effective Wednesday with respect to the single ActiveSync patent upheld in Microsoft's ITC-744 proceeding, Motorola has taken proactive measures to ensure that our industry leading smartphones remain available to consumers in the US," Motorola said. "We respect the value of intellectual property and expect other companies to do the same."
As Motorola did not say whether it will import more devices into the US after Wednesday, it's possible the company has just stocked up to the point where it can meet US demand without more imports. However, Motorola was required to post a bond of 33 cents for each import that occurred during the 60-day Presidential review period.
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The ITC proceedings have centered on these products: the Motorola Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice, and Xoom.
"The exclusion order is not limited to these devices at issue in the ITC, but will cover all infringing devices from now until to the expiration of the patent, April 10, 2018," a Microsoft representative said.
Microsoft's complaint to the ITC in October 2010 named several of the above products, while saying Motorola's alleged violations weren't limited to those devices.
The ITC's exclusion order doesn't mention specific Motorola phones and tablets, but states broadly that "Mobile devices, associated software and components thereof covered by claims 1, 2, 5, or 6 of United States Patent No. 6,370,566 that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of, Respondent [i.e. Motorola] or any of its affiliated companies, parents, subsidiaries, successors, assigns, or other related business entities, are excluded from entry for consumption into the United States, entry for consumption from a foreign trade zone, or withdrawal from a warehouse for consumption, for the remaining term of the patent."
Microsoft and Motorola have various lawsuits pending against each other. Motorola has sued Microsoft using standards-essential patents, and is trying to get an import ban on the Xbox 360.
Microsoft is already paid royalties on more than 70 percent of Android smartphones sold in the US, with the Google-owned Motorola the lone major holdout.
"Microsoft brought this case only after Motorola stopped licensing our intellectual property but continued to use our inventions in its products," David Howard, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, said in a statement sent to Ars. "It’s unfortunate we’ve been forced to pursue legal action, but the solution for Motorola remains licensing our intellectual property at market rates as most other Android manufacturers have already done."
Given Motorola's promise to maintain device availability in the US, we asked Microsoft if it knows how Motorola will comply with the ITC exclusion order, and whether the two companies have come to some kind of agreement. It appears that no settlement has occurred, and Microsoft is also in the dark on how Motorola will ensure compliance.
"We do not have information on how they will comply," a Microsoft representative told us.
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Unread 2012-07-25, 11:11 AM   #28
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Google has shed some light on exactly how they came to value the acquisition of Motorola Mobility at $12.4 billion, and, as initial speculation surrounding the deal initially suggested, the largest sum went towards patents and developed technologies. Nearly half of the total cost was assigned to acquiring Motorola’s intellectual property, a total of $5.5 billion. The rest of the $12.4 billion was broken down to $2.9 billion for cash acquired, $730 million for customer relationships, $670 million for net assets, and $2.6 billion as a gesture of goodwill, which relates to “the synergies expected to arise after the acquisition.”
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Unread 2012-08-13, 09:23 AM   #29
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Motorola to Cut 20% of Workforce – Pulling Out of Struggling Markets,Will Produce Just a Few High-end Phones



Now that the newly Google-powered leadership team has settled into their Motorola digs, it’s time for cuts and a re-focus. According to Dennis Woodside, the new CEO of Motorola, there will be a 20% cut in their global work force, one third of which will be right here in the U.S. A third of their global offices will be closed, many from unprofitable countries. They will also focus on making fewer phones, but ones that are high-end and include unique features to help them stand out from the crowd.

This move really isn’t all that surprising, as Motorola has been unprofitable in 14 of their last 16 quarters. Under previous leadership, aka Sanjay Jha, the company was nothing short of a mess. They introduced products to the market that were DOA, cheaply made, and in groups that essentially flooded the game.

Over the next year, there will only be a few phones made, in an attempt to return Moto to the “cool” group. After cutting some 40% of VPs, they brought in a special group of innovators who fall under the title Advanced Technology and Projects. This group has one goal – to create the next big thing, but they only have a short amount of time to do so. If they aren’t pushing innovation forward, then the next group will replace them.

And, there you have it, folks. Big changes happening at Motorola. Hopefully this means a new lease on life, one that includes phones we can all gather around, once again.
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Unread 2012-08-17, 05:47 PM   #30
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Google’s Motorola Files New Patent Case Against Apple At ITC

Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Motorola Mobility unit said it filed a new patent-infringement claim today against Apple Inc. (AAPL) at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington.
The complaint seeks to block imports of Apple products made overseas, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and various Apple computers. Motorola Mobility said in an e-mailed statement it is hoping the two companies would settle their patent disputes “but Apple’s unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers’ innovations.”
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Unread 2012-08-27, 09:08 PM   #31
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Google’s Very Own Punit Soni Appointed as VP of Product at Motorola Mobility



A well-known Googler named Punit Soni, whose passion lies deep in the Android and Google Apps ecosystem, has been appointed as the new VP of Product over at Motorola Mobility. According to Mr. Soni’s own LinkedIn, his responsibilities will go a little something like this:
Responsible for all things software at Motorola Mobility
I am a general manager responsible for all aspects of the product development including crafting strategy, building teams and executing to go to market.
Given Google’s purchase of Motorola’s mobile sector a couple of months ago, this is the type of change we have been looking for. Definitely an important step in Motorola’s return as a strong competitor in the smartphone race.
Feel like following Punit’s journey as the new VP? Follow him on Google+!
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Unread 2012-08-27, 11:02 PM   #32
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Where the fuck have I been? I had no idea any of this was going on....

