Motorola joins wearables market with “ugly” swipe at rivals - Mobile World Live

Motorola joins wearables market with “ugly” swipe at rivals

26 FEB 2014

Motorola, which is being acquired from Google by China’s Lenovo, is clambering on board the industry’s primary bandwagon with plans to launch a wearable device later this year, branding existing rivals as “ugly”.

Speaking at a press conference, Rick Osterloh (pictured), SVP product  management, indicated there was a gap in the market for a more aesthetic product. “There are some real user problems [with existing product], such as there is no wearable you want to wear, all of them are extremely ugly.”

Instead Osterloh said Motorola plans “to treat like jewellery” its wearable product with an emphasis on style, although that is not a quality with which the vendor has particularly been associated in the past.

Osterloh was one of three execs on hand at the event as replacements for Dennis Woodside, the former CEO who left recently for Dropbox.

The subject of Lenovo was also on the agenda as Steve Horowitz, SVP software engineering laid out the essential difference with the search giant’s ownership. “Google wanted but not needed us to be successful,” said Horowitz.

With its core as a product vendor, things will be different with Lenovo, he indicated. The company also talked up the benefits of scale that the Chinese vendor brings, both in terms of ability to ramp a popular Motorola product quickly and access to new technology.

Conversely, Google’s tense relationship with the Chinese government made life difficult for Motorola’s business, said Osterloh. “Not participating in the world’s largest smartphone market is limiting,” he said.

In terms of other releases, Motorola said it will bring its Moto Maker, a device customisation tool, to Europe in Q2 of this year. It will launch the tool in Mexico at the same time, it said.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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