Motorola to Focus on Smartphones, No Strong Tablet Plans for Now

Motorola Wants to Concentrate on Smartphones

by Anton Shilov
01/15/2014 | 11:50 PM

Motorola Mobility was one of the first companies to respond to Apple’s iPad media tablet with a high-end Xoom slate in early 2011. While Xoom clearly was not a success due to Google Android’s flaws at the time, it made one thing clear: the company can develop a fine tablet, but needs proper software to make it work. Nowadays, Android works perfectly on tablets, but Motorola wants to focus primarily on smartphones.


“For now we are focused on phones. We are looking at tablets. A lot of people have asked us to build a tablet using Moto Maker, to customise their tablet. There might be a day we do that, but the bigger opportunity for us is the 5 billion people without smartphones and the one billion people who have smartphones. That's where we are primarily focused right now,” said Dennis Woodside, chief executive officer of Motorola Mobility, in an interview with Pocket-Lint web-site.

Motorola Mobility is not a new name on the market of handsets. Before getting acquired by Google, the company had a number of iconic products, such as the Razr in the mid-2000s. But the problem, according to the new CEO of the company, is that the Motorola brand “had not been globally relevant in the smartphone world”. In the smartphone era, customers think about Apple, HTC and Samsung. As a result, to properly enter the smartphone market, Motorola Mobility needed to start from scratch.


At present Motorola offers two flagship smartphone models: highly-customizable Moto X aimed at the high-end market and Moto G, a low-cost, yet pretty powerful handset designed for mainstream customers. The firm also sells some other smartphones targeted at niche market segments.

So far, Moto X has been a huge success for the company, according to the chief executive officer. At present, Motorola is the No. 3 high-end smartphone supplier in the U.S. after Apple and Samsung Electronics, ahead of Nokia Corp. and HTC.

But Motorola does not want to settle. It wants to make Moto X and Moto G the best Google Android-based handsets in their classes based on a combination of factors (quality, price, support, etc.).

“What we want to deliver for Motorola customers is that the latest version of the Android software will be available to them faster than anyone else. We have done that with X and G. With X we were there with Google Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” 19 days after the public push, and if you compare that to the past we've been over 180 days. If you look at HTC or Samsung in the U.S. it has been over 90 days. There are bigger Android issues but you need to talk to the Android guys about that. We feel that consumers will migrate to devices that they believe will get good software support,” said Mr. Woodside.

While Motorola’s intention to offer the best customer experience with smartphones is understandable, it should be noted that consumers nowadays do not use one device. In addition to smartphones, they utilize tablets, notebooks, desktops and other compute products. In order to grow as a company, one needs to create an eco-system of devices that seamlessly work together. So far, only Apple has understood the importance of competitive product lineup and ecosystem of devices.