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.

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. I’m stuck with the LG Nexus then, huh? Shooting down my dreams of a Moto Nexus in the near future.

  2. I was expecting to see Google’s influence early 2013, so this is disappointing. But what can you do. At least I hope that by the end of the year, we’ll see new phone designs, clearly influenced by Google, much better components in some places (displays for one), no Intel chips, and of course, stock Android.

    All Motorola phones should be Nexus devices, and the upgrades should be handled by Google for 2 years. Period. No ifs or buts about it. Otherwise, Motorola will keep losing the community’s support and we won’t even be talking about Motorola phones 2 years from now, if they continue the way they have lately.

    1. I hope Google’s ‘influence’ doesn’t mean 8 gig phones with no SD slot.

      1. I’ll do you one better (worse): phones modeled after the chromebook design,i.e. everything on the web. Minimal internal storage space.

        Spooky, right?

        1. spooky with no unlimited data too.

      2. What google wants is for us to all be carrying around chrome phones. With instant access to every device, google can change an algorithm or module on the spot to exploit a trend. Profits rise.

        I love what google has done, but we have to maintain a competing ecosystem or two. If only Apple would stop patent-trolling android, then I’d actually buy a mac or two.

  3. Ties in nicely with my contract ending November 2013 /flex

  4. Patrick Pichette is the CFO, not the CEO.

    1. I almost get a heart attack when I read that Pichette was the CEO… WTF

    2. Not to be confused with Bronson Pinchot, otherwise known as “Balki” from “Perfect Strangers”

  5. Q4 of next year = Nexus.

  6. Good that there will be no Nexus from Motorola. We didn’t get even the Galaxy Nexus in India despite Samsung having such good business here, so Motorola has no chance of releasing one here, where they have always been a failure. At least with LG or Sony or HTC we have a chance of officially getting a Nexus. Every day I have one thought on my mind, “what would I do if my GNex breaks? No warranty as it was bought unofficially”, haha, so I hope Motorola doesn’t make the only Nexus device in the future. One of many Nexus made by them will be fine though.

    1. No Nexus love outside US and some lucky countries. The same for all the cool Google Services (Movies, Music, TV Shows, etc). Come on Google, we love Android and want your support in China, India, Africa and Latin america…

      1. Yeah, that is sad. Its specially sad to see so many Indians working at the top positions at Google (head of Search, Google+, etc), but I guess that is not enough to get them to focus on the country, haha. On the same thought, even Motorola seems to have Indians at the top positions, and they seem to have always sucked in service and business here.. :P

      2. It’s not Google “ignoring” like the other guy insinuated, it’s the laws each Country has that makes it almost impossible for Google to release devices there, I mean look didn’t India JUST get paid apps?

      3. The only Google service that I don’t get in the UK that I actually give a toss about is Wallet. Google Music and all the rest I really couldn’t care less about.

  7. I just got my VZW GNex in march so when 2014 comes around maybe they will have a hot device out!

  8. I hope they keep motorola’s build quality but add google’s simple/minimalistic look.

  9. If it was going to be a MOTOROLA NEXUS in the U.S. it would probably be only made for VERIZON here in the states

    1. God willing, one major influence el Goog will have on Moto will be to get them the hell off vzw’s jock.

  10. Just don’t yank all the SD slots or I’m gone.

    1. Don’t worry, in Google’s never-ending quest to mimic Apple at every turn, they will definitely yank the microSD slots as well as the micro HDMI ports. Mass storage USB mode, removable batteries and Webtop mode are already gone, so it’s just a matter of a few more product cycles until the other differentiating features are gone as well. I think we should also add phones with physical keyboards to that list too.

      1. ANother Apple fanboy

      2. The removal of the MicroSD slot has to do with Google pushing the cloud as it’s main storage.

        Micro HDMI is becoming more and more useless with TV mirroring that doesn’t require any cables at all.

        Mass storage mode requires an SD card, thus of course it would be removed.

        Motorola/HTC are the ones pushing the non removal battery, last time I checked the current Nexus (Samsung/Google) has a removal battery.

        Webtop was a flop, plain and simple. I would be surprised if Motorola made any profit what so ever on it.

        Phones with physical keyboards were meant to sway over major texters but now that screen/on screen keyboards have evolved these phones are unnecessary. I owned a Droid 2 and so did my girlfriend and both of us would much rather have an onscreen keyboard.

        Nice try troll, please come back with some more lies as they are so easy to swat down.

        1. Physical keyboards are NOT “unnecessary”. Many people would prefer one, but the same as the current fad for giant screens, you cannot now buy a high end phone that isn’t huge screen and no physical keyboard. There just isn’t any choice and OP is quite right in pointing out the slow but steady erosion of differentiating features.

      3. Dont forget to put flash on that list. That was my reason for picking Android over IOS when WinMo crashed and burned. I hate to say it but it seems like its moving more twoard IOS, and I hate it. Removing all our good features.

        1. Adobe removed Flash from Android, not Google.

  11. I personally would prefer an HTC built next gen Nexus. I am not a fan of Motorola, but perhaps Google could turn that around.

  12. Based on the Nexus history of handsets, seems like Google has a problem with sd slots.

  13. Considering Motorola has the worst updates record of any major manufacturer it going to be a rough ride. Hopefully Google can help Motorola recover from the millions already lost this quarter from canceled contracts and customer exodus.

    1. I don’t know about that, HTC is pretty bad as well. Only company that really excels at updates is Samsung.

      1. Motorola released 35 phones worldwide in 2011, of those 35 phones only 7 were updated to the next version of Android. Out of 44 phones released by major manufacturers in 2011 that have been upgraded to ICS or better, only two (maybe three) are Motorola. Then lets look a Tegra2 phones.
        Motorola and Micromax are the only manufacturers, that I can find, to release Tegra2 phones and not update any of them. If you don’t count the one Tegra2 that Micromax released, then Motorola is the only manufacturer to not upgrade any of their eight (if you count it by market) Tegra2 devices.
        To be worse than that, a manufacturer would have to deny updates to pretty much every phone they release.

        1. 35? Where the hell did you get 35 from? They didnt launch anywhere near that many phones in 2011. Are you just counting the same phones launched in different markets twice or something? And im pretty sure you’re also counting phones like the Admiral, which were obviously never going to get ICS anyway

          And as of right now there are definitely 4 Moto phones officially running ICS, the Droid4, Razr(and maxx),Atrix2, and Bionic.

    2. LG is by far worse. Even HTC is on par with Moto.

  14. i can wait.

    like to see a vehicle centric device with a great signal grabbing radio, loud ringer, ruggedized like the DEFY, big numeral dialer and stock ANDROID with no carrier bloatware..

    instead of post adolescent urban technocrap.

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