Back when Google formally announced they were going to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 last year, many in the Android circles were optimistic that this would mean the complete end of Motoblur/Blur/MotoUI (whatever they’re calling it these days) user interface. As we’ve all seen, that wasn’t the case at all. I guess people underestimated Google’s promise that they’d keep Motorola operating independently (despite seeding its executive offices with former Googlers).
So, what gives? Why does Motorola hold onto Blur with no signs of letting go? Well, apparently this could have less to do with Motorola and a whole lot more to do with Verizon (surprise, surprise). Speaking with a handful of reporters, Motorola Senior Vice President Rick Osterloh answered questions on exactly why the company just wont give the people what they want, and release a completely stock Android experience in all their devices. His answer? It’s Verizon’s fault.
“Going forward, we’re going to try to be as close to the base as we can be, because we think that’s the right thing for users. We think users also want fast upgrades and upgrades for their phones over the long haul, so we’re going to be focus on that as well. It’s a little bit different than what a lot of OEMs are doing and certainly what Motorola did in the past, but going forward that’s going to be our strategy.”
Shipping pure AOSP software in all their devices should be cake, especially with Google taking the manufacturer under its wing. When asked exactly what the problem was, Mr. Osterloh pointed the fingers at the carriers saying,
“We are going to have to do some customization. Our partners sometimes want customizations. Our interest is to make [our UI] as close to Android as possible and generally we negotiate somewhere in the middle.”
Sounds about right to us. Remember, OEM’s like Motorola, HTC, and the like have to shop around their devices to the big carriers in hopes that they will snatched up. Sometimes, carriers like having small tweaks — just about anything different from their competitors that can give them that edge. Moving into 2013, and we saw some talk of this during the Motorola RAZR M, RAZR HD event, Motorola is taking updates a lot more serious this time around. Of course like all good things, even updates are left into the hands of the carriers. Just remember the next time you’re quick to lash out against an OEM on their Facebook pages, Twitter, etc — there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you might think.