Google’s acquisition of Motorola has rejuvenated the company and changed the focus from currying favour with carriers to ensuring a smartphone is right for the market.
Speaking to TrustedReviews Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside explains “Google has been really important at encouraging the folks at Motorola to dream again and think big again about the opportunity ahead of them.”
Having the clout of Google behind you is certainly a benefit but Google has helped with more than just financial backing. Since losing the phone market’s coveted first place to Nokia in 1998 Motorola has struggled to compete with the likes of Apple and the advent of the smartphone. This led to a company split in 2011. The mobile spin-off was acquired by Google in a $12.5 billion deal in July 2011 and has had a significant restructure.
“Having Google own the company has given us the opportunity to reshape the company and invest financially in a way that if you were public would be really hard to do so we’ve been investing in branding and new products. We had 20k people now we have 3.4k people a massive difference in staffing levels and all that costs money. Google has been able to help us get through that transition.” Woodside told us.
It has also led to a refocus of priorities. “Motorola had been developing very carrier specific devices and hadn’t been thinking about building global brands and now we’re focussed on building global brands we’re focussed on solving big consumer problems like affordability, ID (customisation) and functionality.” says the Motorola CEO, while Magnus Ahlqvist who heads up Motorola’s EMEA division drives home the point “In every type of discussion we have about strategy, about go to market approach we always keep coming back to the consumer and that makes a real difference and that’s something that has been strongly influenced by Google.”
Putting consumer needs first and the ability to “dream again” have led to the success of products such as the recent Motorola Moto G, a phone that not only won TrustedReviews' Budget Phone of the Year but also the highest honour - Product of the Year.
Motorola will be releasing the flagship Moto X model in the UK and Europe at the end of January 2014.
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