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

In an interview, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside talked about potential future smartphone features including unbreakable plastic, smarter voice-based assistants and better wearable solutions.
December 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.