Future (Moto?) smartphones: unbreakable plastic, speaking to the phone, and wearables

by: Chris SmithDecember 13, 2013


In an interview with The Associated Press, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside shared some of his thoughts on the future mobile devices, the mobile business and the relationship with Google.

Once again, Woodside reiterated something execs from both companies said before, that Google and Motorola are separate entities that operate differently even though the former owns the later. He said that Motorola doesn’t get access to Android code earlier than everyone else – but we’ll say that the Moto X received the KitKat update even before the Nexus 4 got its over the air build.

Woodside also sort-of acknowledged that for Motorola it doesn’t matter if it’s losing money anymore, in Google’s grand scheme of things, which is having as many people connected to the Internet. To date, Google paid $12.5 billion for the company and lost another $2 billions since the acquisition became official in mid 2012.

Most interestingly, when asked about what people will want from future devices, the CEO said that he expects to see unbreakable plastic in handsets, more advanced voice-based assistant features as well as some sort of wearables integration, as long as the “killer-use” feature for them is discovered:

Q: What early signs (are you) seeing in what people are going to be wanting from their smartphones?

A: Phones break. They’re glass. That’s likely to change in the next 24 months, as plastic becomes more present and producible.

You’ll be speaking to (the) phone, asking it to do things, and it will be responding and actually doing what you intend, as opposed to you reading a command line.

Wearables are obviously an area that’s of interest. No one has really come up with the killer-use case that defines what that means and how that works.

Is Woodside hinting at future features for next-gen Moto X and Moto G devices? It may be too early to say, but we’re definitely going to see what Motorola will come up with, with Google’s support, of course.

Presently, the Motorola’s main rivals are Apple and Samsung according to the CEO, who did not forget to promote its newly released and highly praised Moto G handset. Woodside said that the Moto G can offer the same iPhone features at a quarter of a price, and that Motorola’s handsets do “something a little bit differently” (including the Moto G) when it comes to having to compete with the marketing power of a giant such as Samsung.

  • bungadudu

    Go Moto!

  • Luka Mlinar

    Every company should have a person that says “hey, let’s make a phone out of jelly beans”. But here’s the problem with Motorola. They only have people like that. Regina coming up with crazy (but awesome) ideas and Dennis spending all the company’s time on those ideas. Innovation is important but they need to keep in mind that Motorola is not a concept design company. It’s a phone manufacturer and for the last year they did just about everything except manufacture phones.

    • needa

      so i reckon you think they should be more like samsung and spend all of their time coding features that nobody uses? and if they dare use them they will halve their battery life?

      i think you are on to something!

      • Luka

        Da fuq? How the hell did you not understand my comment?? They should start making phones instead of working on electronic tattoos.

        • AkhilSood

          Why do you think they shouldnt work on electronic tattoos? Coz Jebus dont allow no tattoos?

          • Luka Mlinar

            Do it but don’t spend the majority of the company’s time on something that shouldn’t be anything more then a side project. They released one and a half phone and when i say half i mean the G is basically the X with cheaper components. They should have started with the G and worked their way up to a exclusive line (but not flagship); the X.
            I met a owner of a fancy restaurant once and he told me that he has the bast cheese,prosciutto and beefsteak in the city. He pays big money to get the best and makes almost no money on those 3 things. He calls them the base of his business. People always come back there because of those 3 things and when they finally decide to try something else then he make a well arranged meal and charges heavily on it. We are already paying heavily for flagship phone. My friend just spent 1000$ for a Note 3 here.
            At this point it does look like Dennis is starting to move in that direction but it’s so damn slow. It’s like he is in this playground of concepts designs. Picking out this line of PIMPin carriages wile having only pony in the stable.

        • needa

          In case you didn’t notice…. They do make phones. Damn good ones. They also work on weird shit. It is quite possible for a company to do both at once.

          They should work on tattoos. Just as they should work on project Ara. I appreciate that they are more than willing to go outside of the box. And I hope they continue to do so. And do more amd more of it.

          Or you know… They could spend all of their time coding features that nobody uses.

          • Luka Mlinar

            No one was talking about coding. The tweaked stock android build is one of the things they did right. I would give anything if Motorola was like OPPO and started talking to the community about what they want.

  • Shark Bait

    I hope they continue their winning streak! i think next has to be a top notch spec phone from them….