I feel so out of the loop.
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Unread 2012-08-30, 08:38 AM   #33
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Google is planning to sell the Motorola set top box business






According to two people familiar with the matter, Google has tapped financial firm Barclays to help them sell Motorola’s set top box business to interested buyers. Things are still early, but Google is hoping to sell it for as much as $2 billion. The move comes soon after Motorola laid off 20% of its workforce and closed down 30% of its 90 facilities, as a way to decrease costs and increase profitability.

This may be just another way for Google to make Motorola a lean division, that is profitable and self-sustaining. However, it comes as a bit of a surprise – when news broke out that Google is buying Motorola a year ago, people believed that Google is going to make use of Motorola’s set top boxes for its Google TV. Apparently, that won’t be the case anymore.

It would’ve made even more sense to use Motorola’s set top boxes for the Google Fiber offering, the one where Google also gives access to a lot of TV channels. But maybe Google has other plans with that. Either the company is doing it because Motorola’s set top box business wasn’t up to par with what it had in mind, and it would’ve been too hard to turn it around, or Google would rather let its partners handle the hardware side of Google TV or any other such future devices.

Initially there was a rumor that Google might sell off the handset division as well, to Huawei. But I doubt that’s going to happen anymore. I don’t think we’ll see too much of Google’s influence on Motorola’s devices this year, but all 2013 devices should have Google written all over them, so that’s certainly something to be excited about regarding the future of Motorola.
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Unread 2012-09-21, 05:36 PM   #34
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Motorola’s Punit Soni: Bionic Owners Have “Gotten a Raw Deal,” New Motorola Will Try to “Fix Things”



Punit Soni has only been the VP of Product at Motorola for a few weeks and already has taken to Google+ to interact personally with current customers to try to fix some of the company’s past mistakes. One of the topics he is actively involved in includes the DROID Bionic and the fact that it still has not received its Ice Cream Sandwich update. As you all know, Motorola previously promised to the world that the update would be here in “early Q3,” however, we are now days away from the end of Q3 and the update is no where in sight.
Soni admits that Bionic owners have “gotten a raw deal” thus far and that a new plan is being formed, but also wants it to be clear that with the new Motorola team at the top, they are doing everything they can to eliminate situations like this from ever happening:
We have a plan for Bionic. I am currently solidifying things to ensure we can publish it, commit and follow up. I think you guys have gotten a raw deal and we could do way better. But you are one of the top few things I worry about when I look at Upgrades.
The Google+ thread of his that we have linked below continues on for quite some time and is filled with Soni’s responses to all sorts of customers. One comment of his that stood out was the thought that his team now knows to “take your complaints seriously” and that in the future, they will be transparent and stand next to upgrade timelines:
Again..I totally understand how you feel. And this should never happen. I am not going to throw out the argument “we just got here”. We are taking responsibility for this. And we will engage with you, listen carefully to your concerns and most importantly, try to FIX things.
So we are doing that. My team knows to take your complaints seriously, we are working hard to update the Upgrades timeline pages to reflect the right data, and then we WILL stand next to those timings and will meet them. As far as what is in our control, we will be transparent and we will commit to your happiness.
Keep the feedback coming.
I suggest you take up Soni on his offer to provide more feedback. With a new CEO and other execs at the top from Google, Motorola is wanting to change to be better after years of pain. It all starts with listening to passionate consumers like you.
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Unread 2012-10-03, 02:44 PM   #35
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Motorola SVP: Google gives us no 'special treatment'

CNET chats with Motorola Senior Vice President of Product Management, Rick Osterloh, about Moto's strategy and focus.



Verizon's Motorola Droid Razr M Android handset is all part of Moto's plan to offer a range of premium products.
(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET )
Google may own Motorola, but when it comes to making and selling phones, the Android smartphone manufacturer says they're on their own.

"We're operating as an independent OEM, so there's a firewall between us and the Android team," Osterloh told CNET, explaining the sometimes-distant relationship between Motorola and its owner.

"It's very important to the company (Google) that Android remain an open playing field."

Motorola won't update three 4G phones to Ice Cream Sandwich
One might think that with Motorola in the brand umbrella, a Droid phone would be a shoo-in for Google's next flagship Nexus phone, the first handset to demonstrate a "pure" Android experience for a major OS update.

Motorola has yet to gain this prestigious position, but HTC got it once (Nexus One) and Samsung nabbed it twice (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus.)

Motorola would certainly love to issue a Droid Nexus phone or similar, but Osterloh says that his company has to go through the pitching process along with all its usual rivals.
"We will absolutely be one of the people considered the next time Google delivers its Nexus phone...but we're not going to receive special treatment," Osterloh said.

