WSJ: Motorola got snubbed by Google all the time while developing the Moto X

WSJ: Motorola got snubbed by Google all the time while developing the Moto X
An inside scoop by the WSJ revealed that Google is actually keeping its promise to build a firewall between its people and Motorola's after the $12 billion acquisition.

When the Moto X was announced last night, everyone expected this to be the de facto Nexus phone this year, in everything but in name, with low off-contract price and the latest version of Android, just like the Nexus 7 tablet that was shown a few days ago.

The Moto X, however, is priced as much as other flagship phones on contract, and doesn't ship with Android 4.3 out of the box, making it more akin to handsets sold by other Android makers, rather than the Google-owned Motorola.

Google undoubtedly had a bunch of input on the phone's development, and Moto came up with a pretty extraordinary customizable handset, made in the US, with unique software features, too. Motorola's engineers, however, are complaining that CEO Larry Page shut the communication venues between the two companies immediately after the purchase went through, erecting a firewall of sorts between them.

"It's not like we were equally disadvantaged—we were more disadvantaged," said a former Motorola employee, when talking about the relationship with the Android team, which turned sour after Google purchased Moto, leaving their emails unanswered. 

It wasn't known until the last moment, for example, whether the Chrome browser will come bundled with Moto X, as Google still hadn't paid attention to the requests for testing it out, and only sorted things in the last minute. Motorola is hoping the communication with he Android team will improve after the department head reshuffling which moved Andy Rubin, but for now it seems the phone maker is kept at arm's length by Google, just as promised.

source: WSJ

Related phones

Moto X
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 10 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 2200 mAh(13h talk time)

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20 Comments

1. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

I guess Google doesn't want an anti-trust case, but we all would love them to build Motorola devices from scratch, there's nothing wrong with that.

13. TheLolGuy

Posts: 483; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

Well I do have to give credit to Google for upholding their promise.

20. 46modnar

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

.... or at least pulling off a clever publicity stunt to make it *seem* like the firewall is in place ... (just kidding -- that's just way too cynical)

2. Danishs

Posts: 147; Member since: May 23, 2013

I'm sure there's method to the madness.

11. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

The reason is that they cannot afford to irritate their partners (first of all, Samsung) by giving even the faintest clue that they are favoring Motorola, because at the moment it's not Google/Motorola that is selling Android phones, it's Samsung, and they know that if Samsung gets irritated, well... it could be a problem.

12. djcody

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

You are completely right :) they make to much money from ad market so they can't afford messing with other OEM's. They just need slowly gain market back to about 10-14% to make moto healthy and prosperity. Data what they collect from usesers make them rich, more data more money, they see where you go, what you want etc, information about user is priceless!!!

14. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

You put it very well but it's pointless if you really think about it. Both Samsung and Motorola use the same Android source code when building SW and even share many HW components. Samsung wouldn't really be disadvantaged if boyz from da Goog would build Motorola phones, Sammy actually got 4.3 so early that the S4GE ROM leaked before a 4.3 to any Nexus device. And the Moto X is coming out on 4.2, Motorola is the disadvantaged here. No, Sammy and Goog are cool, it's anti-trust investigation that bothers Larry. In the end, Motorola suffers a bit yet Google got to keep the cheaper Nexus lineup, which is good for us. But it's very, very strange business-wise...

18. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

Google has to maintain the perception that they are not favouring Motorola over other vendors. I think Google just has to be extra careful which is why they put more scrutiny into ensuring this.

3. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Mostly this happens everywhere after purchasing the other company. Old employees are removed and new ideas are put by the buyer. Still Moto X is a cool phone.

4. Cyberchum

Posts: 1133; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Most phones out there are cool, what goes further to determine its coolness is the off contract price.

5. gigantos

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 25, 2013

"It's not like we were equally disadvantaged—we were more disadvantaged," How bitter it is.

6. Googler

Posts: 813; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

I always take comments from former employees with a grain of salt, most are just axes to grind.

7. konnor

Posts: 30; Member since: Apr 25, 2013

Bah. This sucks. I DON'T WANT them to raise a firewall. Ok, I get it, they shouldn't get special privileges like earlier software and all that - but at the very least it should benefit from Google's designers and product experts, to make sure Motorola is making great product, worthy of Google. Google is making a very big mistake by leaving Motorola on its own.

8. gazmatic

Posts: 822; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

i guess that explains the abomination called moto x, should be called mutant x because they is nothing logical aboit it its two biggest draws? a gimmicky camera launcher that could easily be solved using *gasp* a dedicated camera button... and they hid the touch to focus part annnnnnndddddd the biggest crapola of them all..... *drumroll* customization what is so wrong with that? you mean i get to pick the amount of ram, the amount of space, whether i want vanilla android, the apps installed out of the box, which version of android... what is so bad with.... wait. hold the presses. its the shell. you can customize the shell MOTHER OF...... tell me that it is at leaset 200 off contract no. its 200 ON CONTRACT? well what's the off contract price? 400? WHAT!! 500+ for 16gb and 600+ for 32??!?!?!?! thats it. i'm done motorola. just die

16. OldNorseBruin

Posts: 235; Member since: Mar 12, 2013

Mutant X is Wolverine; loved the X-Men comics growing up...Wolverine would slash this phone to death!

17. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Do you prefer Tucks or Preparation H?

9. Arthurhkt

Posts: 727; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

The most irony is that, the logo of Motorola come with "a Google company", i not sure how true the insider is, but no matter how the Moto X was not really something that bring ground breaking to the industries, the intention is good, but the end product is not really bring any "wow" to the society, i not sure how Google supporting their subsidiaries, but if what the employees saying is true, then obviously the reason Google buying Motorola was non other than protecting their Android OS license.

10. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1284; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

So there is NO part of Google in Moto X blunder and we have to blame Motorola 100% for that (since Google never interrupted in their process)???

15. OldNorseBruin

Posts: 235; Member since: Mar 12, 2013

...AND that's why this phone was a marketing DISASTER: Leaks, leaks, leaks for what many rightfully are calling Mid-range specs...and then the ONE most important leak they got wrong---the $299 Off-Contract price...It's Top Lined Price :$575 (At&t) to $699 (US Cellular-you gotta be joking)!...GOOGLE should have cleaned the MOTOROLA House when they dropped $12,000,000,000 for this once truly great phone company...Really pisses me off!

19. scott5626

Posts: 49; Member since: Sep 01, 2009

The Moto X internally is virtually identical to the Droid Ultra...did Google really stand their ground by just saying NO to the Kevlar back? Moto X is a Droid Ultra in a different body so the Droids can be on other carriers and not exclusive to Verizon.

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