Motorola Happy They Went All Android


Motorola’s mobile division tanked a few years ago after they finally figured out that people weren’t really into the RAZR, ROKR, or WTVR (whatever) craze anymore. Beneath Sanjay Jha’s direction, Motorola turned their big leaf when Android was introduced and they jumped on board as one of the first partners in the Open Handset Alliance.


To date, they’ve been very successful with Android and they’re thrilled. John Ellis – director of software and services – says Sanjay was “raving” about the decision after the effect it’s had for the once-failing division.

“We doubled down on our bets with Google. We’re happy about it. Sanjay is raving about it.”

“The complexity for us was monstrous. We would have internal development paralysis because we were afraid of breaking anything. I don’t know if we’re necessarily paranoid about it (going Android-only). Certainly, we’re very conscious about it.”

We didn’t really see Motorola making a huge splash until they partnered with Verizon to introduce the Motorola Droid and took on AT&T and Apple with the most notable campaign in the history of Android (so far). Since then, they’ve sprung to the top as a top player on the hardware side of the Android ecosystem and they aren’t looking to slow down.


With the introduction of the Motorola Droid X today, the yet-to-be-revealed Motorola Droid 2 soon, and whatever crazy devices they have in store for us before the end of the year (dual-core, anyone?), I’m sure Motorola’s not going to venture too far away from the Android track they’ve committed to.

[via AndroidGuys]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. more locked bootloader phones ?

  2. I’m daydreaming of an all Android world……….hah (sigh)…………….only in a perfect world I guess.

  3. And what do they do to reward the community that supported them from day one? Right, load their phones with insta-suicide switches if messed with. Idiots.

  4. Riverjao: It would be an awesome concept…but it won’t happen as long as there’s apple fanboys in the world (poor guys don’t know what they’re missing)

  5. Now with all of their success, they have decided to thumb their noses at the Open Source community and lock down their handset.

    Without the past contribution from the Open Source community they would not have a product.

    Looks this trail will lead them to the fate the found with RAZR.

  6. The early adapters/hackers will leave, then the power users, and as the mocking increases then the general public will leave too. All because of encrypted bootloader and things like efuse.
    It will take time, just like after east, but MOTO still clueless. Part of the big success for first droid was that it was a phone for power users and the public. That helped make it cool and in turn popular. As its ability to be tweaked become known it became more popular with power users and got staying power. 8 months after release it still sells for list 149.

    MOTO doesn’t realize that it was in a big way the absence of the typical locked down crap from MOTO that helped make droid the success it was. Sad to say as a long time Motorola fan, if they can’t learn this listen its time for them to go away, whither, and die. :(

  7. @ #1: Count on it.
    @ #2: I would not want an all Android world. It’s OS competition that drives innovation.
    @ #3: See #2
    @ #4: That’s why my Droid will get replaced w/ a Samsung at upgrade time.

  8. @5 Not everyone wants to root their phone. Lots of people are quite happy their phone works. I was talking to a friend who wasn’t even aware their X10 Mini was an android phone, tech savvy people are not the norm.

  9. You can bet they’ll lock down the bootloader, and if I was them I’d do the same. They are targetting the mass-market customers, not OSS community with this. And you know what, they’ll succeed and won’t notice the handful of lost sales (but will notice the fact that idiots who don’t know what they’re doing tried to root their phones, bricked it and are calling for help).

    There are other choices out there if you want to tinker with your phone (ie: Nexus one, HTC handsets in general…) I don’t think we should complain that motorola and locking down their phones, so long as they reward their customers by being responsive by supplying OS updates in a timely fashion.

  10. Lets start proof reading articles before publishing them. Errors and misspellings are not cool.

  11. @ Hugo B

    Completely agree, the only problem is that they completely discount themselves then in countries that dont have access to paid apps in the market..which is the only reason people like me root.

  12. The fact that they are locking their handsets, which when I buy it in turn becomes MY handset, is discouraging. Android presents an open platform for development and they lock their phone down – it makes no sense.

    I enjoy theming and ROMing my phone. Once I buy it, why do they care what I do with it? Honestly, when it comes time to buy a new phone, I will NOT be buying another Motorola handset unless they change this ridiculous locked Bootloader stance. Am I in the minority as a power user? Very likely. Are they alienating a portion of their customer base? Absolutely. If I wanted a locked handset, I’d buy an iPhone

  13. Wow talk about irony. Motorola was the one of the first partners of the OPEN Handset Alliance and in the Droid X they have produced the most CLOSED Android handset to date.

