AllThingD’s D11 conference is in full swing, and the latest technology executive to get pestered with questions by Walt Mosseberg is Dennis Woodside. Woodside is the CEO of Motorola, who as we all know, has been struggling recently in the Android market. Just a little while ago, Woodside confirmed that the Motorola X Phone is in fact a real device that is coming to market, while also adding that it will be made in the United States and feature an OLED display. One area that Motorola has really struggled in is tablets. The XOOM was one of the first Android tablets to launch, and while it stuck around for a while, it never truly caught on with consumers. Some say it was due to the high price tag, while others have far different theories.
Just after Woodside left the stage at the D11 conference, he stopped to talk further with AllThingsDigital’s reporters. He said that he owes a lot to the MOTOACTIV watch because it taught the company how to manage very low power sensors. The company was able to take this skill and apply it to smartphones, which allowed them to offer services that always track location information and things of the like.
Accessories are an area in which Motorola is well-known for and Woodside said the company doesn’t plan to leave that market anytime soon. “Motorola has a leading position in Bluetooth headsets, but we actually think Bluetooth is going to get a lot better,” he said. He added that Motorola is currently testing tiny BlueTooth earpieces that are less dorky than the ones we’ve seen in the past.
Another one of the areas he was asked about was tablets. Woodside, who says that battery life and low power sensors are an area of interest for Motorola, stated that the company will be taking a step back from the tablet market for a while. “A lot of what we know isn’t as important in the tablet,” Woodside said. “For now we haven’t been focused on that. That may change.” So essentially, Motorola is backing out of an entire market because it likes low power sensors and tablets don’t use those.
One of the biggest changes Woodside has made at Motorola is learning how to say no and reject product ideas that he doesn’t feel will help the company. “We’ve shut down or postponed a couple products in the last couple weeks,” he said. “It’s hard. You have people who put their lives into a product or the last year into a product.”
While Woodside doesn’t think Motorola’s upcoming devices will change the world, he is focused heavily on North and South America, where he thinks the devices will find their markets. “We’re going to play a different game than Motorola has played in the recent past,” the Motorola CEO said. “It’s not going to radically change the world in the first launch, but we do think that the products will find their markets.”
Motorola’s decision to leave the tablet market is an interesting one, especially when there is a pretty big gap in the Android market for a solid, affordable 10-inch tablet. The Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire solved the small tablet problem for Android, but there still hasn’t been a solid 10-inch offering that consumers love.
What do you think about Motorola’s decision to leave the tablet market? A wise one or not? Let us know down in the comments!