Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st Dec 2012 23:36 UTC
Google "Engineers at Motorola are hard at work on a sophisticated handset, to be released next year, that parent Google hopes will provide more potent competition for devices like Apple's iPhone, said people familiar with the matter." Well, paint me red and call me a girl scout. This is more fascinating: "Motorola also ran into difficulties when it looked into using a bendable screen and materials such as ceramics that would allow the company to make the X Phone more stress resistant, use more colors and mold into different shapes, these people said." Bendable displays could be a huge turning point for mobile - and not because they allow new shapes. No, the killer 'feature' of bendable displays will be their resilience.
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This would be an utterly stupid move...
by dsmogor on Sat 22nd Dec 2012 09:17 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

...unless Google wants to become an hardware first company and believe Mot can outdo Samsung and Apple in hw design (given their track record, an extremely naive assumption) of course. such an announcement would kill Android leverage in no time leaving them with nothing.
Android dominance is currently based on a soft power, where competitive interests of HW companies, software houses and carriers are playing out on more or less level playing field, and it's based on a very volatile balance. One that can be crushed with one bad move such as this one.

Reply Score: 3

Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

...unless Google wants to become an hardware first company and believe Mot can outdo Samsung and Apple in hw design (given their track record, an extremely naive assumption) of course. such an announcement would kill Android leverage in no time leaving them with nothing.
Android dominance is currently based on a soft power, where competitive interests of HW companies, software houses and carriers are playing out on more or less level playing field, and it's based on a very volatile balance. One that can be crushed with one bad move such as this one.


It's not a bad move, really. Motorola is just like any other Android manufacturer and Android will not be a Motorola exclusive. This is just adding a new player to the fray (I know it's not really a new player, but you know what I mean).

Reply Parent Score: 1

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Google must be unhappy or at least disconcerted with how the Android OEM ecosystem has turned out. One must presume that by releasing Android Google had hoped that there would develop a healthy and diverse OEM community which would allow them to sit above, it a bit like Microsoft had done with Windows OEMs, except this time Google would make it's money from the bundled services rather than software lisences.

It hasn't turned out like that.

Android has been forked (Amazon and Barnes & Noble) and been embraced up by Chinese OEMs who have promptly stripped Google services out. The biggest worry however has to be that Samsung has become so disproportionately more profitable and larger than all the other OEMs. The danger now is that Samsung decides to develop it's own services and forks Android and dumps Google. Were that to happen Google would face a booming Android market that it's hard work and expenditure on OS development has built but with little or no return to show for it.

The Motorola/Google handset route is dangerous because if it results in a handset that actually sells in quantity it is the other Android OEMs, including Samsung, who will suffer.

The road ahead is tricky for Google.

Reply Parent Score: 2

MechR Member since:
2006-01-11

Going by the WSJ article, Google's just doing what they said they'd do: Install new management to whip Moto into shape, but give them no special access to Android development. It's a delicate balance, but anything less would be a waste of Moto.

Besides, what are phone makers gonna do, jump to Windows? Microsoft's doing the same thing with Nokia.

Reply Parent Score: 2