Motorola’s co-CEO Sanjay Jha spoke out about the company’s relationship with Google and its Android OS at Fortune Brainstorm Tech over the weekend. Notably, he asserted his belief that Android would become the dominant mobile operating system seen on a vast majority of devices over the next five years. He likened the current battle between Android and the iPhone to the early years of personal computing, when Apple’s early lead was eventually overcome by a standard OS that was not linked to a specific manufacturer or device.
He also stated that while the OS does play a large role in the decision making process when purchasing a new device, form-factor and function play a large role as well, citing that 30 percent of people only consider phones with QWERTY keyboards. A focus on Android was his way of improving Motorola’s mobile products rather than simply focusing on brute-force dominance of market share.
Speaking on the various partnerships that have made Motorola’s Android line a success, Jha pointed out that he has known Google’s Andy Rubin since his days as the head of Danger Inc when Jha collaborated through Qualcomm. Verizon’s need for a big phone, Google’s need for a mainstream Android device, and Motorola’s desire to be relevant in the handset industry created a perfect equation for the launch of the original Droid. While Google works towards a more standardized device set and manufacturer’s like Motorola strive to find ways to differentiate their Android products, Jha says they continue to work very closely.
He also further distanced Motorola from rumors that they might be starting their own mobile OS in the future, seeing little opportunity there unless they could build a big ecosystem around it. He skirted the question of a Motorola Android tablet, though still hinted at the possibility of many different Android form factors.