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Motorola Plans to Release Fewer Phones This Year, the World Says “Thank You”

At a round table discussion with reporters at CES yesterday, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha mentioned that his company plans to release fewer devices this year than it did in 2011. Their focus will be on “marketing dollars” and trying to make more devices “stick.”

All I have to say to that is, “Thank you!” While we love to cover a constant flow of devices as media, we also realize that Moto’s flooding of the market was a little much, this year. Jha echoed that thought, saying “A lot of products that are roughly the same doesn’t drive the market to a new place.” This is coming from the company that released the DROID 3, Bionic, RAZR (in 3 colors over 3 months), RAZR MAXX, DROID 4 and two XYBOARD tablets over a 6 month period.

In 2012, we know that we will see phones from Moto with Intel’s Atom processor, but other than that, most of their roadmap is a mystery. One thing that will be interesting to watch, is how quickly they can close their merger with Google and how that affects their product line.

Via:  AllThingsD

  • Just make the Droid 5 a Nexus phone. And NO PENTILE. {{-_-}}

  • Anonymous

    Motorola had to release more phones than normal in 2011 to fix the problems that they released mid year.  Droid X2, Bionic, Droid 3 were terrible.  Their feature sets were wrong, their screens were terrible, they had to be replaced.

  • Anonymous

    Motorola should have skipped the MAXX and brought the XT917 or XT928 over instead. Would have been a lot better seller. I’m still holding out for the D4, especially since they confirmed global capabilities.

  • Kat Selezneva

    2011 results for the mobile development world http://k-selezneva.blogspot.com/2012/01/2011-results-for-mobile-development.html

  • Good, that means less MotoBlur will be out there making people puke. 

  • burpootus

    Just say no to locked bootloaders on Android devices.

  • Anonymous

    I call bull s•it. I’ve already heard of at least 3 new moto phones and January isn’t even over.

  • Anonymous

    Did anyone there ask Motorola about their promise for unlocked bootloaders?

  • tlspatt

    wait, so does that mean no Droid 4 MAXX in February?  no Droid RAZR 2 in March in magenta?  no Droid 5 on April 1st?   seriously?  

  • Joshua

    Too little too late….Motorola would rather pump out a new phone faster than the Octomom rather than support their current phones with fixes. I for one will NEVER BUY ANOTHER MOTO PRODUCT EVER AGAIN….i’m not the only one that feels this way. Its sad that my iPhone 3GS two years after it was released was worth $174 used and I only paid $199 for it while my Droid Razr is now worth less than $150, half of what I paid just two months ago….never again!!!!

  • A lot of phone manufactures need to take that step back and make a more solid product! Too many phones, way too fast resulting in a lot of OTA updates! This is the start of something good!

  • Anyone know how to update the Baseband to i1515.10 ?   When I called Verizon to complain about poor signal, they told me there had been an update, that my baseband should read i515.10 not i515.09, and that if it hadn’t taken on my Galaxy Nexus, I should go into a Verizon store so they could force the update.  That it would improve the signal.  I can’t find any info anywhere, and wonder if it’s because the phone is rooted.

  • You know, if they can “support” and “update” all those devices in a timely manner for at least 2 years, some of us would be happy to see they release new products in a more rapid cycle. But clearly, they couldn’t. So, this is a good news for both us and Moto.

  • Anonymous

    To late Motomanyrola. You left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • This is the only smart thing to come out of Motorola since the first Droid. Wait I take that back, actually differentiating their HARDWARE with the introduction of the Razor MAXX and its phat battery that people have been pleading for was also smart, too bad they still f’ed up the software. And too bad they are the only manufacturer to so far release a decent sized battery in a modern smartphone. You have to wonder how in the hell these CEO’s can be so incredibly blind and keep producing junk handset after junk handset with nothing hardware wise really significantly different, and yet they insist totally junking up the software is the only way they can differentiate. wtf.

  • Seannyboy39

    Finally Motorola gets some Sucking fense into their damn heads. Cheers you Rucking fetards.

  • Eddie

    I also would like to say thank you.  Ideally, Samsung, HTC, LG would also say do the same.  And even more ideally Apple will just go away.

    • samsung already does this , htc is as horrible as moto is

  • CaptainHowdy13

    Thank god, nothing has alienated me more than seeing a new “better” phone every 2 weeks.

  • Anonymous

    Fewer phones would be great, fewer phones that suck would be even better. 

  • um yeah, over 10+ devices in a year is kind of insane.  i love their products but i only have so much money. and i’d rather them put more development into faster updates to the latest version of android.  Also advertising would be great too to shut all those apple fanboys up.

