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Manufacturer Woes [Opinion]

Within the last week the top three Android manufacturers reported their most recent earnings. HTC reported its first quarterly profit decline in two years, Motorola’s sales are expected to be disappointing yet again, and Samsung is doing fairly well (though their earning numbers were boosted by the sale of their hard drive division to Seagate). In short, except for Samsung, the top three Android manufacturers are not doing well.

It’s easy for us to look at market share and assume that because Android is dominating, that means every manufacturer is doing well. That’s simply not the case. So far every manufacturer’s strategy has been to make as many models as they can and hope they sell well. The result is a flood of devices in the market and delayed updates. If you make some really good devices you might be able to avoid financial trouble (Samsung), but if you make terrible devices this strategy is just going to kill you (Motorola). HTC has managed to stay in between these extremes by making some good devices, all of which were very similar to each other.  

I think the main reason that Samsung has been able to weather this year (aside from their sale of their hard drive division) has been their judicious release of halo devices like the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II. I imagine Samsung would do even better if they limited their device SKUs even further. No one wanted the Continuum, Illusion, Stratosphere, Captivate Glide, DoubleTime, Transform, Transform Ultra, Conquer 4G, Replenish, Dart, or Gravity Smart (Seriously?). Samsung isn’t doing well because they sold thousands of Gravity Smarts, it’s because they sold thousands of Galaxy S and S II variants.

While Samsung was making a name for itself with the Galaxy line of phones, HTC pushed out several Evos, the Thunderbolt, the Incredible 2, the Rhyme, the Rezound, the Sensation, a couple MyTouch 4Gs, the Amaze 4G, the Wildfire S, and the ChaCha. Some of these devices were fantastic, while others were incredibly sexist or too reminiscent of Peek. Meanwhile, Motorola was trying to come up with a great new tablet name and somehow Xyboard made the list.

It’s easy to lay all of the blame on so many devices on the manufacturers, but the truth is that the manufacturers wouldn’t make them if the carriers didn’t order them. The problem is, the carriers don’t care if a manufacturer goes under making devices no one will buy. If Motorola goes under Verizon can just rely on HTC or Samsung to make more Android devices to fill their stores with. I understand that some need cheaper phones, but that’s what older models are for. You can’t afford the Galaxy S II? Get the Galaxy S instead. That way you cover both the high end and the low end without flooding the market with useless iterations of the same phone.

The other essential piece that manufacturers need to continue being successful is to ensure customer loyalty. After the Droid 2 I will never own another Motorola product again. The Droid 2 was haunted by both software issues (Exchange issues, random reboots, etc.), and hardware issues (inconsistent keyboard design between devices, easily cracked bezel, unresponsive power button). The Droid 3 was an improvement, but with a locked boot loader and Blur on board many passed it up. Phones like that don’t ensure customer loyalty. People want to know that their device is going to make it through their contract.

The other side of ensuring customer loyalty is providing updates to devices. Samsung’s decision not to update the Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich when the Nexus S is getting it is an outrage. It isn’t about the phone working or not, obviously it will still work with or without ICS; it’s about being sure that Samsung is going to invest in keeping your device up to date for the duration of your contract. If Samsung spent more time maintaining their halo devices and less time releasing phones that no one wants they’d be able to allocate more resources to ensure that the millions of people who bought Galaxy S devices had ICS. I don’t want to buy a phone that may not receive updates. More importantly, if a skin is the reason I’m not getting an update I’d rather not have it. There are definitely some who won’t care about the update, but for those of us who do, the lack of an update is more incentive to buy devices like the Galaxy Nexus instead of the Galaxy S II.

I want to see Android manufacturers continue to be successful, but right now they’re on a path towards destruction. Too many models only confuses consumers and make updates more difficult to roll out. Samsung and HTC should be making a few halo devices per year without carrier variation. Carrier variations lead to one carrier having a 1.2 GHz processor in the Galaxy Nexus and a (rumored) 1.5 GHz processor in another carrier’s version. People like options, but no one likes carrier specific options. Right now carriers have too much power and manufacturers are too willing to make dozens of devices that fill shelves instead of meeting demands. Creating customer loyalty ensures a sale every two years. Knowing that a Samsung or HTC device is not only top of the line when released, but will also receive updates throughout the duration of the contract is important to many consumers. I want a relationship with my manufacturer, not my carrier.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WMMFTGZ4GUXS33OUM67RP25TWA PD

    I have Droid 2 Global and I get random reboots all the time. It is quite annoying. I had a Iphone 3G which I got as a hand me down from my sis in law when she upgraded to Iphone 4. Never had any issues. My brother has D2G as well and he gets the same reboot issues. From what I read on the comments, its a recurring issues with the D2G. Makes my next phone want to be non-Moto. 

  • Anonymous

    Great article! I love Sense! I’m sticking with the Rezound. Still the best phone on Verizon. I had the Nexus also. Too many sacrifices made!! I got my $100 back too!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/richeek Richeek Dey

    If Moto unlocks the BL, things will change

  • AJ

    Great and well written article. Thank you for putting this together I agree 100% with what you have said.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      Thanks! 

  • Anonymous

    Why do so many people complain about updates and go and buy a non nexus phone?

  • iconwodan

    I have my first android phone here in front of me, its the Nexus S 4g and I must say I am happier with this then any other android I have played with. My friend has had 4 moto phones in 3 years, constantly buying new ones and it seems like he is never happy with his phone always looking for the next big thing, from moto no clue why he is loyal there. I am the opposite, when on verizon I had a palm pre + and adored it, I would have stayed if they stayed in business. But since they didn’t I had to jump onto the android train and not end up with the luggage. So I got the Nexus and I don’t plan on getting a new phone till my contract is up, I see no need. Sure you will have bigger screens, Samsung Note, or neat gimmicks, Htc evo 3d or rezound, but will any of those last you your two year contract, probably not.

