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Motorola CEO Talks About Life Under Google, Going Up Against Apple and Samsung

by Brandon Russell | December 13, 2013December 13, 2013 6:00 pm PST

Dennis Woodside

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside has plenty to be proud of. After months of radio silence following Google’s acquisition of the company, Motorola came out with what would become one of the slickest smartphones of the year. Not long after, a second, lower-cost device, the Moto G, was launched, giving Motorola a devastating one-two punch. But even with a brand new smartphone lineup under its belt, Woodside remains confident the best is yet to come according to comments in an interview with The Associated Press.

Most of the conversation circles around Motorola’s ostensible Mission Statement under Google, and how the handset maker receives zero special treatment. “We get the code for the next-version of Android at the same time as everybody else,” Woodside said. He also explained how the search giant has made the new-look Motorola possible, helping the company build off its early success of the Razr and translating that into the smartphone market. Without Google’s resources, Woodside admitted, Motorola wouldn’t have been able to pull off the Moto X or Moto G, which he described as “long-term” visions.

That’s not even the juiciest bit of Woodside’s interview. When asked what consumer trends would be important going forward, Woodside explained durability as a huge concern. “Phones break. They’re glass. That’s likely to change in the next 24 months, as plastic becomes more present and producible.” The Moto X (and Moto G) are certainly handsome devices, and feel incredibly sturdy while still being pleasing to the eyes, but what about aluminum, which would make it to the Galaxy S5 and is already present in the iPhone 5s and HTC One and One Max? Plastic doesn’t automatically make a device “cheap,” but is that really what consumers crave, plastic?

Woodside also said voice control, like Motorola’s Touchless Control feature, is something to look out for in the future. Additionally, Woodside said wearables was an area of interest, but admitted that nobody has quite come up with that killer-use case “that defines what that means and how that works.”

As for the competition, Woodside said Apple and Samsung are two companies he has his eye on at all time. However, the CEO believes both company’s were able to reach such heights because of superior marketing budgets, and not necessarily better devices. Now with devices “that do something a little bit differently,” Woodside feels the tides could change despite being unable to match either Apple or Samsung’s marketing muscle.

Finally, Woodside explained that he feels Motorola devices aren’t necessarily about the hardware, “but the mobile Web.” Like Google, Motorola wants to introduce millions—“if not billions”—to mobile services. “With Moto G, you’re starting to see the strategy,” Woodside said, adding that its latest cheap handset can go up against the iPhone “spec for spec.”

AssociatedPress

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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