Just what is Moto thinking?

Moto’s having a bit of trouble with its handset unit, that much goes without saying, but just what is the company thinking with its “autumn collection” that took to the catwalk last week? Not really new devices are they? Pretty much cosmetic lifts of earlier devices, although in the case of the U9 there’s a bit more under the hood. And why, oh why, does it look like the company is still hedging all its bets on the RAZR brand? Does it really not have anything new to show us?

I would have thought a company that saw its device shipments drop to 35.5 million units during the second quarter, down from 51.9 million in the same period last year, would have been a bit more imaginative with its new devices.

Update: A couple of hours after posting this the news broke that Moto has bought a 50 per cent share of UIQ. This confuses me further. Although the Z8 uses UIQ I thought Moto wasn’t going to support the platform further and was becoming more of a Linux shop. Perhaps this is the company clutching at straws to come up with a way of jazzing up its devices.


  1. Avatar Nitin Kuchhal 17/10/2007 @ 7:57 am

    Motorola is on a back-foot !?

    When they should be putting out their best foot forward, they are being defensive. I really don’t see how this would help Motorola in pioneering what they started. They made everyone look silly when they launched their Razr, a true benchmark phone is all aspects.

    In my opinion, they should restructure their Mobile Devices division (with all due respects to concerned people). Moto’s strategies dwindle from time to time, which definitely is not a sign of good management.

    Motorola’s handsets are really good, but there are certain key areas where they lag.

    For example, the UI… It still is in stoneage, SE has one of the best UI (even its OSE based low end handsets). Samsung fares far better in this department (which I think is a sleeping giant).

    Moto’s handsets are also very fragile, drop them couple of times and you have a showpiece.

    And many more…

    Their move to buy into UIQ is really a smart move, this should give them an edge or rather sharpen their Razr even more.

    Now I would prefer Moto focusing 75% of their time & energy in reviving themselves through an onslaught of new and better handsets, and rest on rejuvenating existing lineup.

    In all means I still feel that Moto is most innovative of all, and I would love to see them scale those heights again.

  2. Avatar Masamu-no Otoosan 17/10/2007 @ 3:55 pm

    1. As with many large successful companies, it’s likely that Motorola does not have a good understanding of what actually drove their success in this area in the first place. Sure, they will have at any time a reconstructive story to explain it, but that story’s low correlation with the actual real factors is evidenced by their inability to duplicate the success – or even to sustain it.

    2. Further complicating things is Motorola’s characteristically short corporate attention span in the mobile space, usually of approximately fourteen months. Look at any Motorola market initiative over the past ten years, and you can see this behavior pattern clearly – all the way back to the pseudo-Japanese “Hello Moto” campaign. The useful thing for competitors to know regarding this is that they simply have to wait approximately a year and a half, and “Moto” will move on if the initiative is not meeting expectations.

    3. I agree that the UIQ purchase is an act of desperation, or more accurately an expression of desperation. Motorola is correct in assessing that their UI is in desperate need of improvement, but for a company making the amount of noise that Motorola is making about Linux to then turn around and buy part of UIQ is baffling. The phrase “grasping at straws” was well-used here. One resulting problem with this is that Motorola has worked so hard to seize the mobile Linux spotlight from other companies that are actually being productive in that space, and then they go and buy half of UIQ. Thanks for throwing a hand grenade into the mobile Linux effort.

    All I can say is, good luck Motorola, you have the resources and market power to dramatically help the industry and move it forward – don’t screw it up.

  3. Avatar Ivan 29/11/2007 @ 4:19 pm

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