    • Jim McClain

      well very soon you will notice your speaker sucks, camera is awfull and you wont get nearly as good signal and you would if you had an 2 year old original droid

  • Guest

    Every manufacturer has issues with quality, battery life, no keyboards, or locked bootloaders that makes keep my original Droid.

    I can’t imagine being an average person shopping for a phone. How many phone have been released since the only choices on Verizon were the Droid and the Droid Eris?

    • Anonymous

      Your last statement summarizes the article completely.  Where is the Eris 2 years later???? Meanwhile the OG droid was running strong, inspired a 4th iteration, created the Android platform (yes I know it wasn’t the 1st Android phone), and much more.

      HTC and others need to focus on what got them into the game and not forget what makes them successful.

  • Anonymous

    I’m devilsephiroth and I approve this message.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VDASTX5FE3JS4HBNSAJPH4SKM steve

    Expertly written. I only hope the manufacturers read this somehow because it’s all true. No one wants 100 phones to choose from..its a fact that no one truly cares. iPhone is the monumental example here…one single phone…millions apon millions sold….Make a couple halo devices…update them when needed and leave the rest of the garbage in the research rooms.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

    Hey now, there are people that wanted the Stratosphere! There is like 12 of us. lol

  • http://www.youtube.com/lordstickmax Lord Stick Max

    the reason why they are not doing well is because they are spending R&D to put out 8-10 devices out in a year!  they should be puting out less devices with more quality and faster software updates.  Also, they need to stop put bloatware on. it doesn’t add to the experance.  i think ICS app disabling will get rid of that though but you need to know its there.

  • Rich

    I agree with this post as well… The only company who gives a lick about us is GOOGLE… and only GOOGLE… They are the ones, whom are fighting this skin crap… They are the ones fighting to make sure your phone gets updates for at least 18 months… 

    You don’t see VZW, Sprint, ATT, or HTC, MOTO or any one else giving to licks about what we want or would buy…

    I refuse MOTO because they want to make their own OS and get rid of Android; I refuse HTC becasue their phones are crap, they have security issues, and they play the flip-flop game when it comes to getting help with the device…

    (FYI, ALL manufactures have the sole responsibility of maintaining ALL apps and software that makes android, android and no matter what they say, Google has told me since the manufacture uses Android, they have to meet a criteria list and after they do they have to get a license for it to be used… If they use a skin and the skin causes an app to break, the manufacture has to fix it the skin and app…)

  • Droidzzz

    I don’t think I could agree more with this article.  I especially like his idea about making older high end phones the new low ends, and ensuring the phones receive updates from time of purchase to two years beyond.  This is where manufacturers would be wise to essentially take a page from Apple’s playbook.  It seems somewhat glaringly obvious to me.  There’s so many damned phones out there to choose from with so many minor differences that it makes it difficult for consumers to choose from.  This means some people buy phones on the low end just to save some money and get a taste of Android.  However, they end up ruining their impression of Android, because their LG Vortex has a wack processor and memory on it and is still slightly different from Sprint’s version, creating a slew of software and app issues.  Customer X then becomes highly motivated to try an iPhone now because their friend has one and says they never have problems like what they are experiencing on their “Droid phone”.  They’re NOT considering your new LG Spectrum or even another manufacturer’s model.  They’d rather have a colonoscopy.

    New Manufacturer Model:
    -No more than 2 Android phones per year
    -Ensure updates 2 years from time of discontinuation
    -No variation between carriers.  Universality!
    -When your new bad boy in town arrives, drop the former bad boy to $100 on contract
    -Stop skinning the phones so damned much!  I don’t care that you think a white background, teeny contact picture along a left column, and large “compose message” button at the top middle is the most appealing look for text messaging.  I just want it to effing work !

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      Thanks!

  • Jim McClain

    just cant figure how a company like samsung could release the nexus and not know that the speaker is awful, the camera is auful  and the radios suck,  my original droid is a 5 mega camera and its way better than my nexus and at our place at the beach the droid had no problems surfing the web, nexus cant get one bar,if it wasnt to late I would take it back

  • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

    then return it thats actually one thing that my nexus does better is making voice calls i had a droid x bwfore 

  • Destroythanet

    Sorry, haters. Only Apple and Samsung know how to do it right. 

  • Anonymous

    Without a cut of the market money all these oems will eventually lose out in the long run fighting the spec wars.  That’s why Google doesn’t have to favor Moto, they are just waiting for them all to implode and then Google will step in and run the ship.

  • Sirx

    Ron, please find the nearest Google employee, submit to them this editorial and have them distribute it to all of their manufacturers before Android becomes the godd**n Nintendo Wii of smartphones!

  • http://twitter.com/boredsysadm boredsysadm

    Peek, Peek – it rimes with Reek

  • http://twitter.com/shaneplawson Shane Lawson

    Well put Kellen!

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I wrote this, but thanks!

  • Anonymous

    I have had a few MOTO devices over the years.  D1, D2, and now the Bionic.  While I do like the Bionic and it does what I need it to, this will be my last MOTO device.  I know I should have waited for the Nexus….  When/if the price drops to where I can pick it up I am getting it.  

  • Rickysiebold

    At the end of the day I finally have a Nexus device on Verizon and will hold onto it until the next one.   Thanks to Verizon not giving a poop about us I now know how important that is after going OG – DX – Thunderbolt – Bionic – and now Nexus.   Had they just given us options from the beginning I might be interested in different flavors, but never again.   It’s like keeping water from people.   If you have all the water you need you’re going to want to try soda and juice and whatever other garbage they want to sell.   But if they take away water and only give you mellow effing yellow for two years and then finally open up the water supply, you’re never going to drink that crap again.   After all water is free and I get it a lot faster then waiting for it to go to a factory where you add a bunch of crap to it that isn’t good for me.   Just give me straight water and I’ll add the sugar if I want it!

