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Motorola design chief: stock Android phones, cross-carrier brands coming later this year

Sarah Silbert
04.16.13
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Back in February, Google CFO Patrick Pichette said its recent purchase, Motorola, didn't "wow" on the smartphone front, but it looks like the two companies have long since smoothed over any hard feelings. Speaking to PC Mag, Motorola design chief Jim Wicks revealed plans for the first post-acquisition handsets, demonstrating a philosophy that seems perfectly in line with Mountain View. According to Wicks, his company is embracing stock Android with as little bloatware as possible, and hardware itself won't likely reach Galaxy Note II proportions; he says the new design philosophy is "better is better" rather than "bigger is better."

Motorola will also change its approach to carriers, with a move toward offering devices across several service providers rather than keeping certain handsets -- such as the Droid and RAZR lines on Verizon -- as exclusives for one. For AT&T and Sprint customers who were tempted by the RAZR M on Verizon, for example, this strategy could go a long way in bringing them into the Motorola fold. Wicks says the first batch of new smartphones will debut in the second half of 2013 -- and, at least according to Eric Schmidt, they should be quite impressive.

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