Motorola to offer Android phones with stock software and 'just right' sizesAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Ever since Google acquired Motorola Mobility nearly a year ago, many folks have been wondering exactly what kind of products will come of the deal and exactly when we'll start to see Google-influenced hardware come from Motorola. Neither Google nor Motorola has said much on either topic to date, but today one Motorola executive opened up just a bit, and it appears that the arrival of Motorola-branded hardware with a Google touch isn't too far off.
Speaking to PCMag, Motorola design head Jim Wicks revealed that his company is now working with Google and that the first Moto products made under Google's guidance are expected to being launching in the second half of 2013. Wicks didn't go into specifics about the upcoming hardware, but he did say that Motorola's strategy is to "embrace Android" and respond to consumers' desire to have the newest releases faster. "It will be the unadulterated version of Android, and I feel really good about our embracing Android and being the best Android experience," Wicks explained. He added that Moto plans to make its phones as free of bloatware as possible, saying that users "don't want all that stuff pre-populated on their devices."
Wicks went on to touch a bit on Motorola's new "better is better" (rather than "bigger is better") mantra. The exec said that, while many Android users really like large screens, Moto recognizes that there are also many folks that want a phone that's "just right." As an example of a "just right" device, Wicks named the RAZR M, which features a 4.3-inch display and slim bezel. That narrow bezel look is another feature that Motorola plans to focus on going forward, as well as resistance to scratches and drops.
Finally, Wicks touched a bit on its brands and how it'll offer phones with the carriers. Wicks explained that while the DROID brand is doing well for both Motorola and Verizon, and so it won't be going away any time soon. However, Moto plans to introduce more cross-carrier branding later this year, offering products that feature a more unified identity across the different operators. Wicks also said that this will result in the release of fewer Motorola products.
We'll have to wait until Motorola actually introduces its upcoming Google-influenced products to see just how much of Wicks' teases actually come to fruition, but it sounds like Moto could be building hardware that'll appeal to quite a few Android users. We've watched Moto move toward a more stock Android look and feel in its recent updates for devices like the RAZR HD and RAZR M, and so it makes sense to hear that the company would like to continue to stick with more vanilla Android software on its products.
On the hardware side of things, it's good to hear that Motorola is planning to cater a bit more to the folks that'd like a phone with a 4.3-inch or 4.5-inch display. There have been new Android devices with those screen sizes released recently, but they're typically stuck with mid-range or lower specs, meaning that consumers seeking a high-end phone usually need to settle for a larger display than they might want. While it's not yet clear exactly what specs these "just right" phones will pack, the fact that Motorola plans to focus on smaller sizes is exciting news for folks that like that kind of hardware, especially when combined with Wicks' comments about stock Android. What do you think of what Wicks had to say today? Do his remarks have you excited to see what Motorola's got planned for the latter half of 2013?