The boys from The Verge sat down with Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha, who expressed some interesting thoughts on various aspects of the wireless market. One of the notable comments by Jha mentioned that Motorola wants to make fewer pieces of hardware in the future. This goes against the current grain of hardware manufacturers pumping out Android phones like they are going out of style.
Behind this decision is Jha’s wish to see Motorola Mobility better focused on putting Motorola’s marketing dollars to work. When The Verge pressed further, highlighting that the DROID BIONIC and DROID BIONIC were parts of Jha’s famous “incremental innovation” philosophy, Jha defended both handsets by saying the BIONIC had been delayed well beyond it’s original release date.
On a separate note, Jha spoke out about the conflict between the “stock Android device” and the business relationship between manufacturers and the carriers. “Verizon and AT&T don’t want seven stock ICS devices on their shelves,” insisted Jha. Following up on that thought, Jha said his company “has to make money” and that Motorola or similar manufactures can’t profit on a device that isn’t differentiated. “The vast majority of the changes we make to the OS are to meet the requirements that carriers have.”
I take issue with this last statement, if Jha really wants to focus on differentiation, he’ll do it through hardware as Motorola Mobility did with the DROID RAZR. The DROID RAZR doesn’t stand out because of its software, it does so because of its unique form factor and build quality. A customer walking into a Verizon Wireless store will be drawn to the DROID RAZR because of that form factor, not because they see a pretty interface. It often appears that the manufacturers and carriers are truly out of touch with what their customer base wants with the Android experience, at least in terms of the overlay. After all, Motorola did dump MotoBLUR in its original build based on customer feedback. Who remembers the Motorola CLIQ? Who loved MotoBLUR on that phone?