Android VP of Engineering: Google treats Motorola “just like HTC or Samsung”

by: ŠtefanFebruary 28, 2013

Google has just told the press, yet again, that they treat Motorola like a separate company. Hiroshi Lockheimer, Vice President of Engineering for Android at Google (pictured above), told C|Net that Google treats Motorola like they’re just another partner. That there’s a firewall between the two companies. That the Nexus program is still open to everyone.

None of this is new if you’ve been keeping track of the Android space, but still, we wonder, is Google just lying to everyone in order to keep their partners from freaking out? HTC still makes Windows Phones. Samsung is trying to build a totally new operating system called Tizen. Sony has said that they’re going to experiment with Firefox OS in 2014. LG just bought webOS. There is definitely some fear in the air that Google will do something with their Motorola unit, but are those fears warranted?

Anyone who thinks Motorola will become as big and as successful as Samsung is seriously delusional. Google would have to drop some serious coin on components, factories, and advertising in order to become “the next big thing”. What Motorola can become however is the shining beacon of light that everyone looks towards.

Next devices have never been big sellers because they’re almost always sold unsubsidized. That’s not the most attractive way to buy a phone in rich Western markets where people are used to subsidies. Even with a starting price of just $299, that’s still a bit much for most.

But just think about the Nexus 4. Google packed all that hardware into such a cheap phone. Imagine what they could do if they gave themselves a price target of $599? We think that’s the most likely scenario for Motorola, for them to become a small, but important player.

What do you think? More importantly, when do you think we’ll finally get some real answers?

  • John Smith

    what can we expect Google to say, but I doubt that’s what they actually do, and Motorola needs big help to become profitable again. I think we will see Moto makes huge progress in software and design influenced by Google.

  • Reasonably there’s still 8-12 months before we see the fruits of the Googorolla partnership.

  • Sea ttletech

    They did until recently ( moto x). Google might be shooting themselves in the foot. If the X is a good phone and priced under current prices (nexus 4) This is going to lead every android manufacturer away from google. Future outlook android wont matter. Any os running linux will be able to run android apps. Or cell makers might fork android. ie Amazon

  • On a Clear Day

    The Nexus 4 caught my attention and I advised a friend, who wasn’t bothered by it’s lack of removable battery, to buy one; given it has so much bang for the buck.

    I, for one, would happily buy a Nexus 5 from Motorola at $599.00 with a comparable level of power upgrade and even high levels of sophistication warranting that extra $300.00 investment. Someone, somewhere has to realize that not everyone wants to change their phones with each passing year, but would like to have one that really does serve all reasonable purposes for an indefinite period – maybe 3 or 4 years even?

    Make a phone like the Nexus 4 that gives 300 dollars more worth of real value – and “they will come.” I know I will!