Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha Talks Global Brand, New Tablets, Ice Cream Sandwich And A Little Bionic As Well


Early this morning, Motorola’s CEO Sanjay Jha spoke at the Oppenheimer Annual Technology and Communications Conference and where he addressed the company’s past, as well as the company’s future.

Motorola spoke a good amount on the company’s intent to streamline their global branding by taking a more “Samsung style” approach in terms of creating a worldwide flagship device. This would in turn create marketing efficiencies for the company thus, saving them loads of money by focusing less time on fragmented releases in different markets. Kinda makes you think about how much money Apple saves in marketing dollars by creating a single flagship phone every year that they launch all over the globe (just my 2 cents).

What was particularly interesting was the absence of any talk/hype from the keynote on Moto’s upcoming Droid Bionic release. Although, Sanjay did briefly make mention of the device calling it, “only a product.” that left many scratching their heads. Not sure exactly what he meant, but it sounds to me like Moto either quite frankly didn’t give a damn about the device, or maybe they have bigger and better things planned for the rest of 2011? Strange.

Sanjay also talked to attendees about the Motorola Xoom and told everyone to expect new tablets in the second half of the year with more “aggressive” form factors and unique enterprise capabilities, as well as the company’s new focus on cheaper, WiFi only tablets versus the pricier 3G/4G models that never really left store shelves.

To finish up the keynote, when asked about the company’s future with Android and if Motorola would once again focus on being the first OEM to the latest version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich), Jha seemed to beat around the bush saying,

“It depends. I would say by and large I would like to be the first but there are times when being the first to launch has greater schedule uncertainty. You are taking more chances with new innovation in the beginning and sometimes that has negative impact. By and large, largely it’s a very positive thing.”

What did you guys take from this keynote? As Android users, are you excited about the future of Motorola? Or are you moving on to other manufacturers?

[Via Droid-Life]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I have heard through corporate dealings that Moto intends to release an enterprise targeted Honeycomb tablet very soon. Should be interesting.


  2. Moto has said many times they have no desire to make WP7 devices. And why would they produce devices for a company that is suing them for royalties? I think you were off point there, Chris :p.

    I really like moto so Im excited to see what they have cooked up

      1. That’s a really old artictle. Here is two from more recently (and after they were sued by microsoft):

        This is why I love moto. Self proclaimed “100% android%

        1. The article was from this morning (10AM) :O

          1. -________________________________-

            My eyes are such dueche bags! I could have sworn it said October then i first read it.

          2. I still love you <3

          3. @chris :)))))))))))

    1. I feel Moto is the best manufacture out there that is the the reason they hate them so much :) They are important

  3. “Samsung style” = MotoBlur that looks like iOS??? WTF! Get that shit finally off your phones…this will bring you profit :D

    1. You misinterpreted. He mean Samsung style as in having one line of superphones like that Samsung Galaxy line

      1. Thats all, and not a bad idea!

  4. How do you get from “It depends. I would say by and large I would like to be the first but there are times when being the first to launch has greater schedule uncertainty.” to “This actually gives more weight to talk that Motorola could have a Windows Phone in its future…”? There’s no logical bridge there. One minute you’re telling us what he said about leading OK products and then “Squirrel!”

    1. My thoughts weren’t very clear there. Apologies. Updated post =)

      1. You may need to remove that entirely, LOL!

        1. You may be right, Crook…… o_O

  5. It is just incredible when it takes a CEO this long, 3-4 years to figure out something so obvious to a regular consumer. Are they incompetent?

    4 easy steps to success:

    * Get rid of carrier bloating
    * Use the same names for the phones worldwide and on different carriers
    * Worldwide software, that is all languages and make updates available everywhere at the same time
    * Keep the changes to the OS minimal to be able to roll out updates more frequently, look at Asus

    1. i cant agree with you more these stupid name changes for each company or you think they just keeping certain phones to certain companies are dumb

    2. You’re grossly oversimplifying. Sure, it sounds easy as long as you don’t factor in all the complexities. It’s like saying, “You can solve world hunger by feeding everyone. Easy!”

