Motorola phones with Google's influence, running stock Android, to hit in the second half of 2013
Speaking to PCMag, Motorola design chief Jim Wicks has a whole lot of good news for Motorola fans out there. The integrity of Motorola's handset business after an acquisition by Google has been under quite a bit of scrutiny, but Wicks is quick to say that we'll be seeing phones soon that are truly designed by both Motorola and Google. If you'll recall back to previous talks, the companies had "12 to 18 months of products in the pipeline" which needed to be drained before truly new Motorola devices could hit. The strategy for Motorola is going to be quite a bit different from what we've seen before as well. First, Motorola is focusing on providing a stock Android experience with fast updates going forward. He said:
"From a software and UI perspective, our strategy is to embrace Android and to make it the best expression of Android and Google in the market. It will be the unadulterated version of Android, and I feel really good about our embracing Android and being the best Android experience."
The new Google-ized Motorola is also focusing on a strategy to fight against the "bigger is better" theme that has been a driving factor in Android device sizes, instead going for "better is better". Using the RAZR M as an example, Wicks explained that Motorola wants to make phones that feel "just right" in the hand, rather than just one-up the competition in every single spec and size -- "that's the easy way out" he says.
The final pillar bringing this all together will be a new design and branding message that persists across carriers, rather than individual lines -- think Droid on Verizon and Atrix on AT&T -- that break up Motorola's vision. Although Wicks was quick to point out that the collaboration with Verizon has been a successful one, he says that Motorola is interested in also doing self-branded devices going forward.
That is, assuming Verizon, AT&T and Sprint are okay with Motorola attempting to do their own thing. There's nothing about this strategy that we don't like on paper, but we'll have to see how a new Google and Motorola combination can deliver on these ideas. We could be seeing some really interesting products out of Motorola in the coming months.