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Google CEO Discusses Android, Apple, and a Motorola Nexus Device During Interview

We don’t see Larry Page, the Google CEO as much as we would like. He seems like a great guy, but he is rather shy when it comes to the media. I suppose we are far too accustomed to Eric Schmidt and all of the fantastic one liners he dishes out from time-to-time on the competition.

In a recent interview with Fortune, Larry Page was asked a plethora of questions that we as Android users and heavy Google users would find interesting. Everything from Google’s self-driving cars, a possible Motorola Nexus device, and the bets they have made with “Google X.” 

Below, we will cherry pick a few of the questions and his replies.

When you’re thinking about the next bet you’re going to make, how do you pick? 

That’s something we’ve been thinking about a lot. Unfortunately, there’s not a perfect science to that. Partly I feel that Google is in uncharted territory in the sense that I don’t think there’s an example from history I can take and say: “Why don’t we just do that?” We’re at a pretty big scale. We’re doing a lot of different things. We want to be a different kind of company.

You look at self-driving cars. You know a lot of people die, and there’s a lot of wasted labor. The better transportation you have, the more choice in jobs. And that’s social good. That’s probably an economic good. I like it when we’re picking problems like that: big things where technology can have a really big impact.

If we have automated cars, or even if we have some fraction of automated cars, we’ll save hundreds of millions of dollars on parking, just at Google. When you think about your experience, the car can drop you at the front door to the building you work at and then it goes and parks itself. Whenever you need it, your phone notices that you’re walking out of the building, and your car’s there immediately by the time you get downstairs.

I don’t know if this is unique at this time in this industry, but there are companies that are clearly competing with each other [Google, Apple, and Amazon], with completely different business models. 

I actually view that as a shame when you think about it that way. All the big technology companies are big because they did something great. I’d like to see more cooperation on the user side. The Internet was made in universities and it was designed to interoperate. And as we’ve commercialized it, we’ve added more of an island-like approach to it, which I think is a somewhat a shame for users.

So in light of that, Apple’s still a partner. It’s a competitor. You and Steve Jobs were friendly.
At times.

At times. You said that whole thing about Android and them being angry about it, that it was for show. 
I didn’t say that entirely. I said partly.

[Apple did it] partly for show, to get the troops to rally.
By the way, that’s something I try not to do. I don’t like to rally my company in that way because I think that if you’re looking at somebody else, you’re looking at what they do now, and that’s not how again you stay two or three steps ahead.

For a long time, Google was organized on a 70-20-10 model, with 70 percent of effort going to search and ads, 20 to apps, [and 10 to completely new projects]. Does that still apply?
Yeah. We still think about that. I think we’re in a bit of a unique point in the history of Google, where we have a number of things that are kind of in the 20 on the way to the 70. So where would you put Android? It’s probably in the 70 in terms of impact — the monetization is at an early stage.

What [else is] in the 20? 
It’s question of how you really measure it. I don’t think about exactly what we put in the 20, so I can’t come up with an example offhand.

There are some great products out of Motorola, but none of them are your signature Nexus line. Will you partner with Motorola for these sort of signature devices? How will you decide when to partner with them? And despite all your assurances to the other [Android] partners that you’re going to be neutral, aren’t they going to freak out [when you build a Motorola Nexus]?

First of all, I don’t think there’s any physical way we could have released a Nexus Motorola device in that sense. I mean, we haven’t owned the company long enough.

How will you decide when to do a Motorola Nexus device, and what do you tell Samsung and LG? 

I think there’s a lot of complexity in that question. Maybe I’ll talk more generally about that area. The right way to think about it is how do we get amazing products into users’ hands in the most cost-effective, highest quality way possible and to the most people. That’s what we do as a business, and that’s what we’ve done with Android.

Part of the reason why we’ve done Nexus devices in the past is that we want to build an amazing device that kind of showcases what’s possible on Android, gives a way for the programmers to get early builds, does a whole bunch of things that are important. Exactly what we do, which devices we do, what the timing is, how we release the software with them, all those things have been changing.

Every day we kind of evaluate how do we help our partners out the right way, how do we produce amazing innovative devices, and how do we get those out, and how do we get that innovation into the ecosystem and into the hands of as many people as possible, and how do we keep our partners happy. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that so far.

If you like what you read, you should go check out the full interview by following the via.

Via: Fortune

Cheers Jason!

  • Sporttster

    Is this the guy that sounds like Fozzy Bear when he speaks??

  • Question 2 where Larry talks about how the Internet was meant to work together was kinda a direct jab at Apple!

  • DrewNusser

    I’m waiting on the Nexus laptop hybrid announcement.

  • Androidfan 4 life

    i wood love to see a motorola droid nexus that wood be a phone to have cause moto makes good phone and google make the best os systems in the world

    • Jwhap

      You want to see a wood Motorola nexus???? That is a first!

      • Abgar Musayelyan

        would feel nice in hand if the finish is done correctly.

  • r0lct

    I think reading into that Moto answer we’re going to see more Nexus devices. Whether they move to a 6 month cycle or do simultaneous releases (Nexus 4 and 5).

  • Stevedub40

    It’s good to see that there are guys like Larry out there. Say what you want about Google, they at least focus on the consumer and bringing value to their products. Every time I hear about Jobs I think about how childish he acted. You can definitely tell where apple’s priorities are when it comes to their consumers, which for the life of me just don’t understand why people support them.