On the other hand, when asked about the Motoblur interface that rides on top of Android, Osterloh indicated a closer alignment with Google's Android vision down the road. "You'll see us get closer and closer to [stock] Android over time," he said.
Focus, focus, focus
In the meantime, Motorola is sticking by a plan outlined in early September when it introduced a trio of new Motorola Droid Razr phones for Verizon -- mainly, releasing a fewer number of premium smartphones throughout the year.
In addition to creating handsets with eye-catching designs like the edgy Razr family, Motorola says it's pouring tremendous engineering effort into battery performance and power management so that phones like its now-legendary Droid Razr Maxx line blow past the competition on a single charge. (Read more: Smartphone battery life: 2 problems, 4 fixes.)

Kevlar has many uses on the Motorola Droid Razr family.


Morotola's physical design has also earned time under the microscope. The flashy Kevlar backing has practical application beyond even its water-resistant and scratch-deflecting properties.

According to Osterloh, kevlar can stretch thin, providing a strong housing that doesn't bulk up the phone's thickness. In addition, Osterloh points to Kevlar's RF permeability, or ability to easily transmit radio signal.

Poor camera life compared to competing smartphones is one area of weakness that's plagued Motorola smartphones for some time, and is indeed a common CNET complaint that cropped up as recently as our Motorola Droid Razr M experience. "It's something that we're focused on," Osterloh acknowledged.

Motorola isn't sharing sales figures right now, nor a phone release road map. The only surety is Motorola's stated attempt to shore up weakness and turn out premium phones, not all of them at premium prices.

"Under Google," said Osterloh cryptically, "it's going to certainly be a different future."
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Unread 2012-10-04, 09:50 AM   #36
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Google Needs To Spend $340 Million To Slash 20% Of Motorola's Workforce And Close Numerous Offices


Reuters, showing its apparent inability to view anything involving spending money in a positive light, is reporting this morning that Google has revised its reorg (read: firing) costs for Motorola to $340 million this quarter, up from an initial estimate of $275 million. The article goes on to describe this "restructuring headache" - you know, the one Google bought knowing 100% full well it is was getting and had time to prepare for literally a year in advance? Yeah, that "headache."
Apparently no one bothered telling this Reuters writer that the notion Google bought Motorola simply for its patents is now considered a tad naïve, either. I think it's safe to say that basically nobody is concerned how much it's costing Google to turn Motorola into a relevant player in the smartphone market again - especially if that cost will eventually result in significantly decreased overhead. Their stock price sure seems to be dealing with this news surprisingly well.
As you may recall, Google is closing many of Motorola's international offices (most of them in Asia), and slashing 20% of its work force. We also know it's planning to spin off the set top box and modem division - an intelligent move that will likely generate quite a bit of cash.
Google doesn't want to get into a business it doesn't understand. Google doesn't do dumbphones (a big part of Moto's old business), and it probably has no interest in becoming a major set top box maker (Kansas City fiber experiment aside). Dennis Woodside has made this much clear: the new Motorola is about smartphones, and not much else. If anything, we should be applauding Google for taking an aggressive approach to cutting the fat that we all know has plagued Motorola and kept its focus in too many places at once.
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Unread 2012-10-18, 07:29 PM   #37
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Google’s influence on Motorola’s hardware won’t be evident until late next year



In the financial conference call Google held today, Google CEO Patrick Pichette talked about the Google-Motorola marriage and what it meant for the future of Motorola’s product line. He first reminded folks that in the 150 days since the acquisition, Google has “harmonized” and scaled back Motorola’s product line (which we believe means less crap and better quality), pulled out of several different markets, undertook the streamlining of software, and more.
That last bit would seem true already as the new versions of MotoBlur are as close to vanilla Android as they’ve ever been. And while Google originally shied away from questions of its plans for Motorola by saying they’d continue to operate as they always have, Pichette kind-of sort-of confirmed that Google would be doing more to influence Motorola’s product line in the future.

He was quick to remind everyone that product cycles take time. From the beginning of R&D to a retail launch takes 12-18 months on average, which means if Google has a hand in the development of new Motorola devices its impact wouldn’t be made evident until sometime in Q4 of next year at the earliest.
He also wanted to cool down the panic mode that seems to have swept the news wire as the company suffered a major stock hit after missing expectations for the quarter. Pichette says the Google-Motorola story has only just begun, and while we’re not promised a fairy tale ending just yet we can surely expect an exciting plot as it thickens.
Before we get out of hand we need to remember one thing — this does not automatically entitle us to a Motorola-made Nexus device (at least not right away). While droves of us would love for that to happen Google’s making it clear that other OEMs will still get fair shots at making Nexus devices. How long that stance might last remains to be seen, but I can tell you one thing: many of us wouldn’t mind having Motorola make Nexus devices for years to come.
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Unread 2012-12-20, 12:01 AM   #38
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Google sells Motorola’s cable set-top unit for $2.35 billion




