Jan 23 AT 12:52 AM Dustin Earley 49 Comments

Google touches on the future of Motorola, Nexus 4 shortages


Revenue and profits weren’t the only thing discussed during Google’s Q4 earnings call. Google executives touched on everything from the success of their core services and the evolution of search, to the future of Motorola hardware, to the high prioritization of sorting out the Nexus 4′s availability problems.

Speaking on the Nexus 4, Google CEO Larry Page made it clear that Google is aware of the issues consumers are facing with low availability levels, saying “clearly there’s work to be done managing our supply better, and that is priority to our teams.” In an interview last week, LG Mobile France director Cathy Robin said inventory should stabilize by mid-Feburary.

Larry Page and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette also had plenty to say on Motorola, sharing some words on where they want to focus on hardware, and the progress they’ve made within Motorola.

Both Page and Pichette made comments on how Google’s relationship with Motorola is still in its infancy. So far, much of what Google’s done with Motorola is directly related to restructuring. In 2012, Google sold off Motorola’s Home division, laid off employees associated with the department and launched the rest of the hardware Motorola had planned before the acquisition.

In the past, Google was staunch on the position that the two companies would operate separately. But it looks like behind the scenes, that may be changing. Page spent time talking about where Google and Motorola want to improve hardware, and where current smartphones are lacking.

Battery life is a huge issue. You shouldn't have to worry about constantly recharging your phone. When you drop your phone, it shouldn't go splat. Everything should be a ton faster and easier. There’s real potential to invent new and better experiences.Larry PageGoogle

For the past several months now, there’s been a rumor developing surrounding Motorola’s first phone under Google’s guidance, known only as Motorola X Phone. According to DroidLife, Motorola X Phone will be announced at Google I/O in May, sold through Google Play near current Nexus prices, and will be available for every carrier in the US. When used with Verizon, a monthly fee will be charged for unlocking the bootloader. It will be sold with some carrier enhancements, or bloatware, on top of stock Android, but that will be able to be removed once unlocked.

If the Motorola X Phone turns out to be real, don’t be surprised if battery life and enhanced durability are major selling points. Even if it isn’t real, Motorola is undoubtedly working on something for 2013, and it’s been long enough so that Google’s influence should be apparent.

We can’t wait to see what Google and Motorola come up with this year. If we’re lucky, we’ll know much more by the time May rolls around.

Source: The Verge

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • Anjie Cai

    YES! Make a comeback Motorola :D make a powerful phone with a huge battery, vanilla android, micro SD slot, good camera, and amazing screen

    • zerosix

      Their comeback is limited to US. Their presence in Europe and Asia is minimal, and that’s their weak point. Google devices get tons of interest from all parts of the world, but they are not available.

      • surethom

        I do hope the X Phone comes to Europe UK aswell, that was the problem with Motorola, they make very good phones but only release a small number outside USA, and only after 3 to 4 months after USA launch.

        X phone come to UK the same time as America, please.

        • heat361

          Motorola makes good phones and have great battery life, the only thing I’m worried about is their cameras which are not that good.

      • masterpfa

        I remember having this discussion with someone a little while back where they were adamant that DROID and Motorola were the reason behind Androids success. Not so outside of the US which accounts for a larger share of global sales. Motorola never has had much availability outside of the US.

        Now with Google at the helm this will change and I can see a larger uptake of their smartphones, especially if Moto-Blur is cast out (at least in it’s current state) and more attention to the following as Larry page stated..

        “Battery life is a huge issue. You shouldn’t have to worry about constantly recharging your phone. When you drop your phone, it shouldn’t go splat. Everything should be a ton faster and easier. There’s real potential to invent new and better experiences.

        LARRY PAGE Google”

        • zerosix

          I don’t remember any lack of devices in the times of original RAZR. Unfortunatly, razr was their last pre-Android good selling phone. After that they decided, that they could use the same design and no innovations in all new phones, that was their mistake.