      That’s not to say that these issues aren’t unsolvable, but they’re not trivial.
      * Carrier Bloating – entirely under the control of the carrier. They’re Moto’s customer, not you. You’re the carrier’s customer. You want that to stop, tell the carrier.
      * Naming – again, this isn’t completely under Moto’s control. Carriers want names that are attention-getting, and what grabs someone’s attention in the US, in Europe, in the Middle East, in Asia–very different.
      * Worldwide updates – you’re asking to delay _everyone_ until all versions are done, you realize. This, even though they’re not one software release, but individualized for region. You don’t want the bloat of every language style, every dictionary, every keyboard on every phone. You don’t want the bloat of having help files in every freaking language on Earth on every phone.
      * Minimal OS changes – sounds good, except differentiation is what makes people prefer one brand over another. Moto is pushing hard for enterprise users. While that doesn’t suit the hacker in you, your pockets aren’t as deep as enterprise users. Sure, iPhone managed to be all things to all market segments, and they do it in such a lowest common denominator way we’re here using Android. So why the heck make Android another iOS? You beat Apple by being different, better. If you try being Apple, you lose.

      The view is a lot different on the playing field than it is from the cheap seats.

      1. 1. Wrong, the manufacturer obviously make agreements with the carrier, it’s not some post-editing and post-rom custimizations that the carrier does after buying phones from the manufactures stock.

        The carrier obviously sees a value in putting a for example AT&T logo on the back of the phone and some AT&T apps in the phone since that is giving people brand awareness of the carrier. What Motorola and others get in return is most likely higher subsidizes on the phones which equals higher sales (Nokia is a good example of bad subsidizes and bad sales in the US), then I’m sure there are other benefits that Motorola gets as well, like free commercial via the carrier etc.

        Now Motorola, or whoever it is, can obviously say no to this, make one version of the phone and miss out on the benifits it would otherwise get (heck, they could even make phones with multiple radios to get completely carrier independent if they wanted to). This is Apples business model and it clearly gives a much stronger signal about who is behind the product but even more important, there is no need for multiple software for different carriers.

        I bought a Bell Atrix from overseas to discover that only the updated AT&T software removed the upload-cap on the phone, and had to manually put in a French rom to get it function as it should. Now I’m sitting here waiting for 2.3 while it’s already out on AT&T. Does this make me a happy customer? No not really. Do I feel like buying another Motorola? No not really.

        So yes there are benefits for the manufacturer by aligning with a carrier but there are some clear drawbacks, and these drawbacks seems to increase as people gets higher and higher demands on their phones.

        2. Naming, again, it’s a tradeoff. Verizon likes the Droid name and Motorola probably benefits from it. But if they wanted to, could just as well say no.

        And really, this is just extremely basic marketing stuff teached at the most basic marketing course but of some reason hasn’t been applied by mobile phone manufactures. Why do you think the Porsche 911 or the Ford Mustang is called 911 and Mustang 50 years later? Because it’s a well established trademark, everyone knows what you mean when you mention car and Mustang in one sentence.

        Could you imagine the iPhone having such hugh success and brand recognition if Apple had changed the name for every generation, say, iPhone, iCall, iRing, iHandset? And on top of that used different names in different countries? What a mess!

        3. Delay updates for different versions? It’s different versions that I dont want! By having one (1) version, like Apple (yes they have a CDMA version aswell), or Google with their Nexus line, updates are released everywhere at the same time. Languages and keyboards are put in place once and obviously carried over from previous versions. And really, some translations of a few words in a new menu or whatever doesn’t take many hours, max a couple of days.