    • FknTwizted

      where you high when you wrote this…. just didnt make much since other then the fact i am now thristy….

      • Jordan Webb

        I understood it. Just sayin’.

        • Anonymous

          I did not understand it. Just sayin’.

      • Rickysiebold

        hmmm… sorry, makes sense to me.   i’m just saying that when you take away the choice of a pure android experience and force blur and touch wiz down people’s throats they’re going to hate it.   If pure android was always a choice then people may be interested in trying other things, but as it is now I’ll never give up my Nexus.   I’m not going through 5 phones in two years ever again. 

  • EC8CH

    Selling phones through the carriers if partially to blame for this. They all demand changes so their device is just slightly different (ex: GSII)

  • Matt G

    I think you touched on a couple major points:

    -Too many models pumped out too quickly.
    -Too much competition between manufacturers.

    The costs involved in marketing 6+ models a year for a single carrier is a bit ludicrous. Add in the fact that most of these manufacturers are making either slightly or significantly different phones for each carrier, and you have what becomes a bunch of canabilization of your lines and confusion for the customer.

    Then you have the costs of R&D’ing each of those models for the various carriers and that adds to the costs, reducing any realizable profit.

    These two things alone haven’t even touched on the fact that there is a core user base that would LOVE, ABSOLUTELY LOVE more unlocked phones with good specs and future support. Yes, the Galaxy Nexus fills this void…for Verizon customers.

    The fact of the matter is that Apple and their iphones are still hugely profitable for all of the reasons Android manufacturers are losing money: less competition within the “iphone” environment and essentially 1 new device a year for each carrier. Not to mention how much easier it is for the developers to create apps for a much smaller number of devices.

    They market whatever the current iphone is primarily with very little investment going into their older versions. Their support team gets to focus on a very few devices, which leads to better, more consistent performance of their devices. While we (Android users) can all poke fun at the antenna issue and battery problems, it’s hard to deny that they don’t tend to have better overall performance. How many bugs are there for all of the different phones? How long does it take to address them?

    Android manufacturers have added unnecessary layers of complication on their devices. These layers cost them money to create, and then even more money to support. They then come to a point where they have to make a decision to either continue supporting “old” phones which costs more and more money with each new additional phone they make. Or, they drop support, hurting their customers, which drives them off and eventually costs them money by alienating too many people.

    It would be one thing if the manufactures made different models significantly different such that there is a niche user base for each device. For example, a keyboard model and a touch screen only. However, the amount of variation is so subtle between phones, that it’s ridiculous. The Droid Razr could have easily been called the Droid X3 same thing with the Bionic.It’s even more ridiculous looking at how the Razr came out 2 or 3 months after the Bionic and how on a hardware level they are really close to being the same. Sure, there are differences, but not enough to justify getting a Razr if you just got a Bionic or to have purchased a Bionic if you knew there would be something similar but slightly better in a couple of months.

    (Sorry for posting my own op ed)

  • JJ69Chev

    Samsung bias much? My nexus cabt make calls where droid made perfect calls wifes charge is neh and i dont want to get started about what a POS the galaxyvs was. If it wasnt a nexus i would have never bought a samsung and im still debating returning it for a razr or rezound

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I focused on Samsung because they sold the most phones out of anyone. Personally, I prefer HTC. 

    • FknTwizted

      The razr is a solid piece of equipment… as i have told others if it wasnt the fact the nexus tag was on this i would never own a samsung… for the simple fact that they are rare updates and other then their screens are amazing their hardware isnt…. the motorolas have always had the top tier gear and i would personally own a razr if it wasnt for the fact the nexus comes out and i like to tinker..  razr for the non-rooters is a solid and great choice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10215724 Raj Bhatt

    Isn’t Android-Life specifically for these types of articles?

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      Not necessarily. This affects all carriers, so I suppose it could go over there. 

  • Sporttster

    Makes one wonder why a manufacturer (Moto) would want to throttle their device (Razr) by locking its bootloader,thereby reducing the demand for a great phone. It could be so much more but the manufacturer (MOTO) has decided (MOTO!) to ignore its customers (MOTO!!!) and not give them what they want! (MOTO!!!!!!!!!!)  

  • Taylor Hunt

    I’ve had three Moto devices, the Thunderbolt, and now the Gnexus. I will keep the Google phone until another one comes out on Verizon. (And I know that could be a long, long time.) I’m done with Sense and Blur for good.

    • JMonkeYJ

      that’s my sentiment exactly. Droid X taught me the hard lesson to always go with vanilla android

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. And similar to the author’s Droid 2, my Droid X will be the reason I won’t be buying another Motorola phone for a long, long time.

        • Anonymous

          I was murdered by the Droid 2 and the Droid X.

          Your pain. I feel it.

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      Thats how i feel too

    • Anonymous

      same boat here.  i’m not leaving the nexus line unless there’s nothing left.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

      I’m with you on that sentiment, which is why I got my fiancee the GNexus… that way it would be supported for a long, long time to come – officially and even longer unofficially.

      Me, on the other hand, will be passing on the Nexus devices until I can get one with a sliding QWERTY. No QWERTY = no deal.

      • Anonymous

        You will never have a Nexus.

        • Anonymous

          Which is unfortunate. Hopefully once Google owns Motorola we can get some decent stock QWERTY Android devices since no one seems very interested in the physical QWERTY keyboard anymore.

    • http://twitter.com/GoldenCube Toys Samurai

      I really hope that the next Nexus will also be released on VZW. If not the next one, at least the next next one — because that’s the time my contract is up. I owned the OG Droid, the first VZW Google Experience phone. Then I upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus, the second VZW Google Experience phone. I surely hope my third one will continue this trend.