    • Anonymous

      Can’t agree more!

  • Disbelieving

    And what he says this year will happen right after what he said last year happens, right?  Unlocked phones and then fewer phones.  

  • Anonymous

    Wow, in two hours, motorola read my comments from a previous page and woke up!  Hey Moto, can I sit on your management team and help you become an educated company regarding the consumer base?

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t mind all those devices if 95% of them didn’t suck.

  • RW-1

    You mean Jha can’t come up with any more designs to re-hash this year… Old big ears lost out.

    • Anonymous

      Seems the guy can’t catch a break.  How many people have been complaining that their phone becomes obsolete in a few months, and when he finally addresses it, he gets slammed?  At least they’re going to make an effort to give their phones more value.

  • Sounds good to me!   The less locked bootloader phones out the better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bionic

    Does not really matter to me because Im one of those rare people that actually hang on to my phone the entire 20 month cycle.  So im not looking for a new phone until 2013.

    • Anonymous

      I’m the same way.  I bought a Droid X last January and await my upgrade this August.  Despite the constant Motorola bashing that goes on here, it’s been a great phone.  Am I committed to Moto for my next purchase?  Of course not.  I plan on buying the phone that fits my needs best, no matter who makes it.

  • Anonymous

    Translation: The best stuff is already delayed until next year. 😛

  • Anthony Vella

    Fewer phones means 1 every 4 months instead of every 3 months…

  • Mark

    Fewer phones = less choice. Not good for consumers.

    No one is forcing you to buy the newest thing the first day it comes out.

    Also, you can’t count different colors as different phone releases. However, the RAZR variations should have come out at the same time, instead of spread over 3 months. They obviously had them in the pipeline.

    • Xfloggingkylex

      And the droid x2 and droid 3 should never have existed… 4G was already out but they had to hold out for their beloved Bionic.  Offering you fractional upgrades isn’t a good business model because it costs money to R&D as well as make updates for phones like the x2 that no one is using.

      They aren’t going to switch to 1 phone a year, I would expect 6-9 a year released in sets of 3.  There will be a keyboard phone (Droid 4), a non keyboard phone (Droid x3) and then a more specialty phone like the Razr for people who want slim phones.  Then release sets of those phones twice or 3 times a year, staggered by a month if you really want.  Make them run similar specs so you can do upgrades all at once.

    • Anonymous

      I have to disagree!  This will be good for the consumer, as they will no longer be confused with 5 different motorola models sitting side-by-side.  1 every six months is enough for the general consumer.  Not everyone is on Droid-Life, plus our contracts (at least mine) doesn’t expire until July 2013 now. (razr)

    • Anonymous

      Yes… not good for consumers… blah blah blah… insert more hyperbole about competition.  Here’s some rhetoric about choice.  Blah blah blah.

      Hey, how did GM do with all kinds of brand names, selling virtually the same car with minor tweaks under different names and tags in addition to several luxury brands?  I bet the consumer loved them, and chose them over Toyota’s simple base/luxury branding… right?

    • Jeff Metzger

      This is clearly a win for consumers. Apple releases one phone a year and they seem to be doing okay. I’m not saying they need to go that extreme, but focusing on quality not quantity is a clear recipe for success. There is always going to be choice, but do we really need another Droid phone right now? Is the Droid 5 out yet?

    • Mark

      I understand all of your frustrations and your points, however, they are all based on the assumption fewer phones will make better quality. There is no evidence for that from Moto. It WILL make for less confusion, and less frustration. I just don’t agree that this is a great thing for consumers. Ever take a look at the rapidity of laptop upgrades? The second one is on the shelf, it’s already out of date. That doesn’t stop me from shopping around and getting the best deal available at the moment. Choice is always better… unless you’re in the iCult.

      Believe me, I understand the frustration. I bought a RAZR last week, and specifically asked about the RAZR MAXX, since I would have been happy to wait for it if they knew when release date would be. I love my RAZR, except for having to conserve the battery. Even if they won’t allow me to exchange it, I will still enjoy it.

      @BulletTooth_Tony – the GM comparison doesn’t hold water. They became the biggest in the world for most of a century using that method… and yes, Toyota does exactly the same thing.

