Share this Story

Motorola Wants to Stay Close to Stock Android, Verizon and Other Carriers Want Skins

Once Google finally signed all the papers to acquire Motorola officially, we all had high hopes and dreams for what the company could accomplish with the owner of Android behind them. The new RAZR line is certainly a nice start, and Blur even got dumbed down a little bit, but people are still wondering “why didn’t they ship with stock Android now?” Speaking to reporters last night, a Motorola executive said there is one thing that stops them from pushing 100% stock:  carriers. 

Motorola Senior Vice President, Rick Osterloh had a few words about Motorola in general last night. Inevitably, the conversation lead to Google’s acquisition and the changes that it has brought. This was his answer on being asked about shipping devices with stock Android:

Going forward, we’re going to try to be as close to the base as we can be, because we think that’s the right thing for users. We think users also want fast upgrades and upgrades for their phones over the long haul, so we’re going to be focus on that as well. It’s a little bit different than what a lot of OEMs are doing and certainly what Motorola did in the past, but going forward that’s going to be our strategy.

It sounds like Moto has certainly seen the light on how stock Android can be useful as far as quick upgrades and troubleshooting goes. But Osterloh went on to say that the carriers aren’t exactly in love with that idea, saying that “our partners sometimes want customizations.”

Motorola arguably wouldn’t be in the position they are now without Verizon and the DROID brand, but it sounds like Verizon and other partners of Motorola have a lot more say in the software of devices than we thought they did. What do you think? Should Motorola fight to have stock Android on their phones? Or should their be at least a little customization from each manufacturer to differentiate Android devices?

Via: The Verge

  • jab416171

    I thought the original (unskinned) Droid was extremely popular (one of the most?) with Verizon.

  • Pat Hamilton

    I always hope that one day Google will announce that they have secretly been building a complete wireless network of their own.

  • guest

    When are you guys going to learn that most people like the variety of the manufacturers skins. Only the Google crazies like you believe that there is only one “pure” operating system. That it is better than every other option and that it can do no wrong. Well you guys and all the isheep. Personally I like the options of having multiple systems to choose from. I have liked HTC Sense, and I don’t mind Samsungs Touch wiz. I dont like the idea of every Android phone having the same software, its too boring. Besides if you want pure vanilla Android get a Nexus , or root.

  • wm snyder

    Carrier’s need to give OEM’S their specs so there is no need to test them!

  • wm snyder

    I understand to differentiate from others but the final choice should be the customer’s.! Customization should be built in for nonrooters too as well as building your own sense or blur by selecting options…. Imbed this in android so updates are quick

  • ranlil

    Just be like A**le. you don’t see carriers having their with them.

  • I wish they would just let them theme and develop device specific apps. It would be great if Motorola for instance could just do some visual tweaks to differentiate to average customers and then repurpose the time spent on Blur to develop some awesome apps that could enhance your phone. These apps could then be sold on Play as free for Moto users but $.99 for others or something along those lines.

  • I think they should make a Note fighting Razr Nexus Maxx Fablet…Yes I know I spelled fablet wrong……And it should be called exactly how I just called it….

    • Justin Swanson

      I think the Koreans might disagree with Fablet… it is hugely successful across the pond.

      • If they can name a phone “Butterfly” (HTC is Korean right?) I’m sure they can call a phone “Fablet”

        • Justin Swanson

          FWIW, HTC is Chinese.

          • Kami3k

            Lol fool.

  • frankandsimple

    The problem is in this unholy nexus between carriers and phones that are tied to networks.. All OEMs should make their phones unlocked and sell it directly to the consumers… This is how it happens in most parts of the world.. and then you’ll see carriers stumbling over themselves to woo OEMs to make their phones compatible with their network.

    • wm snyder

      Amen amen amen this person has a head on their shoulders! It is what needs to be done. But how? That is the $271.5 billion dollar question! And to Futher your statement carrier’s would be competing for your business… And OEM, s would be trying to have the latest greatest tech to get you to buy theirs reasonable priced as well.

  • One of the main reasons iphone didn’t come to verizon sooner was because of apple’s refusal to allow verizon to mess with their “sacred” OS. if apple can do it, and nexus devices already exist, i feel like it shouldn’t be a problem to have more devices sans verizon bs.

  • DainLaguna

    i like the idea of being able to choose stock or not…but i still think skinned phones still have their place in this world…if everything is stock, it makes nexus devices seem a tad less appealing.
    id rather push for a nexus branded device on every major carrier that gets iphonesque upgrade treatment.