Looks like Google is about to add a nice amount of change into their bank account with official word that ‘ol Googs is selling Motorola’s cable set-top unit for a cool $2.35 billion. Cable equipment manufacturer Arris is the new buyer and will pay up $2 billion in cash and $300 million in stock to Google, giving Arris a nice portfolio of patents and Google 15.7% ownership of Arris.
Today’s news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Ever since Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion last year we’ve heard talk that Google was planning on selling off the cable unit. Even though some were hoping Motorola’s set top unit could be used to further push Google TV, doesn’t seem Google had much different plans, keeping Motorola afloat being one of them. Deal is expected to close during the first half of next year.
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Unread 2012-12-20, 09:34 AM   #39
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this is great news. there were other candidates to make the purchase that would have not be so great.

lots of cool stuff will come with this acquisition.
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Unread 2012-12-21, 08:06 PM   #40
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Google reportedly poaches key Samsung marketing VP for Motorola Mobile




Google may be doing more to boost Motorola's presence than whipping up a new device strategy, if rumors are true. AllThingsD claims that Google has poached Samsung's American VP for strategic marketing, Brian Wallace, for a roughly equivalent role at Motorola. The move would not only give Motorola a high-profile executive who's had stints at companies like RIM, but one who's not afraid of taking the competition head-on: Samsung's TV ads poking fun at iPhone launch queues appeared under Wallace's tenure. We've asked Google, Motorola and Samsung whether or not the shift is real; Motorola won't comment in either direction, and we haven't heard from the remaining two. If there's any truth to the story, Motorola might have a stronger carrier-independent sales pitch than the occasional dystopic TV spot.
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Unread 2013-01-22, 06:32 PM   #41
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Google CFO talks about Motorola: Be ready for product restructuring


[COLOR=##333333]Google‘s investor relations call surely wasn’t anything exciting, but while we’ve been following along the Q and A sessions gave us a few treats. First up Larry Page talked about the Nexus supply, and now their CFO briefly mentioned their plans for Motorola. Read on for a quick quote right from Google’s own as he talks about big changes coming soon. [/COLOR]







Google’s CFO Patrick Pichette was asked about the Motorola acquisition as a whole, and how they still lost $385 million with Motorola last quarter. His response was pretty straight forward and didn’t reveal anything – as expected – but the quote below has us excited with Motorola’s future already.
“Just a bit of color on Motorola – We’re not in the business of losing money with Motorola. We’re 120 days into this journey – and we’ve inherited 12 to 18 months of product pipeline. With product restructuring, it does take time for new product to show up… Be ready for a lot of fluctuation in our P and L [Profit and Loss Statements] over the next quarter.” — Patrick Pichette
Now you can take this multiple different ways. For one being the entire RAZR HD, RAZR M, and anything that gets released in the near future will be all Motorola before Google took the reins. That isn’t to say Google hasn’t made some changes and had at least some effect. Whether it was the plan or not, Motorola’s slowly changed their UI to be closer to stock Android than most, and even adopted the on-screen navigation buttons. We’re still hoping HTC and Samsung do the same, but for now that isn’t looking likely.
We’ve heard a lot lately about Motorola’s X-Phone, that’s reportedly been a joint venture and project with Google. 120 days into their “journey” we can’t expect things to be fully under way yet, but maybe they got started before the acquisition was finalized. For now everything is just rumors and speculation but hopefully we learn some concrete details soon. Google’s Pichette clearly mentioned to “be ready for a lot of fluctuation in P and L” and that product restructuring takes time. To an Android enthusiast like me that reads: Be ready for something brand new and different from Motorola. And expect some huge changes and major fluctuation in the future.
While we don’t know what the future holds for Motorola, it’s safe to say good things are ahead of us with Google at least working with the teams. Stay tuned for more details as we’re sure they’re coming soon.
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Unread 2013-02-28, 07:55 PM   #42
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Google says Motorola’s device pipeline wasn’t “Wow” worthy, downplays Samsung worries



Some interesting quotables have arisen from the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference today. Speaking at the conference, Google’s chief financial officer Patrick Pichette responded to questions regarding Motorola and the hardware business Google inherited. According to Pichette, Google didn’t deem anything in Motorola’s pipeline “wow” worthy by its own standards.
We may like the DROID RAZR/MAXX HD or Motorola’s Photon Q, but if the authority on Android isn’t impressed by Motorola’s latest work then perhaps our standards are being set way too low. It’s a perfect opportunity for Google to show us what “wow” could be, then, as it has a very important show coming up in the next few months. Google is rumored to be launching the “X” phone with Motorola, and it would be the first device that Google has a heavy hand in.

If you don’t remember, Google originally revealed that it had at least 12-18 months of product pipeline to get through, which likely included the aforementioned DROID RAZR/MAXX HD and the DROID RAZR M. We haven’t heard of anything else but the “X” lately so perhaps Google’s influence will finally be hitting the research and development labs and production lines of Motorola soon.
In other news, Pichette decided to address allegations that Google is worried about Samsung’s current death grip on the Android pie. You would think Google would be happy that an OEM is making money with Android, but early rumors alleged the Mountain View company actually feared Samsung would run too many competitors out of contention.
Pichette didn’t outright say that wasn’t true, but did remind us that Google has an excellent relationship with Samsung. We’re sure they do, but we also know that you can have an excellent relationship and remain worried at the same time. Google will probably never outright express its feelings on the situation, but for now that’s all we’re getting from the horse’s mouth.
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Unread 2013-03-01, 02:19 PM   #43
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Google hires former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki to help turn around Motorola




