Recently, I've developed an unhealthy fascination with Motorola.
Ever since the company declared itself and its wares to be "agents of change," I've been desperate to witness the change I can believe in.
The company's first attempt to think different sadly resembled something you've seen (far too) many times before.
Still, my eyes became oddly widened when I saw this headline: "Forget the new iPhone 13 -- Motorola thinks it just made your next work phone."
This gave me a shuddery feeling for more than one reason. This is an aggressive alternative to the iPhone 13? This is from Motorola?
And wait, what is a work phone anyway?
Given that the pincer movement between tech and corporate America has forced us to be always on (edge), thanks to mobile technology, how can a work phone really be separate from your usual phone?
It's cumbersome to carry two phones around -- though I know some do -- just to listen out for one tune or another to alert you about "work." Rather than say, "match," "lover", or "burgers."
So I hastily devoured details of what this new Motorola work phone is. It's called the Motorola Edge 20 Lite Business Edition.
There's a potentially uncomfortable juxtaposition between "lite" and "business," so could it be that this phone will alleviate work encumbrances?
I rushed to Motorola's site, desperate to be moved.
I found these words from our sponsor: "The motorola edge 20 and edge 20 lite Business Edition devices are designed specifically to meet the needs of today's enterprises. Stay safer and up to date with two Android OS updates and three years of monthly security patches."
Yes, it really did have Motorola with a small m, which was remarkably modest. And I'm sure monthly security patches are welcome. But it's just a shame they have to occur every month.
The next sentence was intriguing but may not please all grammarians: "motorola edge 20 and edge 20 lite Business Edition devices are secured by ThinkShield for mobile, a comprehensive set of hardware and software security features, and is Android Enterprise Recommended."
In essence, then, what makes a business phone a business phone is, according to Motorola, security.
I always worry when any tech company promises security. It seems painfully clear that this is a promise best left as a mobile goal, rather than a nirvana attained.
These Business Edition phones are designed to be sold to businesses in bulk. It's wise, then, to emphasize the security at their heart.
It does, though, incite another question or two. Why aren't all phones equally secure? Would it really necessitate a price premium just to give you what you might actually expect as a norm? And talking of price, is the price the other main selling point of the Business Edition against the iPhone 13?
The Edge 20 lite Business Edition may, indeed, be a fine phone. Motorola is, indeed, gaining market share. And many will want it to become more of a competitor in what often seems a very limited race to dominance.
But if you're going to be a change agent, change something radically. Offer a business phone that won't work after 7 p.m., for example.
What do you mean no corporation would ever buy that? Aren't they all about empathy these days?