    • Blootzm3

      +1 carrier power =’s no more motorola… yay motorola sucks Iv been thru too many junky motorolas but loving the galaxy nexus. 

  • Brian Wenger

    As I was reading I got to the paragraph about people using older phones instead of new cheaper phones. I thought “Older means outdated, outdated means no updates, no updates means security concerns or root/flash. Somebody looking to get a cheap phone is probably not gonna be interested in rooting/flashing ROMs.”
    Then I read a few more paragraphs and saw then one about the manufacturers maintaining updates for longer time periods. Now I completely agree with this article. Carriers have too much power.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      Thanks. If there were fewer phones then updates would be easier to maintain. On the other hand, people buying cheaper (older) phones may not care as much about updates. I think they still deserve them, but it may be less of an issue. 

  • Anonymous

    Samsung – Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus

    Everybody else – Meh

    That is why Samsung is doing well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Cheng/1402836859 Ryan Cheng

    “After the Droid 2 I will never own another Motorola product again. The Droid 2 was haunted by both software issues (Exchange issues, random reboots, etc.), and hardware issues (inconsistent keyboard design between devices, easily cracked bezel, unresponsive power button).”
    well I am using a Milestone 2, which basically is the same thing, and none of these happened to my phone. Yes Motorola lacked software updates (anywhere other than USA, especially asia) and this is driving me crazy. But Motorola is well known for their good built quality. My phone is working very fine, only the slide-out mechanism loosen up a bit after a year, but all else is fine. I think your judgement towards Motorola is a bit bias

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I’ve seen many Droid 2s with a cracked bezel, and every Droid 2 owner that I’ve spoken to had issues with random reboots. I went through three separate Droid 2s myself, all of which had the reboot issues, two of which had bezel cracking issues. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Cheng/1402836859 Ryan Cheng

        i would actually want to see a pic of that… never heard of that issue

        • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa
          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Cheng/1402836859 Ryan Cheng

            i cant open it, sorry~ link image url?

          • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

            Sorry about that. Try this. This is the D2 that I still have. The other cracked one was sent back to VZW. https://photos-6.dropbox.com/i/xl/Mi_kE8Egc8FpHUcHtEYAzFWUfLj0IRSb2mSXMscd6uo/40866130/1326225600/e479f05/Photo%20Dec%2010,%204%2003%2040%20PM.jpg

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Cheng/1402836859 Ryan Cheng

            still cant see it when i clicked the link, but anyways

          • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

            Weird. I can see a preview of it in my post and it worked in a separate browser for me. If you have a Twitter account I can tweet it to you. The point is, I have one with a cracked bezel, had two, and have seen many more. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Cheng/1402836859 Ryan Cheng

            my twitter is @Y_Yan_C , the MS2 is my 4th motorola and all of them are still running fine! (expect one who got hammered, the screen is crushed by the phone works fine, everything runs expects the screen…)

    • Darthseph23

      I agree with you comment about the Moto bias in this editorial (Funny how no one uses that term anymore).

      I’ve had no major issues with my Moto devices.  They are sturdy workhorses and I go all the way back to the StarTac.  Other phones included the original Razr, the “OG” droid, and now the Droid Razr.  I’ve not had an issue with any of them under warranty.

      The LG phones I’ve had have been equally sturdy as phones.  I did have my touchscreen go out on my Voyager and plenty of “paint chipping,” but that phone and my original VX6000 lived through the life of my contract.

      Maybe what really should be pointed out is 2 quick points:
      1) Manufacturers are flooding a market with numerous devices of okay quality, while they should focus on quality builds with good forward looking hardware.
      2) Do your research on the hardware and software end of a phone purchase.  Realize that the system is evolving.

      I’ll note I’d love to see my boot-loader unlocked for some Cyanogen mod goodness, but really that’s not the mass market.  Hell, its not a deal-breaker.  We’ve gotten into this weird thing with technology as a consumer base.  A phone is a PHONE!  Smartphones are mini-computers and we are pushing the boundaries of technology right now.  Heat is killing phones and computers alike, so expect stats to really start to slow down, as they have for computers over the last 5 years.

      I’ll stop there before this gets to a TLDR.

      • Anonymous

        I read it all, so not TL;DR

  • Anonymous

    i miss motorola’s hardware, but i refuse to buy another non-nexus device until major changes happen.  it was a good lesson for me to have to sell my bionic and lose money on that ordeal.

    • EC8CH

      Not be snarky… but wow you too. Lots of DL regulars have traded their Bionics for the G-Nexus is seems.

      Hope it was worth the hit to your wallet.

      • Rickysiebold

        it was. 

      • Jordan Webb

        I just did it yesterday. Sold my Bionic on Craigslist and burned an old family upgrade to get a Nexus. I didn’t lose any actual money on the deal, but I did lose an upgrade.

        I’m still adjusting, but my Bionic gave me hell for three months even through several warranty replacements. Motorola offered to take my phone away for two weeks and run some tests as the only solution, then they didn’t unlock it like I expected when I purchased the phone.

        I learned my lesson and will be much more careful about my future devices. I was just so excited about my first smartphone that I bought a Bionic release day. Never again.

      • Anonymous

        yeah, it definitely was.. and i’m a pretty frugal person.  i debated and went back and forth for a while, but in the end i decided that if i didn’t do it, i’d spend the next two years wishing i did.

        the nexus is beautiful, although i loved the industrial look of the droids and the brand itself (even if Verizon is driving it straight off a cliff).  and god, i really wish i could hear anything at all from the speakerphone.  even with those gripes, this thing has me much happier than the bionic and motorola’s crap software ever did.  i have yet to have it force reboot on me even once.. and that was a 2 or 3 times a day occurrence before.  and no signal issues, no handoff issues.  no airplane mode or rebooting to get my phone to work as a phone again.  this thing works as it should, and it’s terrific.  and every time i pick it up it makes me happy–the weight, balance, and curved screen make it an awesome experience to even hold.

        should’ve heeded the advice on here and not jumped on the bionic, but valuable lesson learned there.  i don’t intend to get off the nexus train in the future.  i just hope motorola gets onboard with the program.

