AT&T-Moto-Maker-Design-Studio

In an amusing retaliation to Jony Ive’s opinion of Motorola’s Moto Maker, Motorola president described their company as a ‘different philosophy’ as well as directly attacking Apple’s product lineup, describing iPhone prices as ‘outrageous’ in a conversation with the BBC.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

In the Ive profile by the New Yorker, the SVP of Design gave his scathing view of the Moto Maker system, which let customers choose any combination of colors and materials to customize their phones. Although Ive refused to call out Motorola by name, the intention is obvious.

In one of our conversations, Ive was scathing about a rival’s product, after asking me not to name it: “Their value proposition was ‘Make it whatever you want. You can choose whatever color you want.’ And I believe that’s abdicating your responsibility as a designer.” Cook told me, “Jony has better taste than anyone I ever met in my life,” and Ive might not demur.

In the report by the BBC, Motorola president Rick Osterloh says that they believe the ‘end user should be directly involved in the process of designing products’. He also directly attacked the pricing models of Motorola’s competitors.

“We do see a real dichotomy in this marketplace, where you’ve got people like Apple making so much money and charging such outrageous prices. We think that’s not the future,” he said.

“We believe the future is in offering similar experiences and great consumer choice at accessible prices.

“The mobile phone industry’s greatest failure is also its greatest opportunity: to make really good, affordable devices for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money.

It is bit ironic that Ive chose to criticize this particular feature of Motorola, given that the Apple Watch is the most customizable product Apple has made for a long time. Still, it’s probably not good either for Motorola to criticize Apple’s profit margins … when you remember that Apple made over 80% of industry profits last year. Their strategy is clearly working.

About the Author