Google CEO Hints At New Motorola Hardware - InformationWeek

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4/19/2013
10:57 AM
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Google CEO Hints At New Motorola Hardware

Motorola has shown "impressive velocity and execution" with new products in development, says Larry Page.

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Google CEO Larry Page was tight-lipped about the company's hardware plans during its phone call with media to discuss earnings. He didn't say anything specific about forthcoming products. Page made a few comments, however, that provide some insight about what to expect from Motorola down the road.

Motorola did not help Google's bottom line this quarter. The hardware business managed to bring in $1.02 billion in revenue, or about 7% of Google's total revenue for the quarter. However, Motorola ended the period with an operating loss of about $271 million. Considering that Motorola hasn't introduced any new products during the last six months and has just a small handful of devices available in the market today, its impact on Google's earnings shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Hopefully Motorola will soon change this. How? According to Page, with tougher phones that have better battery life.

[ Larry Page calls Google's Q1 results "a strong start." Read Google Profits Top Estimates. ]

"Think about your device," said Page. "Battery life is a challenge for most people. You shouldn't need to carry around a charger to make it through the day." This is a concern that Motorola has already addressed. Two of the devices it released late last year -- the RAZR HD and MAXX HD -- both offer exceptional battery life. In fact, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said in September 2012 that the company would make battery life a priority for its products moving forward. It appears as though that priority remains.

Back to Page: "If your kid spills their drink on your tablet, the screen shouldn't die. And when you drop your phone, it shouldn't shatter," he said. "Having just seen Motorola's upcoming products myself, I'm real excited about the potential there. In just under a year, they have accomplished a lot, and have impressive velocity and execution."

Page implied that Motorola's new devices will be strong, waterproof and will have good battery life. He's clearly excited about them. So is Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

"They have a new set of products, which are phenomenal," said Schmidt of Motorola earlier this week. "Very, very impressive." When prodded to spill more details, all Schmidt would say is, "Think of it as phones-plus."

There has been a lot of speculation about what Motorola plans to do next with respect to its hardware business. The device referenced most often is called the X Phone, which is expected to be the Android phone to conquer all Android phones. Some think the X Phone will make its first appearance at Google I/O, the company's developer conference set for May 14-16.

Until then, Page and Schmidt have given us, if nothing concrete, something to chew on.

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