In an effort to save the sinking ship that is Motorola Mobility, Google could be enlisting some help from author/motivational speaker Guy Kawasaki — a turncoat once known for being the Apple evangelist for many years, only to switch over to “Team Android.”
“Motorola reminds me of the Apple of 1998: a pioneer in its market segment, engineering-driven, and ripe for innovation. I believe that great products can change everything.”
Apparently, Guy will be taking on more of an “advisory role” with the company, focusing on key areas as product design, user interface, marketing and lastly, social media. To kick things off, Mr. Kawasaki has created a Google + community for mobile device talk and while the focus isn’t necessarily that of Moto devices, you can bet he’ll use some of these ideas to help with the rumored Motorola X Phone he’s more than likely already working on.
As for Motorola, they need all they help they can get. Their current track record had them continually posting operating losses in 2012, so Kawasaki definitely has his work cut out for him. What do you guys think? Can Guy really turn around things for Motorola? What key areas does Motorola need help with before you’d purchase one of their products?
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Unread 2013-03-09, 10:27 AM   #44
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It’s time for some spring cleaning again at Motorola, and Google has announced that another 1,200 people will be laid off, after they laid off another 4,000 last fall. This is about 10% of their current workforce, and Google might not stop there, as Motorola is not doing very well financially. In fact it’s losing money, because as Google says, their costs are too high, and they aren’t very competitive in the markets right now. Google hopes however, that they can ease this transition time for their Motorola workers:
“These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer,” the company said. “It’s obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition.”
Morale wise, Motorola employees must not be doing so well right now when some of them are getting laid off, but it’s for the good of the company in the long term. Plus, as Google has stated before, the average competence of a Motorola employee is lower than of the average Googler, so they will want to keep only the best people there. Since Motorola is not doing great financially right now, this is a pretty good time to raise the quality of Motorola employees. When Motorola will start growing again, they can start hiring new, better qualified employees.
Unfortunately, we probably won’t see that happening for the time being, as Google CFO himself said that we shouldn’t be expecting any devices that “wow” us from Motorola anytime soon. The old pipeline of Motorola products hasn’t been fully shipped yet, so we’re still going to see Motorola devices that haven’t had a very large influence from Google. That means that Motorola also won’t experience a lot of sales that sustain the rest of its employees, which means we’ll probably see even more lay offs from Motorola.
I think Motorola will only be saved if Google shows us some Chromebook Pixel-quality devices from Motorola, perhaps the rumored X phone and tablet, which we have no idea when they will arrive maybe. It could happen by the end of the year for the holiday season or in the first half of next year. Every month until that happens Motorola is going to lose Google money, but if those products can live up to the hype, then it should at least kick-start the process of getting Motorola on a growth path again.
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Unread 2013-06-26, 07:38 PM   #45
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Motorola: A Google Company — new branding unveiled




Now that Motorola has cleared its pipeline of DROIDs and other projects Google didn’t like, the company has been hard at work trying to please the software giant which bought it for $12.5 billion. Alongside the ongoing development of the Moto X, the company has also taken another step to profess its love for being owned by Google: new branding. Motorola unveiled a new multi-colored logo with the following subtext: “motorola: a Google company.”
The logo and branding simply oozes Google, a company known to be quite simple, minimalistic and elegant in its approach. It’s hard to imagine how this new branding will transcend into Motorola’s advertising and other aspects of its image, but we definitely feel a nice, breezy change in the wind with this early first step. Now, how about that X phone?
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Unread 2013-12-13, 08:17 PM   #46
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Motorola Boss Dennis Woodside Discusses Moto’s Competitors, Takes a Shot at the iPhone



If you follow Android news regularly, there’s a good chance you’ve been hearing a lot about Motorola lately. Between the Moto X and the Moto G, Motorola has been gaining a lot of positive attention, and for good reason. The Moto X was a well-received device that seemed to hit a sweet spot with a lot of mainstream consumers, while the Moto G’s low price tag has a lot of people talking. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside has been in the news a lot as well, this time sitting down for an interview with the Associated Press to talk about everything from plastic phones to who Motorola’s biggest competitors are.
Speaking on how Motorola has changed since it first hit it big with its RAZR line of flip phones back in 2004, Woodside said that today Motorola is focused more on mobile services and getting as many people as possible connected to mobile web. He pointed to the Moto G, saying that consumers can now get a phone that “spec for spec does stand up to an iPhone at one-fourth the price.” That wasn’t the last time Woodside mentioned Apple, as he claimed Samsung and Apple were Motorola’s biggest competitors. In the case of Samsung, Woodside said that Motorola is at a disadvantage because it doesn’t have the kind of money Samsung has, meaning it can’t market its devices as much. Therefore, Motorola has to gain attention in other ways, which is part of the strategy behind the Moto G.
When asked what customers are going to want in a phone in the future, Woodside suggested that we’ll soon see a shift away from glass devices. “Phones break. They’re glass. That’s likely to change in the next 24 months, as plastic becomes more present and producible,” he said. Interaction with smartphones will likely change moving forward too, with Woodside envisioning a future where everyone is talking to their phones: “You’ll be speaking to (the) phone, asking it to do things, and it will be responding and actually doing what you intend, as opposed to you reading a command line.” Finally, he pointed to the current obsession with wearables, mentioning that no one has really come up with a distinct purpose that makes these wearables must-have devices.
Woodside also spent a fair amount of the interview discussing what’s changed and what hasn’t with the Google buyout of the company. He reiterated that Google and Motorola still operate independently of one another, and that we should consider Google more of an investor in this instance. Despite this, one thing is for sure: Motorola has had a pair of hits ever since joining forces with Google, so the buyout seems to working out great. Have any of you picked up a Moto X or a Moto G? If so, what do you think about your shiny new device?
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Unread 2013-12-20, 09:40 AM   #47
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Motorola Shows Us via a Patent Application, How they Could Make Smartwatches with Flexible Displays




