Clint on Mobile

Pipeline of Motorola Android phones won’t ‘wow’ (Say it ain’t so)

CFO Patrick Pichette then went on to say Google would need to “drain” the pipeline. Not exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to hear about a division that was acquired for $12.5 billion (closed in 2012).

RAZR: Last of the great Motorola Android handsets?

RAZR: Last of the great Motorola Android handsets?

So much for bravado.

I don’t know if this is an exercise in refreshing transparency, or disillusioned wimpiness. Or maybe it’s a bit of the old rope-a-dope in an attempt to temper expectations. Regardless, to have a Google exec come out and say that the Motorola’s upcoming smartphone products are “not really like ‘wow’ by Google standards” is a bit of a stunner no matter how you look at it.

That’s exactly what the company’s CFO Patrick Pichette did at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference. He then went on to say Google would need to “drain” the pipeline. Not exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to hear about a division that was acquired for $12.5 billion (closed in 2012).

The words are in marked contrast to those from last night heard in San Francisco where Mike Tyson took to the stage and drowned the Orpheum in testosterone with his entertaining one man show Undisputed Truth.

But to wake up to this?

I had high hopes for the upcoming X-Phone. It may never come to be, but with all the quietness on the Motorola Mobility front (I can’t recall any major releases since the solid RAZR line), many have been expecting Google to have an ace up its sleeve. Was Moto a patent play? Sure looks like it.

Google CFO Patrick Pichette - keeping it real.

Google CFO Patrick Pichette – keeping it real.

With Key Lime Pie (Android 5.0) just around the corner, and likely to make a splash at Google I/O in May, it wasn’t far-fetched to think that uber-Android hardware to match was also set to launch at the same time. Sounds like it won’t ship with a Motorola logo on it.

Then again, I’ve been more wowed in general by Google’s software – Jelly Bean, in particular, is a high watermark. With the Nexus 4, LG has made a decent handset, but it’s far from groundbreaking. Apple, too, appears to have been subsumed by what I’ve been calling the incrementalism era (not too exciting, I know). Maybe innovation in mobile hardware has reached a point of diminishing returns, and Sergey Brin is right: the future of computing is wearable.

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Clinton Stark
Clint is based in San Francisco and co-founded Stark Insider - a new media venture. His goal was to help fill the increasing gap in arts coverage. This site has consumed his every fiber. Yet, he still has time to talk Napa wine, review a play (ATCA member) or live show, and shoot videos. More: Clint's story...
  • Rabid Rotty

    Actually, the only device that gave me a “WOW” was the Nexus One when it was released. Now everything else that has been released is kinda, yeah cool but what ever.

    • Clinton Stark

      I had that exact same feeling when I first saw the Nexus One.

      • Rabid Rotty

        I thought that the Nexus One, although very outdated was and still is the “sexiest” device. The whole look and feel of it is absolutely classy. I wish Google and HTC would create a 5 inch Nexus One XLT or something along those lines. But with killer specs. Keep the track ball I miss it Lol, but reposition the power button

  • Rexford Dundon

    having had a Motorola Atrix 4G, when it came out it was an awesome smart phone.. then Google acquired Motorola and all support for their handsets went “bye bye” and so did I, switching to Nokia’s Lumia 920 and Windows 8. I haven’t looked back yet..

    • Clinton Stark

      Yes I like Windows 8 too – I upgraded my desktop as soon as it was available. Though there were definitely hiccups (where’s my start menu!?), I like Microsoft’s new OS design, and, on the mobile side, Lumia’s build quality is pretty sweet. Still, I couldn’t imagine letting go of Android at this point. Nexus 4, yes. But Android, no.

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