  14. @Hugo B
    “ long as they reward their customers by being responsive by supplying OS updates in a timely fashion.”

    I doubt motorola will EVER bring gingerbread to the original milestone. Original droid, on the other hand, will almost certainly get it thanks to third party ROM developers. Just look at G1: oficially its still on 1.6, but thanks to cyanogen it can run the newest 2.2 froyo.

  15. @MB

    The simple fact the the iPhone is the success it is shows that locking it up tight really doesn’t matter (for the manufacturer). It will not compromise sales that much.

    It’s a little ironic where we’re at now… 1yr ago, when you bought a smartphone (symbian, WinMo, etc…), it typically never got an update until you replaced it years later. Now, getting an update 5-6months later is annoying.

  16. @Hugo B
    The problem I have with a locked device is that when Motorola stops supporting it, I’m stuck. If I use my device longer than Motorola cares to supply security and feature updates, then where can I turn?

    As a techie, I am advising everyone who asks not to buy this phone. Motorola has already lost 2 sales as a result. I am sure I am not alone.

  17. Hey, Razr was a good phone. Then again, Guitar Hero was a good game. The problem was, they found a hit, and decided, “uh, lets just keep doing that.” And when they made a phone that wasn’t a Razr, it was a MotoQ, which was bad (maybe its WinMo 5’s fault).

    What other option do they have though? Obviously they can’t use iOS, Blackberry OS, WebOS, and Win7 isn’t available yet. Android’s pretty much their only option. Its easy to be loyal to an OS when you have only one choice as a company.

  18. “The simple fact the the iPhone is the success it is shows that locking it up tight really doesn’t matter (for the manufacturer). It will not compromise sales that much.”

    …if you’re Apple and your product is the iPhone.

    Seriously, look at Google’s whole Android strategy, or even look at Motorola’s Droid marketing, and tell me with a straight face that openness doesn’t figure in prominently.

    Motorola has had exactly one hit Android handset, and it’s the only one that didn’t have a locked bootloader.

    What are they thinking?!

  19. Err…I mean to say “Verizon’s Droid marketing” above. Oops.

  20. Get me a GSM a versiom as soon as you can.

    But if are gonna lock the boot upgrade it as soon as the update is out.

  21. Please tell me I’m not the only dork who noticed something amusing about this: “I don’t know if we’re necessarily paranoid about it (going Android-only).”

    Paranoid Android, LOL.

  22. So is this going to be the norm? Every time phandroid posts something about Motorola the same 20 posters complain about the locked bootloader. It’s getting tedious.

  23. i’d settle for blur free.

  24. @ Praveen
    Check motorola europe facebook page! It’s been like that since december last year :)

  25. Just because the phones are equipped with an efuse does not mean it’s enabled. People are going off the deep end and we have no prof of this boot loader lock down.

  26. @Praveen – Hey! That was my first public complaint!!!! I’ll make sure to complain on the next Motorola post though if that makes you happy

  27. These companies don’t make the big bucks by catering to geeks who won’t leave their equipment alone

  28. @rpg I would disagree a bit here.
    As one of these “geeks” people ask me for recommendations on anything technical including phones. probably turned a dozen people on to android phones in the past year, 2 of them converted from iphones and are very pleased.
    So I think “geeks” do matter.

  29. Well I own a Dext, Cliq in the USA, motos first Android handset, running 1.5 despite 2.1 being promised months ago. Moto sucks balls, it’s a pity Android came along and saved their sorry ass, six months later and the lights at moto mobile division would have gone out for good, hopefully sooner or later they will.

  30. @Hugo B
    “I don’t think we should complain that motorola and locking down their phones, so long as they reward their customers by being responsive by supplying OS updates in a timely fashion.”

    Well my Milestone is no way on Froyo + Flash Player 10.1 while the Droid ppl have been enjoying it for months now. Whats next for me? I really do not expect ginger bread for my milestone. So, this dont really make sense to lock it just because some tech community is doing some better job that increases user’s expectations from you(Motorola).

    @Hugo B “The simple fact the the iPhone is the success it is shows that locking it up tight really doesn’t matter (for the manufacturer). It will not compromise sales that much.”

    iPhone begun on days when smart phones were a magical device while today its all around with a lot of manufacturers/competition (too many options to choose from).

    Also there is no doubt that these little tech savvies worked a lot for the success of Droid. Their support to some other Android powered device may change the scene for Motorola on the long run(a year?)

    With u ;)

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