#motorola

Speaking of Motorola and Her, here’s David Pierce on the Moto Hint:

Motorola makes the same case for the Hint that Jawbone does for the latest Era, saying that Google Now and voice search have revived the power of talking to your phone. Yet there’s no getting around the Bluetooth headset stigma, so Motorola did its best to make it look like you’re not wearing one. Or wearing anything at all. The Hint is about the size of a peanut, and nestles entirely in your ear; it looks astonishingly like the earpiece Joaquin Phoenix’s character wears throughout Her, a fact that’s not lost on anyone at Motorola. And the intention is very much the same: you’re not meant to put it in and take it out, but to wear it all the time.

I’m a fan of the Era, mainly for the reasons listed above (not to talk on the phone). But I wish it were even smaller, which the Hint is, so I could conceivably wear it all the time.

Also, the Hint’s charging case looks great.

Tero Kuittinen of BGR:

It is hard not to admire Sanjay Jha’s cool genius in handling Motorola’s sale to Google. He leveraged Motorola’s old sales contacts in Asia and Latin America to push nondescript models into sales channel, creating an illusion of international traction during 2010 and early 2011. He created a shadow play of a healthy AT&T relationship, feeding expectations of substantial sales growth for Motorola’s business in the United States. For a brief time, Motorola seemed like a company in healthy shape.

Then Google announced its intent to buy Motorola in the summer of 2011 and the glamor flaked off like glitter lipstick from a Chicago prostitute in dawn’s cold light.

Our costs are too high, we’re operating in markets where we’re not competitive and we’re losing money.

An internal email to Motorola staffers leaked to Amir Efrati of WSJ.

…but if you can look past all that…

Google plans to layoff another 10 percent of employees — following the 20 percent reduction last year. The amount Google paid for Motorola seems to keep going up while the value they actually got seems to keep going down.

Austin Carr for Fast Company looks back at the project that started as “The Netflix Player” but was eventually spun out into the Roku box/company:

It was December 2007, and the device was just weeks away from launching. Yet after all the years and resources and talent invested in the project (a team of roughly 20 had been working on it around the clock, from ironing out the industrial design and user interface to taking trips to Foxconn to finalize production details), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was having serious second thoughts. The problem? Hastings realized that if Netflix shipped its own hardware, it would complicate potential partnerships with other hardware makers. “Reed said to me one day, ‘I want to be able to call Steve Jobs and talk to him about putting Netflix on Apple TV,’” recalls one high-level source. “‘But if I’m making my own hardware, Steve’s not going to take my call.’”

In hindsight, good call.

And:

But ultimately, Wood says, “It was totally the right decision. Licensing [digital content] has been hugely successful for Netflix. [The Netflix Player] would’ve created tension with partners, and increasingly decisions would come up where Netflix would have to decide, ‘Should we make decisions based on what’s best for licensing, or what’s best for our own hardware?’”

Sounds eerily similar to the dilemmas that both Google (with Motorola) and Microsoft (with Surface) now face, no?

Tim Carmody on Google’s earnings:

Motorola Mobility poses a different problem. Last quarter, Google’s cellphone and tablet division posted an operational loss of $523 million. This quarter’s loss of $353 million shows a modest quarter-over-quarter improvement, but things still aren’t healthy by any means. (Last year, in the same quarter, an independent Motorola’s mobile division posted a loss of $70 million.)

And:

Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette pointed out that Google hadn’t yet the chance to put its own imprint on Motorola’s mobile line. “We are really 180 days into this business,” he said, largely repeating the same mantra that he offered last quarter. Then, however, Motorola was in its “first 150 days.” (Pichette’s arithmetic here is elusive. For the record, it’s been 245 days since the Motorola acquisition closed.)

All fair for a new business perhaps. But this is a company Google acquired for $12.5 billion (really now more like $13 billion). Sure patents, patents, patents — but well, yeah.

I continue to believe former Motorola head Sanjay Jha was a wizard for pulling off this deal.

Dan Seifert for The Verge:

Earlier reports from The Wall Street Journal claimed that Google stood to make between $1.5b and $2.5b from the sale of Motorola Home, but now the company may be having to provide financing options to prospective buyers just to offload the thing.

LOL. The hits just keep coming for the most awesome $12.5 billion (which is actually more than $13 billion now and still rising) deal ever.

Remember when people were trying to argue that part of why this deal made “sense” was the set-top box business? Whoopsidaisies.

Joe Mullin on a Seattle federal judge ruling against Motorola’s use of its patents for injunctions:

Robart’s ruling is bad news for all Google and all Android makers who want to use standards-based patents to defend themselves from patent attacks by competitors. In both the bench trial and this order, Robart has shown he believes sharp limits should be placed on the use of these patents, which have been the weapon of choice for Android phone makers.

Twelve. Point. Five. Billion.

nerdology
nerdology:

Found in my parents basement: a RAZR v3i with the box! So thin!!
That iTunes + Cingular box is really funny.

The last non-iPhone I had. I remember being so excited to get this just so I could take pictures. 0.3 megapixel pictures or something like that, mind you.

My version did not have iTunes integration. I had a wait a year or so for Verizon to test and approve it for use on the network. Do not miss those days. But wow, how Motorola has fallen.

nerdology:

Found in my parents basement: a RAZR v3i with the box! So thin!!

That iTunes + Cingular box is really funny.

The last non-iPhone I had. I remember being so excited to get this just so I could take pictures. 0.3 megapixel pictures or something like that, mind you.

My version did not have iTunes integration. I had a wait a year or so for Verizon to test and approve it for use on the network. Do not miss those days. But wow, how Motorola has fallen.

Sara Forden for Bloomberg:

Google Inc. should be sued by the Federal Trade Commission for trying to block competitors’ access to key smartphone-technology patents in violation of antitrust law, the agency’s staff told commissioners in a formal recommendation, according to four people familiar with the matter.

In making excuses for the ridiculous $13 billion Motorola deal, many are quick to point out all the valuable patents Google obtained. Sure. And now those very patents are pushing them towards an antitrust case with the U.S. government. This deal is the gift that keeps on giving.

Two interesting (non smartphone hardware) thoughts by Hans Gerwitz, Frog Design’s Strategy Director:

1) That Google was interested in shooting down the possibility of BlurOS — which could have hampered the OHA and led other hardware makers to think they could thrive without Android — before it got off the ground.

2) That Motorola will help greatly with future commerce plans thanks to POS possibilities.