I think Motorola is on their way back to the top

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| November 22, 2013

When Android first became a deal - you know, a really big deal - things were different. The manufacturers that you see dominating the market now were certainly not as popular in the smartphone market back then. Samsung was hardly making the flagships people were most excited to buy, and LG had pretty much been laying low until only recently, sticking with lower-end devices. Sony wasn't even part of the equation until about a year after Android devices started booming.

At the forefront back then we had HTC, who was then the maker of the Nexus phones, and Motorola, the maker of the popular DROID line. While HTC was certainly popular, and even considered the "King of Android" to many, Motorola's DROID line is still famous and lives on in name, even if it's not as popular as it once was. At the time, if you ever wanted a good argument against what made Android a solid contender against the iPhone you were probably tossing around the term "DROID". 

"Physical keyboard, anyone? Can your iPhone do that? IS THERE AN APP FOR THAT?! I didn't think so!"

But nothing is set in stone in this industry, and just as quickly as the empires behind these companies were built, a few wrong decisions can quickly bring them back down. It's a game of trial and error. It's strange talking about HTC and Motorola being the top of the Android game just a few short years ago, and looking at them today and seeing both manufacturers struggling to compete with the massive success that is Samsung. However, both manufacturers have been fortunate enough to have had their own small successes along the way recently, such as HTC with the HTC One, which many tech bloggers are still raving about months after its release. However, while the One might be popular in our hearts, there's still a lot of struggle going on with HTC both internally and profit-wise. But I'm not here to talk about HTC today. 

I'm here to discuss the strides that Motorola has been taking.

I'll admit, that once I heard about the Moto X I really thought that Motorola was going to go down the tubes sooner or later. We built ourselves up for months for this huge miracle device that was going to be cheap, innovative and had good specs. The tech community seemed to have collectively built each other up over the mysterious "X Phone". Unfortunately, the device was pretty normal, and even a bit sketchy in my opinion when I first heard about it. It was only after I spent some time with it that made me really appreciate what Motorola had done with the Moto X, but the damage had already been done. 

Moto X, however, was just the first step in what seems like a long string of good decisions from the now Google-owned manufacturer. The Moto X, which was first considered by many to be too expensive at its release, has been lowered in price significantly. You can even get the Moto X for $299 without a contract on Republic Wireless if you happen to have the Sprint MVNO available in your area, how crazy is that?! But aside from the Moto X, we also have the Moto G. The Moto G might not be your typical flagship device, but for $180 you can't get much luckier with the specs and a reputable manufacturer to boot. For many, the colorful Moto G is what the iPhone 5c would have been, and it's already receiving praise from all corners of the spectrum. 

So we've got these two new phones that have made a name for themselves. That doesn't seem like much of a movement, or any guarantee that Motorola will truly earn its way back to the top. But Motorola has so much more going for it now that make it such a viable contender against that of such giants like Samsung, at least in my opinion. Google and Motorola seem very keen on making decisions for the good of the consumer, including participating in that strange concept we call "Phonebloks", or more recently as Project Ara, an idea for a user-customized smartphone that goes deeper than just customizing colors and accents. Phonebloks is a concept that not only allows users to customize their phone, but could also potentially lessen the amount of electronic waste that we have by throwing away entire smartphones when only one component is bad.

And the train just keeps going. Even in recent news we learn that Motorola re-hashed their Developer Edition Program so that requesting an unlock code for a device no longer voids the warranty, and they will also be posting stock images so that developers and users can return their device back to factory settings without having to jump through hoops or rely on others to make the image available elsewhere. It might seem like an insignificant step, especially for those not interested in rooting or developing, but for those who do it's certainly a huge step in the right direction. 

I don't really know where Motorola is going, but I do know that I really like what I'm seeing from them. The strides they're making as a manufacturer reminds me of what T-Mobile has been doing for the good of the consumer as a carrier. It's nice to see that there is still a chance for those who have fallen to rise from their ashes. That actually sounded a lot more dramatic than I would have liked, but it's true. Not all who descend from the top are stuck at the bottom once they've fallen. I think Motorola stands a really good chance to climb back up from here. 

Readers, what are your thoughts about Motorola's recent changes? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Image via SlashGear