      • Anonymous

        Sold my Bionic for $340. I think the $10 hit to my wallet was worth it.

    • Anonymous

      +1 the Nexus is far from perfect, but every phone I buy going phone must at least be either stock/root-able or have unlockable bootloader and ideally have both.

      • Anonymous

        well said.

        • Allen Cross

          …except for that “every phone I buy going phone” bit. :)

          • Anonymous

            ah technicalities.  haha.

  • Bob

    Wow, its a good thing you wrote “Opinion” in the title…. you know, since none of it was based in fact.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      What parts in particular do you think were not based on facts?

    • Rickysiebold

      go through the article and try and point out what is baseless, report back here so I can have a giggle.  

  • 4geez

    I don’t think its right to say that moto isn’t doing well because of Blur and locked bootloaders.  The majority of people who buy phones are not into modding or running custom roms.  I’d say that many people who buy phones are more concerned about what the phone looks like rather than whats inside.  that being said, I believe that moto isn’t doing well because their devices are not attractive compared to what else is out there.

    • Michael Forte

      I’d say that the Blur and locked bootloaders definitely aren’t helping their cause. Who do you think people go to when they want to know what phone to get? People like us, that read blogs and follow technology. I’m sure many of us tell people to steer clear of Motorola just because we don’t like them for Blur and locked bootloaders and that could put a hit in their sales.

      • Anonymous

        “Hey bud, I’m looking at getting a new phone. I really like the look of that Razr. What do you think?”

        “I hate Motorola. They are a worthless company and I’d never buy from them again.”

        “Oh really? Why not?”

        “They lock the bootloaders on their phones. Terrible!”

        “Uh… what does that mean?”

        “It means that you can’t put aftermarket software on your phone. It destroys the third party developer community. It’s an affront to the customer!”

        “…But does the phone work well?”

        “Oh yeah, it has great hardware.”

        -Non nerd customer proceeds to buy Razr. 

        Droid Lifers severely overestimate their swing on the market. They use this hollow fallacy of “WELL PEOPLE COME TO US FOR PHONE ADVICE LOL” when in reality it doesn’t matter much if you can’t make the other person care about your stance. Try swaying someone and the conversation will go just like the above if you’re honest with the other person. Sure people go to you for phone advice but in all reality you still need to provide reasons they care about to sway them to buy other phones.

        Motorola will do just fine because 95% of the user base doesn’t care about bootloaders and personally although their blur UI is a bit laggy at times it does look really good on the Razr as compared to stock gingerbread. I’ve had a Droid X for two years now (and rooted, romed, bricked and flashed it dozens of times), I had a good friend with an OG (who rooted and romed his to all hell too), and both lasted over their contract with very few problems and through dozens of drops. I’d recommend Motorola hardware all day long.

        • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

          My main issue isn’t about boot loaders, it’s about shoddy hardware. Some of Moto’s products have been good, but they’ve had software issues throughout the last year and major hardware issues with the Droid 2. That has nothing to do with the boot loader. 

          • Anonymous

            I do hear that and that would be a legitimate argument most people care about. However, like I stated in my above post, everyone I know who has owned a Droid, Droid X or Droid X2 (which totals about 10 people right now) have had no problem with hardware or software. Especially those of us that rom. ;)

            The biggest complaints I’ve heard have come from Bionic owners. They should have just canned that project. Thanks for your input though. Maybe we should just steer clear of hard keyboards or did they get that right with the Droid 3?

          • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

            The Droid X and Droid 2 had major Exchange issues early on. It took a while for Moto to get that fixed. Every single Droid 2 (not Global) owner that I know has issues (and always had) with the phone randomly rebooting. The Droid 2 had issues with the bezel cracking as well. I avoided the software issues myself by romming, but I can’t always recommend that to clients/friends. 

            The Bionic was a mess and definitely should have been canned. I think the D3 was a lot better, but it’s irrelevant with the D4 coming out in the next few weeks. 

          • Anonymous

            Odd, I’ve used exchange on my DX from day one and had no problems. Hopefully the DX line and the D3 and D4 have set the record straight though and Motorola can continue to turn profits. I’d hate for a good company to go under because of one extremely bad phone.

            That said I’m curious what the future holds for the RAZR. I’m waiting for an update to destroy the phone completely. I’ve seen too few issues with the phone.

          • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

            It was only with certain versions of Exchange. I can’t remember which anymore, it’s been a while. :) We’ll see what happens with the RAZR. This RAZR MAXX thing isn’t going to make RAZR owners happy. 

          • Allen Cross

            Sorry, but I’ve experienced no HW or (system) SW issues with my DX, whatsoever. The only thing even close to that was a weird hang-up following the GB OTA…and I’m convinced that was entirely due to a 3rd-party app (LauncherPro).

            I can understand some complaints about Moto phones, esp. when talking about specific models (e.g.: Droids 2-3) plus of course the seemingly endless bootloader melodrama. And even I take issue with some of their design choices, — more system memory for the DX should have been a no-brainer.

            Overall, tho’, Moto’s HW is among the best available. By far, the vast majority of my phone problems are caused by 3rd-party apps. But with GB on-board — and now that I’ve learned to efficiently troubleshoot garbage apps — my DX runs like a dream. Nobody believes this phone is nearly 2 years old.

          • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

            That’s great. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed your DX. For many in the corporate world, however, it was a huge pain because of Exchange issues. I haven’t seen or heard of hardware issues with the X. The D2, however, have several. Moto has made some great hardware in the past, but I personally haven’t liked anything recent. 

          • Anonymous

            Being a Razr owner I do t really care about the maxx coming out because I an perfectly happy with the battery that is in the Razr. The battery will easily last all day for me and if I needed it to last two days I could make it so when the screen is off it turns off my data connection and I could just put it into sleep mode during the night. So with the current battery and the smart actions, this battery is perfectly suitable for my needs.

          • Anonymous

            I bought a Droid 2 the first day it was available, and I’ve had no hardware problems at all.

            It’s true that the Moto Exchange client had problems, but I just use Touchdown, and it works perfectly.  The only other issue I had was with flaky WiFi initially, but Moto fixed that with their software patches.

            So the D2 wasn’t perfect at launch, but by comparison with most smartphone launches, I found the experience relatively smooth and painless.

            At the same time, Samsung hardware and software is hardly free from defects.  The Epic 4G was notorious for having problems locking on to GPS, and quite a few Galaxy Nexus owners are reporting issues such as poor reception.

            Personally, I prefer Motorola’s industrial design and build quality, but I’m perfectly willing to consider other brands, if they had comparable products — but they don’t.

            Where’s the Galaxy Nexus with a QWERTY keyboard?  Samsung released half a dozen versions of the SGS2, and none of them had physical keyboards.  They could have made the Captivate Glide an SGS2 slider, but they screwed up by giving it a Tegra 2 instead of an Exynos.

            I loved my HTC G1, but where’s the HTC phone with LTE and a physical keyboard?

            Right now, the Droid 4 is the only game in town if you want a flagship LTE, dual-core, QWERTY phone.  Samsung and HTC could have played in this market, but they’ve both dropped the ball when it comes to QWERTY phones.  If HTC announces a quad-core phone with a physical keyboard at CES, I may consider waiting, but I’m not holding my breath.

        • http://www.facebook.com/borgey401 Andrew Borges

          Well numbers don’t lie do they? Go look at the Nexus sales then go look at the Razrs sales. Nuff said……. Razr is a flop and everyone knows it. If you try to argue with me you’re just trying to justify an awful purchase bottom line.

          • Anonymous

            I see no released sales figures to back up your random statement. Link proof.

            In fact this article says otherwise: http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/1/2673884/razr-outselling-sg2-and-gnex-why-branding-matters

            So not only are you just making up facts, you’re doing so to try to support… I don’t even know what. Your statement doesn’t actually try to contradict any point I made. You just said LOL SALES NUMBERS and didn’t provide proof.

          • Anonymous

            i think if the razr didn’t have to compete with 50 other motorola flagship phones on verizon that were released within the last half year, it would have been a huge phone.  they’re screwing their customers and themselves when they release a new flagship every few weeks.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, the RAZR appears to be the best selling phone from any data (however circumstantial) I can find. So he’s just spreading lies really.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

          Let me fix that for you, based on how I explain it:

          Them: “Uh… what does that mean?”

          Me: “Let me put it this way: How would you feel if you bought a laptop from Dell now and Windows 8 comes out next year, which your laptop has the processor and memory to run, but Dell says ‘Nope, you can’t run it because we locked it down. Buy a new laptop if you want to run Windows 8′. How would that make you feel?”

          Them: “That would piss me off!”

          Me: “Exactly. Its the same thing. Basically Motorola is telling you that you have to buy a new phone if you want new software – even if this RAZR can run the next 3 version of Android stock. However, if their bootloader was unlockable, you can load whatever you want.”

          Them: “Yeah I want a phone I can do whatever I want with, like my laptop! I bought it, its mine to decide. So what do you suggest?”

          …and it goes on from there. Simple analogies go a long way to helping non-nerds understand the
          issues with bootloaders and other Android topics. It makes more of an
          impact than “uhhh cause they suxors and I hate them blah blah blah etc”.

          And yes, this is how it usually goes down for me. Its how I got my best friend off the “buy whatever” bandwagon and he now pays attention to development community when he scopes out new hardware. My family always comes to me for whats new and I will absolutely use what I know about the current state of development with Android devices before making a suggestion to them. Us nerds have a pull over the non-nerds in our lives.

          Oh, and I had a Droid 2 – it was my first Android device – so I know exactly what the author is talking about.

          • Anonymous

            I think you have a misconception of what a locked boot loader is. All it does is make it so you can put on any custom kernels which kinda sucks because the kernel on the Razr has a CPU freq limit of 1.2 ghz. You are still able to load custom roms onto your phone with a locked bootloader

      • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

        not really i told my buddy dont get anything without 4g and insaid get the nexus…….what did he get the thunderbolt! you know why because he got it for cheap smdh

        • Anonymous

          ROFL! See? This proves my point entirely. He took the pieces of your advice he liked and left out the rest.

          However, that is a pretty comical story. 

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I don’t think they aren’t doing well because of locked bootloaders, that’s a smaller issue. I think Blur slows down some phones and people see that. I think the main reason, however, is that their hardware hasn’t been that great. I know a lot of people got burned with the Droid 2. 

    • Sporttster

      I think sales figures would probably tell you otherwise…..here it was a huge difference between those who bought GNex’s and Razrs. Many many more went for the GNex and I bought the Razr and love the phone but absolutely hate the fact its bootloader is locked and am working OT to get this corrected. It’s pathetic that MOTO spouts its because of Verizon that they can’t unlock…and then we sit back and watch every other Manuf unlock theirs on the same network,exposing MOTO for lying flat out to us…..that is not cool….

      • Anonymous

        I see no released sales figures to back up your random statement. Link proof.

