Friday, August 2, 2013

WSJ: There’s a Barrier Between Motorola and Google Employees

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Ever since Google acquired Motorola last year for about $12 billion, many people believed that Motorola would be building all future Nexus devices. Which sounded about right at the time. But we later learned, and Google continually said, that Motorola will operate as it’s own company and that Motorola will not show them favoritism. Many people didn’t believe that, but after the Moto X announcement we can see that this is true.


The Wall Street Journal got an inside scoop that Motorola and Google are keeping that internal firewall alive between the two companies. The Moto X was announced yesterday and shocked many of us, and not in a good way. It’s going on sale for $199/249 on-contract, and it looks like the off-contract price is around $550-600. Of course, Google had some say in the phone’s development, but Motorola came up with a pretty extraordinary phone with is the Moto X.


Motorola’s engineers are complaining that the CEO of Google, Larry Page, shut the communication venues between the two companies immediately after the purchase went through. Creating a firewall between the two companies even though their headquarters are literally across the street from each other.


In fact, it wasn’t known until the last moment if the Moto X would have Chrome pre-installed as Google hadn’t paid attention to the requests from Motorola for testing it out, and only sorted these things out at the last possible minute. Motorola is desperately hoping the communication with the Android team will improve after the department head reshuffling which moved Andy Rubin to Google X, but for now it looks like the manufacturer is kept at arm’s length by Google, as Google said they’d do.


We know Motorola isn’t Google, but rather “a Google Company”. So it’s to no surprise that they don’t get special treatment, in my eyes anyways. But many others were surprised that Motorola didn’t get Android 4.3 on the Moto X, or sell the Moto X at a very low price.


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