      • Anonymous

        ok…. here’s some history.  GM became the biggest in the world not using that method… GM, at its heart, is only Buick.  Everything else was an acquisition in one way or another.  At first, that was Cadillac, Pontiac (then called Oakland), Reliance Trucks… After their CEO was forced out early on, he co-founded Chevrolet… and then Chevrolet bought GM.  And of course, the foreign brands they own(ed) weren’t founded by them.  What they did… was consolidate the industry and take advantage of economies of scale… kinda like what AT&T tried to do that was so “bad” for the consumer….. because choice and competition aren’t exclusive to cheaper prices and good products and services.

        And no, Toyota does not do this.  They have Toyota as their base model car, and they have Lexus as their luxury brand.  Scion is a totally different brand that stands alone for entirely different purposes, like Saturn was supposed to do before it fell into the fold at GM.  And Hino Motors is their heavy trucking company.

        • Mark

          Hi Tony. Since we don’t know each other, you had no idea I’m from Flint, MI, and
          am WELL informed on the entire history of the automotive industry, since
          I grew up in it. While you are correct on many historical points,
          what you miss is that for the vast majority of GM’s history, yes, all of
          the offerings have been practically rebadges (that is simplistic of
          course). That in itself allowed GM to lower costs and offer many more
          options to the customer, which (after all of the acquisitions over the
          years) directly allowed them to blow up into such a gigantic
          corporation. Toyota is in essence doing the same thing, by
          building practically all cars on the same platforms and rebadging them,
          lowering costs and offering more options to the customer (but isn’t hampered by multiple makes). It would be
          ridiculously simplistic to say this is the only issue that has caused
          problems for both companies.

          However, that is not the same thing that MOTO is doing, other than evolving
          more or less the same technology for all of their phones. Offering
          different colors is not a new release. A bigger battery on the RAZR
          should have been an option from day one though (although it may have
          been an afterthought).

  • Bionic

    This will be a good thing.  Once google officially takes over moto will probably put out a top tier phone every quarter with an additional “second tier” phone or two every quarter as well.   So we’re talking 4-5 top end phones per year.  

    My guess would be this:

    Droid 5,6,7 etc… (keyboard slider)
    Razr line 
    Bionic 2?

    • Anonymous

      Why a bionic line?  What does that smartphone do, that wasn’t made up by the razr?

      • i can imagine them slapping this one together, droid razr bionic

      • i can imagine them slapping this one together, droid razr bionic

    • BionicCommando4231

      I think Moto has been one of the best in terms of building a brand identity. If you say Droid 5, you already know what to expect the phone to be, some large screen, quad-core slider. Razr, same thing.

      HTC and Samsung have no consistancy other than the Galaxy lines, and maybe the Incredible and Evo. Instead they just bombard the market with tons of mid-quality, slightly diff phones with increasingly stupid names, and then little chance for support some time after release.

      I think android would benefit from at least one maker following a different model, something a bit more like crapple *gag*.

      IE, limited hardware versions, but high build quality and sofeware refinement with consistanct branding and more solid post-purchase support. Moto the is most like this, just sorta half-assed at it.

      • how does samsung bombard the market? just curious, their flagship galaxy s phones only come out once a year, give or take a little. and the only difference each have is a slight color difference maybe per carrier. we are not talking about their crappy phones they put out for those who have a budget and want a android phone and do not care about specs. moto and htc put out tons of phones a year that they call flagship. there is a difference, and a reason why the gs2 is getting old yet is still preferred over most newer phones 

  • You forgot the DroidX2, which was basically the same as the Bionic and Razr just without 4g

    • Anon

      Significantly different, actually. X2=Tegra2, Bionic/Razr=TI OMAP.

  • Less phones this year? Right. Is that why they stated off the year releasing about 5 devices?

  • faber

    I hope first thing google does is throw sanj right out the door.

  • Guest

    Doesn’t matter how many phones you release if none of them are unlocked

    • Bionic

      once google officially takes over im betting they will be unlocked

      • why would Google be taking over Moto? They bought Moto Mobility for the main reason of patents and said they will have no more influence over MM then before they bought em.

        • Bionic

          LOL, thats what they WANT you to think.  Come on, if you own a manufacturer of android phones, you wouldnt have some say in what goes on?  I sure as hell would.  

          • Anonymous

            We would all want that (and benefit from it for sure), but I think it would seriously deter their relationships with their current OEMs. Google needs their big three (HTC, Moto and Sammy).

            From a global perspective this amplifies. Motorola only gives Google a US dominant presence, let alone one carrier (VZW for the most part). Sammy’s a world beater right now (sales wise) – the last thing Google would want is for Samsung to sell more windows mobile phones. And HTC isn’t doing so well right now (but will improve as many think they will be the first GPL compliant Android OEM).