  • Black Roger


  • Scott

    They should have asked “When will Google/Android stand up to the carriers? Google Wallet is blocked on a Nexus phone for crying out loud. Big Red sits on updates for months on end. I could go on and on.

  • Jorbo the Borb

    what a dodge on the motorola question… otherwise it was nice to see Larry’s thoughts.

    • Trueblue711

      Yup, typical CEO/politician answer to that question!

    • Jorbo the Borb

      oops… motorola nexus* question

    • Ibrick

      Eh.. if you read between the lines he’s bascially saying, it’ll come, they haven’t owned the company long enough to have anything concrete, and they need to do it without alienating the other manufacturers.

      • Greyhame

        When I read between those lines, I read it as Moto not being very cost effective at bringing the latest hardware to bear at the lowest prices.. at least not as cost effective as companies who can make their own screens/camera sensors for their phones. In that regard, I think we may either have a wait on our hands for a Moto nexus, or it will be more expensive than previous nexus devices.

        • bitpimpin

          Yeah that’s what I saw it as too…

  • JoshGroff

    Motorola and software* Their hardware is solid (although admittedly the RAZR HD was a disappointment on the hardware side,) radios are top notch, and their phones are well built and don’t feel cheaply made like some other companies.

    • *Some* of the hardware. Build quality is great, no doubt about that. Software, screens and cameras is where I have serious issues with Moto. I’d love a good quality Moto Nexus as much as the next guy, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • JoshGroff

        I agree, I actually ended up selling my Bionic because of the camera, then again, I now have a G-Nex, which is sadly just as bad. The screen isn’t really something that bothers me, and they do tend to read better outside for some reason. Now, if they would bump up those 2 specs and pop out a Nexus, I’d be quite interested in it.

      • TheDrunkenClam

        You’re so right. People always want to stand up for Motorola’s build quality but neglect to mention the fact that, let’s face it, their displays are absolute garbage. They always look dull and washed out. And the cameras suck too. It’s more than just a software problem with this golden child, people.

        • michael arazan

          They need to either up their technology or outsource better technology that is cost effective. I’d bet Samsung would be more than happy to give them better screens at an affordable price, and pee in apple’s pool by upcharging them while giving it cheaper to others.

          A motorola Nexus would be a very popular phone, I’d gladly pay $600 for it outright if they could manage somewhere between good and great specs.

      • kg215

        Another +1, Motorola build quality and reception are always at the top but the rest of the devices that they make are always disappointing, even the razr hd/maxx hd. I agree with your complaints of software/screen/camera and add mediocre cpu/gpu (motorola is always behind on these) and unimpressive design. The kevlar/nano coating is awesome, but put it around a phone that looks good.

        • Abgar Musayelyan

          they’re not always behind on processor / gpu tech. original droid had best processor in its time, atrix was the first with dual core and 1 gig of ram, bionic was the first phone to have lte and a dual core. and even if they’re not top of the line on release date, they’re usually good enough. unfortunately, this isn’t the case when it comes to camera and screen tech. in that regard, you’re absolutely right.

    • cooksta32676

      The new RAZR line feels like every other plastic phone out there regardless of the actual materials. Radios barely edge out other OEM. Not enough to warrant buying one based on radio strength. Just my opinion….

      • JoshGroff

        Well, I work in a building with thick concrete walls, so even a slight edge in quality is noticeable since it’s usually the difference between 1 bar and no service.

      • Tony Allen

        Well being a GNex owner, and having had a Bionic in the past. The overall experience and lack of AOSP support due to the encrypted bootloader were the only thing that kept me from running back to it just because of the radios.

        I love my Gnex but I loved always having a good solid signal, we’re not talking about what the device reports appropriately or inaccurately but actually holding a signal from Verizon’s network. There are tons of places I drop service completely, meanwhile my buddy’s RAZR MAXX holds onto signal just fine.

        • Ibrick

          I think that’s more about how bad Sammy’s radio’s were (seem to have improved w/ the S3>), vs, how good Moto’s are. Say what you want about the TBolt, but I had them both activated for a few days and it put the GNex to absolute shame when it came to signal strength. My DNA is just as good. Can’t comment on LG..

          • itznfb

            People still look to the OG Droid when they want to think of Moto’s radios. I’m surprised every OG Droid owner doesn’t have a tumor growing from the side of their head. That phone would get a full signal where today’s phones get none. HTC dropped out hard in Q1,Q2,Q3 this year but they are looking strong Q4. The DNA and 8X are amazing devices in every way…. except for Sense on DNA. God I wish they would release AOSP devices.

  • Mark Mann

    correction, motorola and amazing products WERE two diametrically opposed statements…it hasnt been googlerola long enough to make this statement

  • Sammy Aleman

    interesting…wheres the question if they are planning on renaming themselves to SKYNET???!!!

  • John

    Damn right. It’ll come….eventually.

    • Agreed. Once Moto pumps out the crap they have in design storage, we can start seeing some real Google-esque work I’m hoping.

      • Uriah Bullard

        Unfortunately, my poor Bionic won’t last that long.

        • Eric

          Yeah, I’ve been using my Droid X since May, 2011 and I’m doing my best to wait and see what their next round of phones is like. I live in a rural area and My DX gets consistently better reception than my wife’s GS3, but using her phone makes it tough to hold off on the upgrade.

      • itznfb

        They should release Moto Nexus devices as a lead Google Nexus and partner with each manufacturer to create their own HTC Nexus, Samsung Nexus blah blah device.