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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

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posted on 02 Aug 2013, 06:27 3

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2155; Member since: 29 Oct 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.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 08:22 2

13. TheLolGuy (Posts: 483; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)

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

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 16:34 1

20. 46modnar (Posts: 14; Member since: 26 Mar 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)

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 06:31

2. Danishs (Posts: 147; Member since: 23 May 2013)

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

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:40 5

11. boosook (Posts: 1442; Member since: 19 Nov 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.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 08:06 3

12. djcody (Posts: 146; Member since: 17 Apr 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!!!

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 08:42

14. _Bone_ (Posts: 2155; Member since: 29 Oct 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...

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 14:20 3

18. Stuntman (Posts: 839; Member since: 01 Aug 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.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 06:43

3. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 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.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:01 1

4. Cyberchum (Posts: 749; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

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

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:01

5. gigantos (Posts: 63; Member since: 25 Jul 2013)

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

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:08 1

6. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)

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

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:11 2

7. konnor (Posts: 30; Member since: 25 Apr 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.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:14 3

8. gazmatic (Posts: 795; Member since: 06 Sep 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


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

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 09:13

16. OldNorseBruin (Posts: 232; Member since: 12 Mar 2013)

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

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 10:53

17. roscuthiii (Posts: 2241; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)

Do you prefer Tucks or Preparation H?

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:22

9. Arthurhkt (Posts: 582; Member since: 19 Apr 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.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:31 1

10. kanagadeepan (Posts: 981; Member since: 24 Jan 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)???

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 09:07

15. OldNorseBruin (Posts: 232; Member since: 12 Mar 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!

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 14:34

19. scott5626 (Posts: 49; Member since: 01 Sep 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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