            However, I’m sure there will be (or already are) some Moto dev devices floating around Mountain View’s campus (for dev reference, testing, etc)

          • Anonymous

            I think they will eventually have, too. Why? (Ok, laugh if you will but) because of the coming of Windows phone 7.5 (aka Mango). 

            I don’t think it’s a stretch. Samsung already announced that they are willing to work with Microsoft and release Mango phones in the future. HTC has never fully committed as well. 

            Guess who have put their eggs all in the Android basket? Yup, Motorola.

        • Pigskinfan67

          You guys are thinking way too narrowly with this Google takeover of Moto. Moto is the worlds largest manufacturer of cable boxes. I believe that this is less about android & more about GTV

      • Anonymous

        keep dreaming pal

        • Bionic

          why is that such a dream?  Google phones dont have locked bootloaders.  So if you own moto, why lock them?

          • Anonymous

            As said multiple times, Google will not dip their hands into the design of Motorola phones.

          • Lgreg64

            design and unlocked are two different things. they can say unlock them an not say anything about the design 

          • Motorola is going after enterprisr and that is the reason it will stay locked

          • Sk102704

            Not right away but it will happen.  The #1 most profitable company in the US is Apple which is able to make such high profits because they control the software and the hardware of their devices.

          • Anonymous

            Because you don’t know, as well as anyone else’s what their business strategy is. Keep in mind, both Motorola and Google will operate as separate entity. 

            It won’t look good to other OEM’s if their strategy is to favor just Motorola. I like the idea of companies bidding for the next Nexus phone, it could be Motorola, HTC, Samsung or for all I know LG. 

            The point is until a firm business strategy is in place for the acquisition of Motorola Mobility,  I wouldn’t count on this happening any time soon. 

    • Anonymous

      I love how you techies keep worrying about unlocks.  The normal consumer doesn’t give a farce about locks.

      • EC8CH

        and techies don’t give a farce about what normal customers don’t give farces for.

      • PC_Tool

        “you techies”

        …says the guy posting on Droid-Life.  😉

        We don’t give a farce about normal customers.  Welcome to Droid-Life.

      • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

         I don’t know about everyone else but all of my friends ask ME when they go out to get a new phone and you can bet what they hear from me is don’t go with Motorola. Then they spread it to their friends. Techies are important when it comes to advertising. Why do you think the OG Droid was so popular?

        • TC Infantino

          Yep, that is basically what I said in my email to Matt at Motorola.  They promised us unlocked bootloaders and have not come through.  I mentioned to him that Moto is alienating their Tech Geek fanbase (of which I am one), and that even though we represent only a small percentage of the consumer base, we are the ones that alot of people come to when looking for information about tech, like smartphones.  If Moto won’t unlock their phones then alot of us will probably steer our friends to other manufacturers phones when they seek our advise.

        • Anonymous

          Im the counter to that. All my friends ask ME when they go out what phone to get and I always tell them Motorola. The only people I know that even know what a bootloader is…..are the ones *I* had to explain it to. Even after the fact they still dont care. 

          One of my coworkers needed a new phone after breaking his i*hone 4, now has a fully unlocked Atrix 1 thanks to me. His Apple buddies screamed bloody murder and tried to fill his head with nonsense. The first question he asked me the day after I suggested the Atrix was “whats this motoblur, I heard its not good”. After 2 hours of breaking it down barney style explaining Android, skins, bootloaders and rooting he agreed to get the Atrix. He’s happy with his bootloader unlocked, rooted stock ROM Atrix running GO Launcher(my suggestion). 

          Another coworker is about to throw his Epic “4G” out the window. Mainly because of its worse than Thunderbolt class battery life and never getting more than 2 bars of horribly slow 3G(0.49Mbps average) service. I pointed him to the D4 and unlocked his bootloader and ROM’d it as a stop gap measure until the D4 comes out. How much does he hate his Samsung? Enough to cancel his contract with Sprint and sign with Big Red to get a LTE slider that can last longer than 4 hours on a full charge. Like $350 ETF+$299 new 2 year contract is perfectly cool type hate. 

          For the vast majority out there, Motorola makes a phone for their needs. 

          Want dual core with LTE and good battery life(extended battery)? Bionic.
          Want stupid thin? RAZR.
          Want stupid thin with stupid amounts of battery life? RAZR MAXX.
          Want the RAZR with a keyboard? DROID 4.
          Want dual core, HSPA+ and unlockable bootloader and i*hone 4 quality camera? Atrix. Want that on Sprint? Photon.

