Google must 'drain' Motorola pipeline before hitting 'wow'

Google must 'drain' Motorola pipeline before hitting 'wow'

Summary: Motorola's current line of products are not quite the transformative devices Google would like, says its CFO Patrick Pinchette.

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TOPICS: Google, Android, Samsung
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Google's Motorola Mobility unit has at least a six month legacy product pipeline to drain before it can launch anything "wow", according to Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette.

Google's Nexus phones and tablets and Chrombooks meet the company's standard for beauty and intuitiveness, but Motorola Mobility is still some way off from reaching the point it can deliver anything similar.

"So Motorola has this great set of assets but it has a pipeline of products that were fine but not really to the standard that Google would say is 'wow, innovative, transformative'," Pichette said in an address to the Morgan Stanley Technology conference on Thursday.

Google bought Motorola Mobility in May 2012 and while Pichette says the company has has been working on the "next agenda" from day one, it came saddled with an 18 month pipeline of products. Incidentally, the CFO's "preferred devices" he currently uses are the Nexus 4 and the high-end Chromebook Pixel.

"So we have been working really hard...to take a hold of Motorola and really putting it on a trajectory that's really much more what we believe at Google is the right mindset and the right timeframes," said Pichette.

"So you invest for the long term, but we've inherited 18 months of pipeline that we actually have to drain right now while we’re actually building the next generation of product lines."

Products made under Motorola's new agenda are starting to show up, he added.

Pichette also put speculated growing tensions between Google and Samsung over the latter's dominance of the Android ecosystem down to journalists that "love big headlines that sell newspapers."

"We have a terrific relationship with Samsung, they've been very successful with Android just like the rest of the ecosystem. We welcome all the partners on our Android platform and continue to innovate."

"Our aim is that as many partners continue to benefit. So from that perspective, both Samsung and ourselves, have benefited from Android and Chromebooks."

Topics: Google, Android, Samsung

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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3 comments
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  • Moto

    They strand their best products under one carrier and hen subjugate its most well known brand, Razr, under Verizon's Droid
    flyguy29
  • WOW

    Strangest headline I've ever seen on ZDNet. Anway, Moto should have preemptively tried to match Google's stock devices before Google even purchased them.
    MrSmith317
  • Time to Market

    Interesting comment on the relative coefficient of innovation of Motorola and Google. Mot was an old-line tech company that actually was very instrumental in our present quality concepts (Like 6 sigma). But the utter genius behind being both innovative beyond all belief and still get a product to market in our lifetimes in gigantic quantities is a black art worshiped by all of us who turn great ideas into shipping product.

    It has to be tough for a company with some defense roots to understand the amazing gift they are getting in being able to accomplish so much more in a short time. And possibly some of the Mot folks are not real happy about it, and also probable that the Google product dev folks are not listening enough to guys who shipped everything from pagers to $50 million satellites.

    18 Months -- that's about the limit from "hey gang, let's do a product" to "Yo dude, insane app." And in the Google world, I'll bet the "1" in the product disappears or becomes totally agile.
    TomMariner