          Now Google and Dennis Woodside is our only hope. Currently Google isn’t going to sell Motorola. But if Dennis Woodside doesn’t manage to reorganise Motorola to an innovative and profitable company, Google will sell it.

    • Hom0ncruse

      final nail in the coffin for nexus 4

    • anonyman

      you forgot a removable battery.

    • elijahblake

      I don’t care how great the S4 is I won’t even consider it until I see what the X Phone has to offer… I’m hoping it will be the future of Android :)

      I really hope it has the latest beast of a processor that Qualcom announced too.

  • Dirge

    “When used with Verizon, a monthly fee will be charged for unlocking the bootloader.”

    Wait…what? So, according to these rumors, Verizon customers would not just have to pay a bit extra ONCE to unlock the bootloader, but monthly? That seems a tad farfetched. Actually, that seems horrible and wrong.

    I could understand paying a little more for the handset itself unlocked, but to pay the normal price plus extra monthly? No way.

    • Dustin Earley

      It’s insane. I read the original line on DroidLife a dozen times and that’s what I got out of it.

      “If you want to unlock the bootloader through Verizon, they will charge a $15/month fee.”

      • R.S

        $15 a month?! That’s beyond ridiculous! I don’t see anyone being willing to pay that.

        • zerosix

          I suppose, for extra $10/month you can get a Verizon logo above and under the screen and on the back.

        • Jimmy_Jo

          They did successfully sell phones for $100 more than the comparable model on all other carriers for a year or 2 so yes, charging for an unlocked bootloader can and probably will happen. And for those on the BIG RED train, they’ll pay.

    • zerosix

      This sentence sould be read as “we all love to have sex with goats”.
      I love Motorola, but their bootloader politics is disgusting.

      • uknowme

        Yeah but that’s Verizon not Motorola. That’s also probably why everyone and I do mean everyone I know at work and my personal life have ditched Verizon. Plus I bet that this phone will be different because Google has their hands in it.

        • zerosix

          That’s Motorola too, because there is one thing I don’t understand about carriers. Why on earth everyone except Apple has to place that ugly logos?

          • Jimmy_Jo

            That’s the carrier. Motorola doesn’t say hey! we want your logo all over our phone. Verizon (and others) insist on it. And with most of us using cases, how much do you really care??

    • LuckyHermit

      It’s yet another great reason not to give Verizon any money. I hate that company more and more every day.

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      Welcome to Verizon. Verizon can do anything they want, and their customers will still do naked backflips over burning hot coals for their “ZOMG LTE” speeds while still paying 1.5x-2x more than just about anyone else.

  • zerosix

    By the way, I recommend to read Larry Page’s whole speech is available on G+: https://plus.google.com/+LarryPage/
    A very inspiring speech.

  • surethom

    I cant wait for the X phone, BUT, Google & Motorola Need to announce the phone Way before May I/O.

    The phone needs to be announced before Samsung Galaxy s 4 is released for sale otherwise the X phone will loose thousands of sales. A April announcement would be a better month to announce.

    • masterpfa

      As long as there are rumours people will hold off. Those that want the SIV will get it regardless, but others will wait to see what Google have to offer at I/O and iPhone users will wait to see what Apple have to release for the iPhone 5s/6.

      I say allow Samsung their moment in the limelight especially as not everyone upgrades or is the market for a new phone at the same time.

      All Google need to do is Advertise like heck once it is released.

      • Nate B.

        Advertise is exactly right! From a business standpoint, google is not the best. Awesome ideas though.

      • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

        The X phone needs to be the next Nexus for fall. Google don’t screw us already screwed nexus 4-ers.

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        Agreed; not only that, but not everybody likes Samsung devices (shocker!). For example, even if the GSIV was technically superior in every way, I’d still hold off for whatever else was next down the line, because I simply don’t buy Samsung.

  • AvatarZ

    Charging a fee for an “unlocked” bootloader is bizzaro. Even if they are thinking about it, it’d be a tiny revenue stream and the kickback they’d get from it wouldn’t be worth it.