          Want a dual core, 4.5″ 720p HD screen, LTE, “what good is zero lag shutter when all the pictures suck?” 13mp camera beast of a phone? See you in April DROID X3. 

  • Bob Martin

    why buy the 13 mp? motorola phone when the 20 mp motorola phone will be announced a week later?

  • Dbs

    I just want the china version of the razr. It should have been the razr Max.

  • fewer phones = better quality on whatever they release. seems like they try too hard to hit every type of user instead of focusing on one or two devices and improve on it.  how many phones did motorola release within the last two years? fifty or so?

    • Anonymous


  • double

  • I just wanted the Razr Maxx HD with the 4.5″ 720p screen… oh the rumored 13mp camera I’ll take and the new fat daddio battery too!

    • Eazy

      I would maybe have gotten this specd phone over the nexus…maybe

      • I was waiting for the Maxx to be this… since its not I think I will plunk down for some Gnexus lovin… either that or go from Droid X1 to X3 this summer.. i am ready, just for some reason am not totally in love with Gnex 🙁

      • Spencer Shadley

        The Nexus isn’t superior because of hardware, it’s because of software. This has, and always will be, true for the Nexus line.

        • Anonymous

          I think the Nexus One was an exception to that. It pushed us all to the 1GHz processor realm sooner than any body would have imagined. And of course, the OLED display, and the dual-microphones for noise cancelling. 

          And I think, that’s where all the disappointments for the Nexus S and even the Galaxy Nexus could be traced from.

          • I agree, but I also think that at some point, the increase in specs is bound to plateau, at least for a while…and I think that’s what we’ve seen happen. There are better specs dribbling out now, and they will continue to get better, but there isn’t necessarily going to be the technology to make a big jump like that with every Nexus.

    • The Maxx only has an increase of the battery size 3300mAh for 21 hours of talk time, 16GB to 32GB storage and it’s thicker.

      The RAZR Maxx with 21 hours of talk time is still thinner (8.99mm) then the iphone 4s 8 hr talk time.

  • Anonymous

    no more phone just unlocked and better cams and less blur

  • Swood1973

    one moto phone per year is too many

    • Edwin M

      That is until they unlock their bootloaders for US VZW customers. My rezound is unlocked so what’s their excuse? I think one iteration of the Milestone and Razr per year would be sufficient.

  • I heard the Nexus tablet is x86 Samsung, but that was before CES.

    • Anonymous

      Intel Inside? Now that would be very interesting

      • Anonymous

        Or AMD Fusion perhaps?

        • I dont want intel in my tablet at all

          • Anonymous

            It depends on what they do – right now I agree with you. But Intel is still the largest chip manufacturer on the planet, even though they haven’t penetrated the mobile market yet.

            Give them a chance, it could lead to a nice business opportunity for both them and Google.

          • Past tends to repeat itself and i would much rather they use a chip maker that had a proven track record rather than use intel that hasnt proven anything in mobile

          • Anonymous

            can’t argue with that. Although it might be a good idea to have Intel in your corner anyway, considering ARM is the mobile leader right now, Apple dictates ARM based processors, and with Microsoft lurching in the dark corner ready to pounce into the tablet market it could be an opportunity for GoogleMoto Mobility to work closely on optimizing Android for Intel – technical + business related.

            Of course they could do the same thing with AMD, but I think Google’s announcement of the Intel partnership was done for a reason and with the recent Nexus tablet rumor I’m simply putting 2 and 2 together.

            Time will tell – Google I/O should be interesting to say the least

          • I agree

      • Yep. Obviously with Moto’s Intel partnership, the Samsung thing is looking unlikely. But I think it’ll be x86, yes.

    • i wouldn’t be surprised, samsung and intel sent a joined invite to engadget for mwc

  • Thank you, Sanjay Jha.

  • Anonymous

    First Googorola device to be the Nexus Tablet? Wouldn’t that be sweet?!

    • Jeff Metzger

      Not if it’s $700, dual core and looks like something I made in 3rd grade art class.

    • nope, if i want a tablet itd better be running on a tegra 3 or the next exynos

    • the xoom should’ve been priced originally at $299 or $399. i’m glad the kindle fire is driving prices down.

    • the xoom should’ve been priced originally at $299 or $399. i’m glad the kindle fire is driving prices down.

  • fartbubbler

    as long as a couple of those fewer phones are unlocked…

  • Anonymous

    Motorola Plans to Release fewer phones this year The World Says “We’ll See”