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CES: What is the future of Motoblur when Google takes over Motorola?

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 12 Jan 2012 11:59 User comments (2)

CES: What is the future of Motoblur when Google takes over Motorola? If there's one issue where Google and every major handset and tablet vendor disagree, it's the question of what's best for the Android user interface.
From the beginning, Google has insisted that using the "vanilla" Android UI they provide is preferable to vendors creating alternatives like Sense, TouchWiz, or Motoblur. Clearly the top device vendors disagree.

Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha addressed the issue in a conversation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this week. Motorola, he says, has no plan to drop their custom UI in favor of the stock Android alternative.

He told The Verge, "Verizon and AT&T don't want seven stock ICS devices on their shelves."

Certainly it's no big surprise to find out Android handset vendors place an emphasis on their own customer interfaces. Samsung and HTC are certainly known for the same attitude. On the other hand, Google isn't buying Samsung or HTC.

Pending regulatory approval, they are buying Motorola Mobility. While they have said Motorola will continue to operate independently, that doesn't mean the top executives won't be replaced with individuals who share Google's vision for Android.

But Google's vision hasn't exactly been aligned with that of US carriers in the past. In fact you could argue their antagonism toward the US model of pushing every customer to buy subsidized handsets stunted Android's growth in the market early on.

Google also made similar missteps with Google TV by starting with the assumption consumers would force broadcasters to support it. From a long term perspective their approach in both cases possibly makes sense if you're Google.

Ultimately, though, it's the vision of Google's hardware partners which prevails. Motorola Mobility has more to lose and less to gain, at least in the short term, than Google. If they are to truly be an independent company, their relationship with AT&T and Verizon are arguably more important than their relationship with Google.

Without a doubt, it will be interesting to see what kind of changes Google makes when the sale is finalized.

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2 user comments

112.1.2012 23:29

Of course brick and mortar stores don't want the same interface on their phones however, consumers beg to differ. Your specs on the phone should determine what phone we buy and not your bloatware.

213.1.2012 10:42

The only added UI I like is HTC Sense, but yea its pretty bloated sadly.

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