        In fact this article says otherwise: 
        http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/1/2673884/razr-outselling-sg2-and-gnex-why-branding-matters
        So speaking of flat out lying…

      • Allen Cross

        Based entirely on phone-spotting in the wild, I’d say RAZR is outselling GNex among average folks. 

        Sure, maybe most of us true geeks would prefer the Samsung but then, we’re not in the majority.

        It’s like the MacBook Air. Every tech writer owns one, but I’ve seen very few in the general population. 

  • Mike Petty

    Uh, all three manufacturers POSTED A PROFIT.  How are they going out of business? Sure, they’d like to be more profitable, but they’re in a highly competitive industry and up against other industry titans; fluctuations are to be expected.

    But once again, they’re not likely to change if they’re being profitable.  You have no idea how much the carriers gave them or their margins on all those mid and low-end phones that the carriers asked them to build.  Percentage wise, they’re probably the higher profit phones and they can’t just pass up juicy margins like that.

    Bottom line:  You don’t know the specifics of their finance sheets and deals, and they’re all being PROFITABLE RIGHT NOW.  Why would they need business advice?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=777939147 Johnny Sprink Clausen

      I would hope the MAJOR phone companies would post a profit. HTC posted a profit DECLINE. That’s not a good sign. I think they’re getting lazy with their products. I mean, the Thunderbolt is just an Evo 4g, and the Rezound is just a Thunderbolt with a dual core processor and an HD screen and crappy earbuds. 

      • Mike Petty

        Lots of major companies don’t earn profits for lots of quarters.  Look at major TV manufacturers, auto manufacturers, console manufacturers, etc.

        My point was that Ron keeps talking about destruction and strategies killing companies and “I want to see Android manufacturers continue to be successful, but right now they’re on a path towards destruction.”

        When all 3 major manufacturers are profitable, and pieces of the profit pie just keep getting shifted around to whomever makes the latest sweet-spot device.  No one is dying here.  No need to prognosticate about how bad these companies are at business.  Everyone is making money.  This is good.  No one losing money and on the verge of going out of business.

        • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

          When profits continue to shrink, that’s a problem. Motorla’s had that problem for a while now and HTC may be on the verge of seeing continued profit decline. We’ll see what happens. 

          • Anonymous

            Thank god we have at least two people with a voice of reason on this site. I thought it had devolved completely into mindless drivel and rumor milling with no evidence whatsoever. Nice job guys.

  • Drazyw

    Didn’t know the RAZR was a terrible product. I own both the Nexus and RAZR and I think the RAZR is a far better phone in almost every way. A Large number of review sites online seem to agree.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10602828 Mike Hilal

      There is a pretty noticeable samsung bias here. Either way, the only thing Moto lacks is the unlocked bootloader.  

      • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

        It’s not a Samsung bias. I focused on the larger manufacturer. Moto needs more than an unlocked bootloader to do better. Regardless, it’ll be irrelevant once the purchase is complete. 

      • Anonymous

        There is no Samsung bias, there is a Nexus bias because people want “Google phones”, especially in places like DL.  Make no mistake if HTC or Moto made the Nexus it would have received even more hype and hysteria.

    • Anonymous

      You don’t own a Nexus.

    • http://profiles.google.com/skwon09 Seth Kwon

      you own nexus one?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POSZASKSAYXQBTWVCN4GXXNGEI Scott L

    Kinda wish, every manufacturer would be required to make one google experience device.  Google attempted to side step the carrier with the Nexus One, it was just poorly executed on Google’s part – if that had been a success maybe buying an Android device would be different today. 

    • Michael Forte

      I agree. Instead of just one Nexus device per year, how about every year each manufacturer releases their own Google experience device. It’s pretty sad when most normal people don’t even know what stock Android is. Or at least make the custom skins over Android uninstallable. We shouldn’t be forced to use a custom UI. I really hope some changes come, but I really doubt anything will. Each manufacturer wants to differentiate with their own take on Android, but all it does is make the update process that much harder. Here’s an idea…put stock Android and that’d be something different. ICS is so beautiful compared to older versions of stock Android that custom skins are no longer needed.

  • Anonymous

    Samsung – Use Gorilla Glass please…. my Galaxy Nexus cracked on a 4 ft. drop; my Droid X NEVER cracked and was beat to hell…

    Moto – Unlock that shizzz already LIKE YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO LAST YEAR.

    HTC – Keep fighting the good fight, perhaps make some sexier looking hardware???

    LG – …..Meh.

    • Binhlut9

      Gorilla glass is overrated i dropped my nexus several times on cement glass front and nothing
      …sometimes even wiyh gorilla glass it gets hit a certain way and it will crack

      • Anonymous

        Well, we all have an opinion.

      • Anonymous

        Both Gorilla Glass and the glass that Samsung used on the Nexus are scratch resistant and shatter resistant.  The glass in both cases, however, is inherently weak when concentrated force is applied to the edge.  That will cause the display to shatter.  So dropping the Nexus face down on concrete would be more likely to come away unbroken than if it were to land on the bezel and transfer the shock directly into the edge of the glass.  The design of the case plays just as much of a factor in the durability of the screen as the glass material itself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=777939147 Johnny Sprink Clausen

      Motorola should also either dump the custom UI or make it so it is useable. I had 4 Droid Xs and a Droid 2 because they were so buggy. And LG is getting so much better. The Nitro HD is actually a pretty damn nice phone. If their custom UI wasn’t so much of a touchwiz ripoff, they’d be considered one of the best. 

      • Anonymous

        I agree; Motorola’s Software SUCKS. I can’t stand the Droid X stock, rooted and romed though…… quite untouchable for it’s time when it debuted.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Cheng/1402836859 Ryan Cheng

          romed Motorolas are quite good. Their stock roms are dragging their company down

          • Anonymous

            Totally.

