Last week, Motorola finally unveiled the Moto X. While it did not impress a whole lot of us, seeing as we think specs are everything and seeing a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro with a 720p display for $200 on contract, we weren't all that impressed. But as I've said numerous times before, I don't think Motorola is targeting us "tech geeks" with the Moto X, but more the iPhone users and those that buy phones based on marketing and features, not specs.
The head of Motorola, Dennis Woodside recently spoke with the folks at AllThingsD about a few different things including quicker updates and Intel, among other things. "We spent the last year retooling the company … to put it in a position to build Moto X," Woodside stated last week in NYC at their event. "It's not just the first device we've built. It shows the direction we want to take the company." Which is obviously a completely different direction then the old management was taking it.
Motorola has had a pretty rough few months since the Google acquisition had finished. It has exited the cable set-top box business, narrowed it's mobile product line and slashed thousands of jobs. "It's not the end, but it's really the beginning of what we belive is a new approach to hardware at Motorola," Woodside told AllThingsD. "In the mobile world, it's incredibly important to have great hardware that complements great services, and we think Motorola is going to be able to deliver that."
Woodside also said "Google built the first self-driving car. We wanted to build the first self-driving phone, so to speak." Which I think they've done with the Moto X. Since it's always listening, it makes it easy to say "Okay Google Now, How's the weather in Detroit," or something similar. The Moto X is built more on software than the hardware.
Most of us focus on the processor that's in the device, Woodside said we should focus on the system as a whole, because that's what makes the device smooth and powerful. Which is why Motorola has their new X8 Mobile Computing System. This way they aren't sacrificing battery life for performance, but keeping both battery life and performance as high as possible.
Another area that surprised many of us with the Moto X, is the fact that it's launching with Android 4.2.2 instead of Android 4.3, which was announced the week before the Moto X unveil. We had heard that Motorola wouldn't have advanced access to new Android code, many people didn't believe it, I hope they do now. Motorola has also said that the company is hoping to upgrade their devices rather quickly. Of course, this works well since they didn't make a whole lot of changes to the code in the first place, like Samsung and HTC do with Touchwiz and Sense user interfaces on their devices.
While we're still talking about updates, "We are absolutely making it a priority," Woodside said. Which is great to see Motorola working to turn around their update schedule. They used to be pretty bad with updates. But late last year we began to see updates coming out much quicker, especially on Verizon's Motorola devices. Which was great to see. We're hoping that will continue with the Moto X and the new DROID line.
Additionally, Motorola is looking to take a different approach to marketing. Woodside said that it was evident at the Moto X unveil last week, which had many small groups of reports getting hands-on and ask questions, rather than a huge show like HTC and Samsung did for their flagship devices. "We are going to take some risks along the way" Woodside said. Which they've already taken a big one with the Moto X.