  • Ralph W

    I believe that the UI look, icons, etc shouldn’t be changed on Android phones. If OEMs were to just add extra features on their phones, such as customization settings and stuff like notification toggles, That’ll be nice

    • DemoManMLS

      I totally disagree with you. I should be able to customize my device that I own the way I want it which includes the UI look, icons, etc. Last time I checked its MY device. If you want to stick with whatever UI look they give you that’s your choice. As for me I like my device my way not the typical stock default way.

  • ryanallaire

    I think that users should have a choice to be stock or not, plain and simple…

  • The only way we’re going to get the Carriers to stop is for everyone to stand up to them. That means manufacturers and customers alike.
    Skins and apps should be an aftermarket thing if customers want them, not thrust upon us.

  • bmclamb_nc

    Why not just give the customer the option of reverting to a “more stock” version of Android after they make the purchase from the carrier? If you want all the customizations fine, if not fine.

  • desiman26

    Definitely Google and the OEM’s need to stand up to the carriers. Unfortunately I feel Google don’t have the same power as Apple has with it’s iPhone. The carriers know that people want the iPhone and would do anything to get it (We saw that when it was exclusively on AT&T). Google doesn’t have a phone like that. Maybe the GS3, but I don’t know if its at the same brand level. (By the way, I own a Galaxy Nexus, rooted and all. It was one of the best decisions I ever made).

  • Knlegend1

    On one hand I completely agree with the carriers because essentially it becomes like Windows and every phone is the same. But Motorola can become the standard as to what “android” is supposed to be and not some overhaul mess like touchwiz. I don’t think its too bad if it actually enhances the software. The updates now that’s another story and with that I’m behind Motorola 100%. I’m still not going to buy another Razr again HD/Maxx. Nexus for me.

    • bananatroll

      Yeah. The maxx hd is tempting… But with all the rumors flying around, we may see a motonexus of some sort by jan-feb or at the worst next xmas. Imma moto guy, so i’ll hold on to my razr till i see “it” come along lol.

      • Knlegend1

        I’m a moto guy myself but its time for a change.

  • ehuber

    Seriously! Google needs to shove it up Verizon’s butt and any other carrier that “requires” customized skins and only ship stock android A) because of less bugs and B) because of upgrades

  • NotRelevent

    If this was true (which I don’t think it is) then Verizon would’ve balked at stock ICS on the Galaxy Nexus, which they obviously didn’t since they are selling it. Once again more lies from Motorola.

    • jaxxmjd

      They did balk at the GNex. How many ads from Verizon did you see encouraging GNex sales? They were already too committed to bail completely, but I think they would’ve if they could’ve.

    • Verizon treated the Galaxy Nexus like a red-headed stepchild.

  • edmund75

    Stock all the way. There’s so much customization that you can do with stock.

  • bananatroll

    If Motorola simply stated “no more phone to Verizon until they say YES to Vanilla Android when we want it” this situation would change faster than a to go order at Little ceasars. No more motorola phones? yeah they would bend over for that request.

    • Knlegend1

      Oh they wouldn’t know what to do, because they pass on every great phone trying to keep the Razr devices the premium choices. Motorola should make them their bitches!!!

  • Prime7

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Until then, I’ll just be jumping from Nexus to Nexus.

  • jaymonster

    I really don’t have much issue with skins (bloatware is a whole other story) to “differentiate” the phone, so long as it stays close enough to stock that the upgrades can be done quickly after the new release. There is no reason that a “skin” has to be so deeply integrated that it takes six months (or more) to write the upgrade because the customizations need to be rewritten again for the new version.

  • Michael Lewis

    This is super news. I hope that more comapnies realize that skins should have nothing to do with updates and upgrades.

  • lgreg64

    Moto should just add a lot of widgets to give the look of custom.

  • Manny

    That’s all BS..If it wasn’t for The OG Droid and It’s stock android Verizon and Moto would be nowhere near the companies that they are today?

    • Bob G

      It is not, as you say, B.S.

      Think about it. Back then the OG Droid was the ONLY Android phone out there, so there was no need for differentiation demanded by the carrier. Once more than one Android phone hit the market on a wide and popular scale, Blur was demanded by Verizon and so began the skinning wars.

      • Stoker

        Nah. There were a good number of Android phones. They all just blew compared to the D1. Android was up to 2.x by the time of the D1, IIRC.