      • Anonymous

        That’s true of every Motorola device pre-RAZR. The skin on the RAZR is actually better than stock Gingerbread, and I never thought I would even think that about a Motorola device.

        • http://www.facebook.com/borgey401 Andrew Borges

          uhhhhh do you have a different Razr than the rest of  the world? because what i see is Motorola totally slaughtering Android as usual. thank god Verizon finally has a vanilla top tier device (nexus or not idc) because it was just getting insane with all these crap OEM UI’s.

          • Anonymous

            Have you spent any significant time with the RAZR, or are you simply saying it sucks because it’s not vanilla? I have hated on Blur (it was really, really awful back in the day; even recently), TouchWiz, and even Sense. I only would use vanilla Android until this device. Having used the RAZR, though, I have to say that the skin is actually an improvement over stock Gingerbread.

            What’s your experience with it? I’ve only used a handful of Android devices regularly (OG Droid with about a billion ROMs flashed on it, GTab, Archos A70HDD, Streak 7 stock and ROM’d) and tried another few briefly (Incredible, Thunderbolt, G2X, SGSII), and I have to say that the experience on the RAZR is the most polished I’ve seen. What are your issues with its software?

          • http://twitter.com/LAmDroid Steven.L

            arent the BLURs all the same across the board for Gingerbread updated Moto Devices from the DX/D2/D2G reflective of the devices that were released with Moto’s GingerBLUR already on it?

            Coming from an OG Droid experience, I absolutely hate. I wasnt much for swapping roms, I picked one I liked, and stuck with it. In my case it was stock unrooted for a yr, then Pete Alfonso’s Bugless Froyo.

            My hate with BLUR on the Droid3? (which should be the same Gingerbread as any Moto Gingerbread i think).
            -Account management isn’t as easy anymore, but it did become more colorful. Pretty does not equate practical.
            -Viewing multiple emails is a pain. I use to be able to hop between emails quickly, see which ones have new mail before I jump into it, or simply view ALL my emails as a combined box when there’s only 10 new emails spread across them that I want to see all at once.
            [edit: at this very moment, i just realized the “Messaging” App provides this, separate from the “Email” App. s.m.h, excessive redundancy]
            -Panorama is a nice feature that works quite well, but overall, the Camera software is really buggy.
            -Media Gallery is horrendous. I cant manage my photos and videos anymore. It’s either one huge archive of Camera generated photos & videos, Social network media, or an “everything” view. .. It even grabs pics of icons, backgrounds, etc pics from custom apps and throws it into the mix. YES, I drop a *nomeda file in there, but there seems to be a kink to it so that 19 of 20 times, the *nomedia wont work.
            -for w/e reason, my gmail/email/calendar doesnt sync unless I manually push it, so I never get push notifications anymore. That seems to be an isolated issue to myself tho, maybe I turned off a bloat that was integrated with the rest of the system.

            There are other gripes, & there are some improvements as well, like being able to categorize you App drawer that for some reason Stock doesnt have, but page by page horizontal app drawer is nasty, vertical scrolling app drawer is just more fluid. Customizable dock shortcuts is an improvement (i use alternate launchers anyway). & the Blue Skin? what’s w the Blue theme?? it’s an eyesore. the blue itself isnt bad, my preferred color is blue for most things but blue against a black device with whatever color your wallpaper or running app may be, it just becomes a mess off colors.

            I hate it. & just overall w the locked experience and verizon’s nagging bloatware, Im just fed up with my Droid3, despite Moto devices looking the sexiest to me. My next upgrade is in March 2013, and I dont kno what Im going to do. I may just settle for a yr+ old GNex as an “upgrade” since it’s highly doubtful vzw will get the next nexus.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know if the RAZR is running GingerBLUR, but I think it might be. That said, I actually like the little tweaks over stock Gingerbread. I ran BB, PE, CM, UD, and a slue of others on my OG Droid, and I have to say that the RAZR’s stock ROM is my favourite GB ROM thus far. The current blur-not-blur iteration is far less intrusive and smoother than anything else out there; as smooth as stock and with added tweaks. You really have to use it before you knock it (I know because I knocked it until I used it).

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marcelo-Burrieza/100000489847678 Marcelo Burrieza

          The question is if its better than ICS, not better than Gingerbread that came out in 2010… If they used stock android you could be running ICS now and not in 2 or 3 months if all the efforts were applied to maintain the phone updated and not to totally modify a UI that is not broken…

          I really like Moto hardware and at some point agree that “don’t call me blur” for RAZR is better than previous versions of Blur. Hope that the only decision than Google takes when taking over is require that new phones only use stock android + agree to support software for each phone for at least 2 years. This could skyrocket the sales for sure.

          • Anonymous

            That will really only be relevant when non-Nexus phones start coming out with ICS on them. If we have phones released with (non-buggy) ICS stock and the RAZR doesn’t have the update, then we can complain. If you absolutely must have the latest version of Android running on your device before anyone else, a Nexus device is the only real choice.

            I used to say that running stock would be the best choice (and it would be a differentiator, since hardly anyone is doing it), but the skin on the RAZR has really changed my mind. It honestly is an improvement to stock.

    • Anonymous

      Gorilla Glass is merely a brand name… the Galaxy Nexus does have reinforced glass… just not the one made by Corning.  Nothing is perfect, any of the brands of reinforced glass can, and will, break when dropped at the proper angle..

    • http://www.facebook.com/holysnikey Luke Bailey

      I have, regrettably, dropped my GN several times from 5 – 3 ft high onto hardwood floors and it has not a scratch or anything on its screen or even the body. The worst that happens is the battery pops out and the cover comes off sometimes. I’m pretty impressed with the glass since everyone was crying so much about it.

      • Anonymous

        All I can say is I am jealous of your GN’s build quality.  :D