    I just want a phone like my original Droid that feel 20+ times and never scratched (my current GN is all beat up) and has stock android … not having to charge every 15 minutes would be good too!

  • rivera618

    if folks are that upset about a monthly charge for unlocking your personal phone, then change service providers. this is verizon’s doing and they are not going to learn if they continue to sign up millions of people every quarter.
    i agree it is ridiculous to charge a monthly fee for this, but can totally see verizon doing it. i’m on tmo and the service is good, though not great. i stick with them because i don’t have to worry about this type of trickery and the monthly costs are reasonable.

  • ibap

    Other sites’ posts on the subject of the Motorola X have a pic of what looks like a Milestone (I think). I’d really like to see a top-end phone with a keyboard (not a Blackberry) and an unlocked bootloader, without the shenanigans needed to get a new phone unlocked. I’ve gone through the process a number of times, but why keep doing this to your customers?

    And Verizon – get a grip. A MONTHLY fee for this? Whatever for?

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      Because Verizon’s stance on unlocked bootloaders is that you’ll somehow use it nefariously to impact the quality of their network.

  • aholland1

    Sounds very promising! Not too crazy about a fee to unlock my phone though…might be time to finally look at other carriers this year, LTE or not.

  • nandy

    would love moto battery of razr maxx hd and excellent radios of motorola with a proper camera,that would be amazing

  • Calvin

    “You shouldn’t have to worry about constantly recharging your phone. When you drop your phone, it shouldn’t go splat.”

    WTF!! Explain the Nexus 4 and why it wasn’t made with this philosophy.

    • RX-78-7

      It was made by LG, not Moto.

  • Co1e

    Im interested as long as long as it receives nexus-like updates. (Im assuming there will be no bloat if purchased unlocked from the play store)

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      There may be minimal Motorola bloat (since it has yet to be confirmed as a Nexus device), but you’re right – from the Play Store, there *shouldn’t* be any carrier bloat.

    • Steve Barry

      Agree here. Moto has always had pretty solid hardware, no question. Android software, stock, is top notch as well. If Moto can fix their known camera issues, I cannot see how this wouldn’t be huge. If they could sell it on every carrier in the US, include LTE with them all, etc. I don’t see why you would get anything else.

      I’ve been on the Samsung train for a while (love it), but this would lure me off it for sure. I’d be willing to spend $$ on a Moto phone, unlocked, for carrier of my choice, which at the time is Sprint.

  • killrgummibear

    YES! if the whole Motorola X thing pans out i’m leaving HTC and going Motorola :-)

  • GE918

    Eventually, Verizon will be the official carrier for the 1% because no one else will be able to afford them.

  • Nathan D.

    It will be interesting to see the finish product or at least a prototype.

  • Mix

    At least this is a good touch and not a creepy step uncle one.

  • nandy

    moto x would make a great phone as long as camera and battery holds up

  • donger

    Can’t wait for motorola’s next phone.

  • Slyillusion

    [URL=​"http://www.slyillusion.com/"]why i can’t find nexus 4 on google play store ?[\URL]

  • Tico4674

    Only a matter of time before we get a true Google Nexus!

  • jonstle

    When I think about many of the great phones Motorola has made in the past I have a lot of hope for their future. They seem to have been stuck in a rut the past couple of years but I think Google coming in and shaking things up a bit was a needed push to get the creative juices flowing again. Google has a history of thinking out of the box when it comes to most things, I hope it shows in their first combined project.

  • chris2kari

    Hmm let me check now..

    It’s February 19th 2013 :

    + Cell phone market sill being spammed with Android devices bearing numerous different (out of date) OS versions across hundreds of different handset flavours few of which will ever receive an update.. fubar

    + Google _OWNS_ Motorola but consigns manufacture of Nexus devices to LG, Asus, Samasung.. fubar

    + Nexus supply chain still fubar..

    Which all goes to prove that Google is NOT anywhere near up to Apple’s level of expertise.

  • vanessaelizebeth

    Battery life is a huge issue. You shouldn’t have to worry about constantly recharging your phone.