        4. I don’t really see any big difference with my Motorola compared to other high-end Android handsets when it comes to Enterprise. But what I think is that changes should be made in a more add-on way, maybe downloadable from a Motorola app-store or similar. So that the OS is more easier upgradeable.

        1. I never said it was post-sale carrier customization. Yes, Motorola can say no. And then the carrier says no sale. You think they won’t? I’ve seen them not only threaten, but do it. “Sorry, we no longer want that device.”

          Moto is trying to sell phones and the customer (the carrier) gets what they want. The _carrier_, not you, is Moto’s customer. You are the _carrier’s_ customer. Learn that dynamic and things make a lot more sense.

          Apple gets away with more simply because Apple did something most people hadn’t seen with the iPhone, built up a demand before the product existed, and then had the muscle to tell the carriers, “Here. Take it or we’ll go elsewhere.” Unless a manufacturer comes up with a way to drive demand before a product exists, they won’t have that kind of pull. And it doesn’t help when the bootloader-fringe goes off telling people how terrible Moto is (over an issue most people don’t care about). They try and cut them off at the knees and expect them to have _more_ pull with the carrier?

          You assumed, got it wrong, and are trying to make a full-throated defense of your assumptions. Sorry. You can’t rationalize away how things work in the real world.

          1. I hear you but do not agree. It’s not a process a company, Motorola in this case, can make happen over night, but has to be taken in small steps. You are right in how Apple brought something unique to the market with it’s iPhone and therefore could put up demands, but more importantly, they already had an extremely strong brand and market recognition via the Mac and that really gave them the power to dictate the terms.

            Imho Motorola also has a pretty strong brand, although far from Apple, and could start put some demands on the carriers, reducing bloatware for example, if they would just go in that direction. But as it is today I don’t really think they (Motorola) even see that as a problem (bloatware, different ROMs etc).

          2. I do agree people are blaming moto for everything and they are the ones that are giving us the best products. Droid 1 destroyed iphone in sales when it came out droid x good phone better than droid 1 atrix xoom photon now bionic. Regular customers do not care about stupid bootloader and other restrictions

      2. Here’s where you really ARE wrong:

        Carrier bloating – Bloating is fine. Everyone does it, and I’m not just talking smart phones. Look at Dell, HP, Gateway, etc. All of their computers come with pre-installed programs. The difference between these and our phones – the ability to uninstall. Give me the ability to uninstall a pre-installed app, and you cal start me off with whatever crap you want. It’s ALL going to be gone when I get the phone anyways. Other people may want, and even pay for, some of that crap, but I’m going to get rid of every last bit.

        OS Changes – You are correct in that “differentiation is what makes people prefer one brand over another.” Where you are wrong is that this differentiation doesn’t have to come in the OS itself. Going back to the example of computer vendors – how does Dell make people buy Dell? Advertising, hardware differences, specialized software, customer service, warranty services, pricing, and the list goes on. These are things that can differ from one manufacturer to another with the same OS. All of those computer manufacturers sell computers with Windows on them, just as all of these phone manufacturers sell phones with Android.

        Where you are going to differentiate in the mobile world is vendor-specific apps and services. If Motorola wants to cater to the enterprise world, create an app that nobody else has, which includes services that no other vendor has, and charge a small fee if enterprise customers want that service. It differentiates the company from others, and it brings in a little extra income because – as you stated – “your pockets aren’t as deep as enterprise users.”

        The other things I agree with you – to a point. Marketing IS different from one country to another, yes. But as was stated below, if you change the name of the iPhone (for any reason, be it location or otherwise), it fails. A Mustang is a Mustang no matter where you go, and they sell BECAUSE it’s a Mustang. If Verizon wants you to call your phone a “Droid” and won’t let you use that name on other carriers, I’d say “Too bad Verizon, I have other carriers that want to buy the phone and call it the Milestone”. Then when the phone is successful, Verizon will come crawling back and say “Hey, about that Milestone phone you have…”
        They crawled to Apple and asked for the iPhone didn’t they? Why? Because it was successful and they knew they could make money from it.

