Motorola exec: Apple charges "outrageous prices"

Apple's chief designer Jonathan Ive recently talked about Motorola (without actually naming the company), criticizing its "Make it whatever you want, you can choose whatever color you want" design philosophy. Obviously, Ive was referring to Motorola's Moto Maker, which lets customers design their own smartphones, being able to choose from a multitude of colors and finishes. "I believe that's abdicating your responsibility as a designer," reportedly said Jonathan Ive.

In reply, Motorola COO Rick Osterloh told the BBC that Motorola is "taking a directly opposite approach" to Apple, based on the belief "that the end user should be directly involved in the process of designing products." Motorola's chief continued by saying that Apple's way of "making so much money and charging such outrageous prices" is "not the future."

Despite Rich Osterloh's beliefs, Apple's recent record-breaking quarter (the company sold 74.5 million iPhones in three months) suggests that the future probably belongs to both expensive, and affordable smartphones. Would you agree?

source: BBC via 9to5Google more info: The New Yorker



1. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I respect his work, but Jony Ive just comes off as a total jerk whenever he opens his mouth. Leave the trash talking to Phil Schiller, at least that's his job.

7. HansGoneInsane unregistered

I am not in the position to tell who is wrong and who is right (if there even is such thing), but Jony has a valid point there in my opinion. When you include customers into the design process, the customers do a part of the job that actually motorola should have done. The customers spend their free time on working on a product from Motorola (for free). By taking this into account, one can argue like Jony Ives that Motorola is transferring a part of the design responsibility to the customer because they don't consider themselves to be able to create a product that the customer likes. I think that it is the designer's responsibility to think his product through and therewith making my life more convenient.

13. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

"...that's abdicating your responsibility as a designer". What else can you say, one design, two phones? The knowing all "god of design" says in other words customers can't have a saying about what they pay for? Eat your jealousy Ive. Even your customers that are responsible for the high prices admit that apple products are overpriced

26. spin9

Posts: 310; Member since: May 31, 2014

It's about the elitist and fascist uniformity. Give less to your subjects and take more

59. sgodsell

Posts: 7618; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It kind of reminds me of that expression. Let them eat cake (Marie Antoinette). What ever happened to her anyway.

69. sgodsell

Posts: 7618; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Motorola's website gives more then just a color choice. You can change the type of materials as well (wood, leather, ...), button and accent colors, print a name or logo on the back, customize the wallpaper, choose the amount of storage, and select a white or black front face. I wish more companies would take Motorola's approach. But then again Motorola and Google's project Ara is going to change all this anyway, when they launch their modular phone device.

134. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I was reading the comments in another article about this and someone brought up a great point. If design is everything and the customer shouldn't be allowed to alter the designer's vision, then how would Ive explain that almost every iPhone you see has a cover on it? About all you see of the actual phone is the face and the camera. And considering the multitude of covers there are, I'd bet there are more case designs than what's available for the Moto X.

76. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You mean how Motorola gave less(Moto X) and took more(flagship price)?

98. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2125; Member since: May 29, 2014

You're describing the iPhone perfectly here. A device that gives you dumbphone specs and a fisher price OS yet charges more than any other highend smartphone.

106. logicsdude

Posts: 85; Member since: Jun 25, 2014

Ummm... I believe you are confused. The Moto X is at least as good as an iPhone 6 (opinion, but backed by specs & reviews), and costs $250+ cheaper than an an iPhone (fact)

62. StanleyG88

Posts: 240; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Ive is pretty much a part-time designer. Putting out 2 phone designs every 2-3 years (and even those are almost the same) is what I would call part-time work.

16. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 2012

The an extent yes, but Motorola still did the design work and still did the testing and chose build materials. And acordring to moto's website, there are over 2000 configurations possible. Since the consumer is really just choosing the color you could argue with Mr. Ive that he went to far by allowing any choice at all with phone color or size.

19. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

That philosophy might explain Steve job's famous wardrobe...

49. HansGoneInsane unregistered

At least one person in this forum who is able to discuss a matter on an intellectual level.

65. sgodsell

Posts: 7618; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Its more then the color of the phone, you can also choose button and other accents colors, finish types as well (leather, wood, plastic), logo or name printed on back, custom background image, size of storage, and white or dark front face. Also Motorola has many other smart phones with different sizes and price points, if you don't like the Moto X.

17. Hyperreal

Posts: 363; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

I cant beleive what i read. So your life is much more convenient when you do not have to choose a color of your phone..?? Such a hard job to choose a color? Ignorant motorola makes you work for them for free! Stupi motorola cannot design a phone!

43. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Dude, the question is on which things you spend your life on. In some cases less choice is more because it takes away complexity so that you have more time left to spend on more important things (where investing time to find the best choice is worth spent).

54. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

But who determines what is important in life? The designer? I don't think so.

58. HansGoneInsane unregistered

What matters to you and what doesn't is a decision that every person has to make on its own - no question about that. But consider second half of comment 56.

64. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Agreed, time is short, enjoy it :)

125. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

You're an idiot.

18. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

"Any customer can have a car painted any colour he wants so long as it is black.", Henry Ford. Project Ara would be the opposite end of the spectrum here. Ives is going a bit too far on downing the customization aspect of phones for something so trivial as colors. It works for him because more than a few Apple customers want all their decisions made for them. Watch them agonize over silver or gold.... Then buy the space grey.

97. mschmal

Posts: 23; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

The iPhone is for Sheep. If the carriers ever stopped the Subsidized phone business model, Apple would go broke. If Consumers ever woke up to realize how the Subsidized model is cheating them. They would demand change. Apple's entire business model is based on customers staying ignorant.

112. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

The subsidies are going away on most of the major carriers. It's not changing things that much, though. The financing of the phones, by credit cards or the sellers, still take a lot of the sting out of the purchase. If people had to pay 100% of the cost up front, cash, sure. It's not going to happen, though. Besides, it'd affect most smartphone manufacturers, not just Apple. Apple is a great value for the software support over the years, until that final and fatal year of final support. I wish more android phones got the same annual updates.

23. pellegrini

Posts: 84; Member since: Jun 14, 2012

When you buy a car, do you choose its color? (I think everybody does!) Sure it is the designer's responsibility to think about it and select the best colors for its models. But if you can give the final decision to the customer, why not?! Motorola is just trying to innovate. Deal with it.

31. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yet with the Apple Watch, they are giving customers way more freedom than the MotoMaker. I can imagine that not all straps would look equally good on all the colored watches.

40. HansGoneInsane unregistered

A watch is a by far more personal device than a smartphone. You wear it, it becomes a part of you. A smartphone in comparison is far more less personal than a watch.

45. Chidoro43

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 10, 2014


48. HansGoneInsane unregistered

You have the intellect of a stone.

74. Chidoro43

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

and you, the rationale of a dolt

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