Motorola has been doing some interesting things this year. Both the Moto X and Moto G caught many of us by surprise. And in a recent interview, Motorola’s CEO Dennis Woodside did say they were working on some wearables, but would not say what they were. We’re guessing a smartwatch first, since that’s what everyone is supposedly working on right now. Motorola recently filed for patents on wrist-worn gadgets as well as flexible displays. However, on Thursday, a new patent application hit the USPTO, which basically shows us what happens when Motorola merges those two technologies into one.
The patent application has revealed what looks like a concept for a Smartwatch, or something like a smartwatch. Where basically the screen and shell can flex together. Which is a pretty big deal. Like the metal watch band, the chassis would be made of links, and grips on each link would be the display. It’s actually a pretty simple idea, but I wouldn’t expect a product made from this idea anytime soon. As it takes time to developer these types of things, as well as time to test them and make sure they are perfect before sending them out.
Keep in mind that Motorola will also need flexible circuits before any bendy wearables can even pop up on their roadmap. So I wouldn’t expect to see them within the next year. Although we may see some wearables next year from Motorola and many other companies. I don’t see a flexible display on a wearable coming from Motorola anytime soon. But it’s a pretty cool idea, I just hope they can make a smartwatch more usable than many of the others that are on the market right now. How many of you would be interested in a wearable from Motorola? Maybe it could have some form of Touchless Control and Active Display? How cool would that be.
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Unread 2014-01-15, 12:50 PM   #48
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Interview: Motorola Talks Big 2013 Moments, Choice, Value, a Love for Stock Android, and the Future





