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Motorola stays focused on phones, but ‘looking’ at tablets

Motorola Mobility, a subsidiary of Google, has been trying to make a comeback to the market of phones for some time now. In the U.S., the firm got some success with Moto X and Moto G handset; the former is set to hit European markets in the coming weeks . For now, smartphones remain the primary focus for the company, whereas media tablets represent interest, but are not in the roadmap, at least publicly.

Before getting acquired by Google, Motorola sold its Xoom media tablet to compete against Apple iPad. It was the first tablet to be sold with Google Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” operating system tailored for large screens of slates. Although Motorola Xoom was powered by competitive hardware for the time of its release, it did not become a success because of the high price, relatively poor software (at the time, not a lot of Android apps supported tablets) and a number of other drawbacks.

Total shipments of Xoom were around one million in its first year of availability. By contrast, Apple sold over 40 million of iPad and iPad 2 tablets in calendar 2011. It looks like after such a blow the company does not want to return to tablets in the foreseeable future.

“For now we are focused on phones. We are looking at tablets,” said Dennis Woodside, chief executive officer of Motorola Mobility in an interview with Pocket-Lint. “A lot of people have asked us to build a tablet using Moto Maker, to customise their tablet. There might be a day we do that, but the bigger opportunity for us is the 5 billion people without smartphones and the one billion people who have smartphones. That's where we are primarily focused right now.”


According to chief executive of Motorola Mobility, the company’s brand “had not been globally relevant in the smartphone world”. As a consequence, it was pretty hard for the company to persuade consumers to buy its smartphones in general due to intense competition. Nonetheless, Motorola is currently the No. 3 premium smartphone supplier in the U.S., right after Apple and Samsung, according to the CEO.

For the head of Motorola Mobility the main task today is to build the smartphone right. With Motorola Moto X, the company managed to roll-out upgrade to Google Android 4.4. “Kit Kat” in just 19 days after the public release, faster than all of its rivals, a breakthrough for high-end devices. With Moto G, it managed to pack advanced functions into a $179 smartphone, a breakthrough for low-cost handsets.

KitGuru Says: Create a good smartphone is a hard and important task. The problem is that a smartphone is simply not enough for modern world. In a bid to truly win customers’ hearts and wallets, a company needs to offer a spectrum of mobile devices that work in constant collaboration with each other.

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