        And worldwide updates – they would be a breeze if you stop the OS customization and do it through apps and services as I mentioned above. Most updates have to do with functionality, not language. And the language updates should be minimal work once the OS is standardized.

    3. Why not apply for his job. You obviously have a handle on the business machinations necessary for success.

  6. OK first off I like Moto hardware & I currently own the Droid X2. I think it is some of the best designed out there for Android. That’s my opinion of course & many disagree. Having said that… Why would Moto want to follow Samsung in the smartphone space? I get the idea of having a single handset on multiple carriers. That would cut costs for sure. But man oh man stay away from those cheap glossy plastics like my Fascinate had. To me it feels really cheap & is just too easy to damage. Again my opinion.

    Secondarily however a word of caution to Moto… You are not CURRENTLY on Apple’s radar for a lawsuit; at least I don’t think anyway. But if you do a singular design like this & release it on multiple carriers then I’m positive the Rotten Apple will immediately scream some sort of infringement claim on their business practices. It’ll be like this; “You can’t release that phone on several hundred carriers! We have a patent on that business practice! We are going to sue you & your mother!”

    Melodramatic? Not with the current way the Rotten Apple is doing business.

    1. They didn’t say they planned on following Samsung’s lead in design… Just marketing & branding.

    2. moto will never change their nice solid design :) We can rest assure I am loving my droidx2 as well and after i learned how to use their task manager to gain more ram it is even faster now.

  7. I will probably wait to checkout other manufacturers after reading this article. First of all, he doesn’t sound very committed to ice cream sandwich. Second, I don’t know what the hell ‘more aggressive form factor’ is supposed to mean. It sounds like they are going to focus on smaller and cheaper…

    And personally,I am not interested in a tablet that does not at least have the option of connecting to 3G… Although I understand that wifi only is the more profitable business model.

  8. I am an OG Droid owner from day 1. The phone is solid unless it takes a bath. I like Moto hardware. However, I did not like my Droid until CM6 went on it. Before CM, my dumbphone was better.

    It is interesting that Bionic is apparently their “flagship” product on the nation’s #1 carrier and little to nothing was said about it. This has me speculating that there is a performance issue with this phone and what is coming out at the same time. As a consumer, I would want the CEO to be adamant about their product and that it will crush the competition. Instead, Sanjay comes out with this laissez-faire attitude. This is not what I want out of a product that I am stuck with for 2-years. Its like buying a car you hate.

    I am not taking anything away from the Bionic. VZW users have a multitude of options coming out in September and October: Bionic, SGS2, Vigor, iPhone 5, and Nexus Prime (if Google is accelerating delivery). As such, if you have the patience to wait 4-6 more weeks, you can get the best phone that fits your needs by direct comparison.

    Bionic: Moto has solid hardware and usually under clocks the processor. Too bad it has locked bootloaders.

    SGS2: SAMOLED+, Exynos is a powerful processor. When does it come out and is it 4G LTE?

    Vigor: If specs are right, this may be one of the best phones out. HD screen would be incredible and need to be compared to SAMOLED HD. Will it be out in Oct?

    iPhone 5: What will it have inside? Single OS and device makes it easier for developers.

    Nexus Prime: The phone of all phones if the rumors are correct. Was the article with the dual core 1.5GHz snapdragon, 4.5″ display the Prime? When will it be released?

    1. The Nexus Prime/3/M is going to be powered by a dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor.

  9. Wait, wasn’t the bionic released in March? Oh wait, that’s just how long I’ve waited. By this point I expect it to be about the same as a Photon, except 2 months later. I’m dropping Verizon for Sprint for many reasons, and I’m dropping Motorola for HTC. If Motorola takes an Apple approach and just starts doing 1 amazing phone every year, I might reconsider, I’m sick of seeing 50 mediocre phones by the same company year after year.

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