During last week’s CES, I had a chance to sit down with Motorola executives Steve Horowitz (SVP software engineering) and William Moss (director of corporate communications) to talk the year that was, what they took away from all that happened in 2013, their thoughts on wearables, and where we are headed in 2014. Our chat was a brief 30 minutes, but we managed to cruise through all sorts of topics including how they managed to update the Moto X to Kit Kat in under three weeks.
I think you’ll notice a theme quickly emerging throughout that most of you will all be fans of: Motorola wants to do more of the same, which means continuing to provide value and choice with a stock Android experience anchoring it all. While they wouldn’t give up their roadmap for 2014 (don’t worry I tried to get it), I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll see MotoMaker stick around, new choices of materials will be a part of the scheme, new features will be added onto their suite of Touchless Control and Active Display, and prices will remain as good as ever.
Let’s run through it. (Sorry for the delay, but man, do I have new love for professional transcribers.)
Question: As far as 2013 went, do you have a favorite moment whether it be Moto X or something else?
Horowitz: It’s been very interesting to see people start to understand the value in doing less and not focusing on the spec wars and escalations of bigger screens, how many cores, etc. We really are pleased to have seen a shift – by no means are we done – and a momentum that’s really picked up with the products we’ve launched. X and G, not only do they have their legs under them, but we’re really pleased with how things are doing, Moto G in particular. It’s hitting a price point for performance that is really resonating with consumers. Everybody learns, so we’ve learned a lot, but we’ve learned that our core tenants of choice, value, and a nice pure, simple experience, really are starting to win over consumers. We’re very happy with that.
Question: Goal going forward with core experience, to add on top of Touchless Control and Active Display?
Horowitz: That’s exactly right. We started off a year ago and started from scratch. We’ve got years of legacy built up in our codebase – we’re getting rid of all. We’re literally going to start with a fresh drop of Android, and we’re going to simply add in the minimal things we need to be carrier, legally, and geographically compliant, which is a small set of things if you really boil it down, and then we’re going to add experiences that are complementary of Android, not in competition with Android.
I know the [Android] team very well, I was an engineer there for 3 years when we first built it. I know the talent. I’ve always been a believer in a pure Android experience and the basics. I don’t think anyone’s ever sold more phones because their calendar had a better search box than the stock calendar or their launcher was just a little bit better. Instead of focusing on differentiating and competing with Android, we focused on things that are complementary to it and getting out of the way. That’s been one of these kind of virtuous circle things, that by taking that fresh approach with our code base we’ve been able to execute on upgrades at a pace I think nobody really expected. In addition to that, we’ve also done things with our experiences to make them market upgradable, Play store upgradable. And again, all these things are enablers for us to move really, really quickly.
Moss: You were asking for single moments for us from the past year, and I think being the first OEM to come out with a Kit Kat device was a huge moment for us. As you may recall, our reputation, say a year, year and a half, two years ago – was such a turn-around in how we were able to approach the software experience and the upgrade experience. Members of the public feel differently about that, but there is definitely a core for whom that is super important and we had heard from a lot.
Question: On that note, when you guys announced that Kit Kat was rolling out for the Moto X, it was under 3 weeks (19 days to be exact according to Horowitz), how did you guys do it?
Horowitz: There really are two fundamental things that enabled us to do that. When I say “two things,” I mean two categories. One is this core Android experience that is just fundamentally more pure and less modified than anything we have ever done. And I would argue anything that any other OEM has ever done. So we started with a true pure Android approach. That is a facilitator, and that coupled with challenging the team to think really hard about making as few modifications as we possibly can enabled us. We then had to go to our partners – because it’s not something we can do on our own – we had to work with Qualcomm and Verizon, AT&T and Sprint and say, “Guys, let’s take a different approach to this. Let’s not treat this as business as usual where cycles happens in the following way with the following deadlines. Let’s rethink this from scratch.” And so they were great partners for us in doing that. As you said, it did require these two fundamentally different things to happen. But we proved to our partners as well as to consumers that it can be done. And I think we set a new bar and can be even better.
Question: Moto X specifically – wood or natural backs – initially when you first announced them there were other materials. Still plans to do those?
Horowitz: Yeah, I think you’ll see a lot of additional things in the domain of consumer choice, and new materials, and things like that in Moto X. I think one of the things you’ll see that’s consistent in this area is we also want to be careful and not try to do things that will lower the quality bar. We want to make sure we do fewer things really well. We started off with Bamboo so we could make sure – even then, Bamboo is technically not even a wood, as I learned myself – but each material has its own set of challenges both in terms of how you ensure the quality level, the manufacturing, the drop testing, the rigidity, the antenna. There are a lot of different factors. And then there is also the sourcing. We also want to make sure we’re responsible on the sourcing and making sure it’s sustainable and things like that. As we’ve learned – because again these are all learning processes for us – we have wanted to just do this carefully. But you’ll definitely see some other materials come into play.
Question: MotoMaker – here to stay?
Moss: Rolling it out from – you know it started on AT&T – to all the other carriers was a very big step for us in the last couple of months. That really helped to drive adoption of broad customization to a much bigger audience and we were really glad to be able to roll it out more. It’s going to be a big priority.
Horowitz: The way I would characterize it is I would say it’s part our bigger story of consumer choice and options. We really expanded that beyond just carriers. Our direct to consumer channels and some of the sales we’ve had for some of the unlocked devices over the holidays were incredibly successful for us. Even if you look at Moto G – which isn’t a MotoMaker product – has choice. You can still have backs. It is arguably even more customizable than X because, my daughter can have 3 different backs – what’s her outfit look like today – “well I can use my blue back or my purple back or my yellow back.” Consumer choice is important, so I think you’ll really see us accelerate in areas like that.
Question: Touching on price – Moto X is now $399 – is that another focus going forward? Initially, phones launching at a reasonable price point that people can get off contract?
Horowitz: The way I would begin characterizing that is it’s about value to consumers. Really our goal here is very aligned with Google – we want to get phones and information access to billions of people out there that don’t have it. The first thing you have to do is get devices at a price point that can reach different kinds of consumers. Really what you’ll see us is us focusing on value. And that isn’t just value in terms of cheaper or lower cost phones, it’s value at every segment. Moto X we think is a great value at that price, and you’ll continue to see more of that with us.
Question: Project Ara – how are things coming there?
Horowitz: Things are going well – we don’t have anything really new to announce in that domain. As you might expect it has generated a lot of talk. Even internally we were surprised at the way that that’s resonated with – obviously not the broader consumer population – but it just goes back to choice. Consumers, ultimately there is not a one size fits all, and something like a Project Ara will allow people to specify not only at order time, but even dynamically. Like, I’m going out on vacation and maybe I want to rent a super high-end camera module or maybe I need to optimize for battery, so I put 4 batteries in the various slots so I can have extra long battery life. So consumer choice not just at product conception but depending on the individual use case is incredibly possible.
Moss: I bumped into the technical project lead for Ara yesterday in the office before I left and had a quick chat with him. They are definitely making progress – stay tuned – there will be more to come.
Then things got interesting for a moment when Moss asked me a question, basically giving me the power to tell them what they can do better. He wanted to know what it would take to get their product into my pocket as a daily driver, since I showed up to the interview with a G2 and Nexus 5 (Whoops!).
Question (from Moss): You have a couple of different devices out here (on the table). Where do you see where we are at now? When you look at our devices and how they fit into the competitive environment – as somebody who follows Android closely – where are we good and not good? What would it take so that you are carrying our devices around as a primary device?
Me: I basically told them to do more of the same, but that some people do still care about specs as much as the Moto X helped slow down the spec wars. I also told them that we focus a lot on cameras these days because the camera on your phone often times is all you have and it needs to be awesome. It’s the little things that make a smartphone great, since almost all smartphones are good these days. And last, I told them that the Moto X (with Bamboo) is actually my daily phone, but that I was using the G2 in its place for the extra battery life while hotspotting during CES. They joked about me being one of the few that are buying Bamboo.
We then moved casually onto Moto G. Both shared some thoughts.
Moss: You also asked about things from the past year that had been big moments for us and I think the other thing (other than software upgrades), when we put G out and we saw the reception to it – we were optimistic about the product and we felt that there was a good strategic case for it – I think we were pleasantly surprised by how positive the reaction to it was from reviewers but also just from people who appreciated somebody putting out an affordable phone that wasn’t crappy. And you know, the response from consumers has been very good and we have been very, very happy with that. I think that was a big lesson for us – Steve talked about choice before, in terms of how we bring different kinds of choices to people and I think that formed very much our decision to do off-contract Moto Xs for $399 and give people more choices around value and around options that aren’t driven by contracts. So that was a very big deal for us.
Horowitz: I think Moto G really shows – you talk about specs, and there obviously is as you say, is going to be core group of folks [who cares], which is fine, great, because the world needs variety – but what Moto G, we’re hoping it shows, is that by doing less, by having a more pure experience – again this is part of my Android championing part that says the product can do great things if you don’t get in its way. And that’s what we think we have done with Moto G. We have created the kind of experience that is – there are still some great Motorola experience stuff in there – but it’s a pure Android experience on a phone and it shines, given the relatively [lower] specs. I would put even the Moto G up against some of the highest end smartphones today and I would challenge you to tell the difference in many cases.
Question: 2014 – plans?
Horowitz: Well, our product roadmap is… (jokingly)
I think thematically you’ll see just more of the same which is, we want to continue to do fewer things and do them very well. We want to offer things that are of value to consumers and increase the accessibility of the internet. We want to have more and more choice. We want to build things that we feel have resonated. We have done a lot of things over the last year, made a lot of changes, and we have been surprised in a lot of cases. Like anybody will learn with what resonates with consumers we’ll see more of – I know I’m being very generic here – nonetheless, themes of choice and value will be accelerated.
Question: Wearables – the hot topic right now – you guys at one time did the MotoActv, so any plans to think about going back in there?
Horowitz: As you can imagine, we’re not going to announce anything, but really it’s an area that we’re [thinking really hard about]. When we do something we want to make sure we are careful about and don’t want to just do it for the sake of doing it. Clearly it’s an area that we think is resonating with a certain subset of consumer. Even though the bands and the fitness part is a broad consumer thing, I think having a more interactive experience with wearables is still a much smaller market as people learn to integrate.
And that was our chat!
As you can tell, they weren’t about to give up dirty little secrets or specific plans for the future. However, if you were a fan of what Motorola did during 2013, I think you should be excited to know that they are going to continue to focus on using stock Android, giving us great pricing (hopefully out of the gate this time), bringing customization, looking into wearables, and updating phones faster than they did last year.
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Unread 2014-01-16, 12:35 PM   #49
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Disney’s Dr. Ivan Poupyrev hired by Motorola to work on future devices


