View Full Version : Is the iPhone killing Motorola?
Feb 3, 2008, 10:27 PM
Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Is the iPhone killing Motorola? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080203232755)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug
Feb 3, 2008, 10:47 PM
no...Mot has made some mistakes, and Samsung and Nokia are raising the bar
I mean, iPhone isn't helping, but they wouldn't be doing great if the iPhone wasn't around
Feb 3, 2008, 10:51 PM
I'm glad they eventually got the the UI being the problem. I was at AT&T with my wife today and messed with every type of phone they had (LG, Moto, Samsung, Nokia, RIM, etc). ALL of the phone interfaces were awful except for the Blackberrys and Sony Ericssons (which I'm biased towards ... w600i). Moto's was no worse than Nokia's UI really. The flat reason the iPhone is so popular is because it's really the first phone that is insanely easy to use.
Glad they identified that the iPhone isn't to blame (it didn't help) because Moto was already in trouble.
Feb 3, 2008, 10:57 PM
Moto's was no worse than Nokia's UI really. The flat reason the iPhone is so popular is because it's really the first phone that is insanely easy to use.
I think most phones are easy enough to use, it's really a matter of how conveniently things are laid out. With the time I've played with the iPhone, it's obvious that everything is easy to do and not as much of a bother as one would imagine.
Now, I recently got a Samsung phone and I'm very unhappy with it. After using Motorollas for nearly 3 years, I thought the Samsung might be easier to work with. Wrong. The Samsung is annoying in the weirdest ways because many things that I want to be available quickly are not (there's no camera key, there's no way to program all your favorite apps into a "favorites" list, even though there is an app list that can be somewhat modified, etc).
Overall I am disappointed with this darn Samsung, and I'm very honestly considering an iPhone now (though I'll probably wait until at least June :p).
Feb 3, 2008, 11:31 PM
I think Motorola's clunky UI's are the real culprit. I don't think they ever clued in that a mobile phone is more than just a walkie-talkie with some extra buttons.
Feb 3, 2008, 11:53 PM
I loved my MOTO RAZR (original version) and am only replacing it with an iPhone because my 14 month old dropped the RAZR onto the corner of a PeeCee laying on the floor (don't ask) and cracked the large LCD screen.
The best way to sum up why Moto is tanking is the stupendously stupid decision to remove a function and call it better. I mean the "menu" button that was on the RAZR (between the two "soft" buttons). This handy button let you get a popup menu so you could easily navigate your way out of whatever sub-section you drilled down into. Most all other phones have you click the Cancel button over and over to back out, or just dump you to the default screen.
Removing that button on later versions of the RAZR removed a very useful and convenient feature for no gain whatsoever.
Everything else was awesome though; very large screen (for the time) to make using the UI easier, actual real mini-USB port that could charge the phone by plugging into a Mac's USB port (and for syncing), ultra slim design without skimping on features (full Bluetooth profiles OBEX headset et al), excellent sound quality and a useful mini LCD screen that wasn't just a digital watch bolted on like other moto phones (v700s..).
Design by committee (or more realistically by carrier) never works. This is why most all successful Apple products can largely be singularly attributed to Steve Jobs/Jonathan Ive. Steve must have said one day, we need an ultra light laptop that is not the size of a day planner, wireless networking is nearly pervasive, many people want a portable companion Mac, and who really uses DVD drives all the time in a laptop anyway? Boom! MacBook Air. Awesome. I'd get one cept the price is too high for me right now (c'mon win me all the $1k+ contract development bids, daddy needs a MacBook Air).
Feb 4, 2008, 12:43 AM
Well, having been a RAZR owner (when I was briefly with Cingular and then AT&T), I think a good portion of the reason Motorola is having issues is that their product quality sucks. I don't know anyone with a RAZR who's had it for, say around a year or more that isn't having some kind of problem with it (battery doesn't want to charge, or there's cosmetic issues with the thing, or it just randomly starts to die, etc.) Also, great as Motorola has been in the past, they've kind of let the cell phone market get away from them for a while, and they spent a good deal of time having to play catch-up.
The LGs and the Samsungs and the Sanyos and Nokias (and others) made such in-roads that they ate up a lot of the market which once belonged (fairly solidly) to Motorola.
I did like my RAZR initially. It was the most fully-functional Bluetooth-accessible phone I've thus far owned, supporting data syncronization with my PowerBook (when I still owned it), and full data-transfer support to it as well. In addition, I could put an appropriate-sized MP3 on it and use it as a ring tone.
For my new voicemail notification alert, I had the "[BO-THWUNK] Message for you, sir," audio clip from Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Man, I had all kinds of crazy self-added ring tones on it.
Anyhow, I think Motorola is to blame for Motorola's problems. Not the carriers, and certainly not Apple.
Feb 4, 2008, 10:00 AM
I worked at Motorola for ten years, but not in the cellular subscriber group (now called something else). Anyhow, I did have friends working there, and knew people in the senior management offices. The problem with Motorola is that they have some breathtakingly brilliant engineers and but also some breathtakingly stupid managers. In particular, the cell folks suffered under some truly incompetent managers that would not listen to the smarter people working for them (even firing them for speaking up) and let the whole market get away.
Remember that Motorola invented the cell phone industry, and they had huge market share until the mid to late 90s. That was when they missed the transition from analog to digital and let Nokia pass them by...they have never caught up.
As far as product quality goes, I don't think Motorola is any worse than any other, though there's room for improvement. But I've talked to cellular agents who thought Nokia was much worse for quality so who knows.
Feb 4, 2008, 10:13 AM
It seems they took the wrong business strategy - Moto had huge advantage buying components in bulk and making large large volumes of phones on the cheap -- Hoping to lure carriers to buy there phones because cheaper phones means carriers would spend less money subsidizing 'free' phones to customers with new contracts, meaning more profits for carriers.
Nowhere in that formula was there a consideration for consumers desire for innovation and design. Five years ago, most consumers just took whichever phone came free with the plan, Motorola still operates under that assumption.