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Motorola has been a big innovator in the mobile industry. And with the Moto X, the innovations just continue. The Moto X was the first device to come from the efforts of the company’s Advanced Technology and Products department, so it’s the perfect place for someone like Dr. Ivan Poupyrev.
You may know Dr. Poupyrev from his recent project at Disney’s Carnegie Mellon university lab. He made interactive plants that “sing” when touched. He was also named one of the world’s most creative people in 2013. It sounds like an excellent fit for a division that’s trying to change how we interact with our smartphones, something the Moto X has already contributed to.
I can’t wait to see what cool things come from Motorola, especially with Poupyrev included. I’m sure there will be plenty of innovation. What are you looking forward to from Motorola’s next project? Leave a comment!
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Unread 2014-01-22, 04:48 PM   #50
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You know hat we love here at Android Community? The Moto G. It’s not the best phone we’ve ever tested, and certainly not the prettiest, but it strikes a nerve. Appropriately priced, and actually really nice for day-to-day use, the Moto G is one we recommend a lot. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside has hinted that the Moto G may not be the end of their low-price push, either.

In a conversation with TrustedReviews, Woodside had some very telling things to say about low cost devices. In fact, he might have tipped his hat a bit about their focus moving forward, but the more sensational commentary is in regard to price points:
In much of the world $179 is a lot of money so there’s a big market at a price point of less than $179. We’re going to look at that and just delivering on that value promise is super important. I mean why can’t these devices be $50? There’s no reason that can’t happen so we’re going to push that.
We bristle to think he’s discussing the US, as the conversation lends itself to emerging markets. We thought the $179 would be the lowest Motorola could go, at least in forgoing subsidies. A device around $50 would be good for a variety of reasons, if for nothing more than to introduce Motorola to the world.
Woodside also discussed higher-end devices, and customization. Currently, we have some customization, but Motorola is working to bring us more. “Today you have colours and beginning of materials but you don’t have screen size and you don’t have functionality and we’re going to bring all that in in the next year or so.” Brings Project Ara to mind, doesn’t it?
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