Lenovo-owned Motorola president: Apple prices are ‘outrageous’

“The boss of Motorola has slammed iPhone prices as ‘outrageous’ after its build-your-own phone service came under a scathing attack by Apple’s design guru, Jony Ive,” Arjun Kharpal reports for CNBC.

“Lenovo-owned Motorola offers a service called ‘Moto Maker’ which lets users personally customize a Moto X smartphone. In an interview with the New Yorker, Ive appeared to criticize Motorola’s offering as reducing the role of the designer,” Kharpal reports. “‘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,’ Ive said, but asked the news website not to name the company he was talking about.”

“But Rick Osterloh, president of Motorola, has now hit back,” Kharpal reports. “‘Our belief is that the end-user should be directly involved in the process of designing products,’ Osterloh told the BBC on Wednesday. ‘We’re making the entire product line accessible. And frankly, we’re taking a directly opposite approach to them (Apple).'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And frankly, iPhone roadkill, that’s the reason why you’re owned by a Chinese computer maker and are no longer an independent U.S. company.

Apple’s iPhone prices are so “outrageous” that they sold 74.5 million of them last quarter. We’d contrast that with how many skin-your-own Motorola-branded pieces of shit Lenovo shipped last quarter, but apparently there weren’t enough for anybody to bother counting. Enjoy your time in the “other” category while it lasts, Ricky. Schedule some time with your shrink to address your iPhone ASP envy, while you’re at it.

Now go do whatever your Lenovo overloads tell you to do, Mr. President of Pretty Much Nothing.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jay” for the heads up.]


    1. I gotta say, I disagree with Ive here. Customization is not absolving your responsibility as a designer at all. Design isn’t just about color and materials, it’s about how something communicates and functions. THAT is true design. We tend to think of designers as sketch artists, but in reality good designers are part engineer, part humanist. Moto has designed their assembly line to be accessible. That’s pretty impressive.

      As for decorative elements, people have been decorating their Macbooks, iPhones and iPads since they came out!

      1. Ive has made several different colored iPods.

        The thing is, Jony gets to pick the right colors.

        He doesn’t let any asshole come in off the street and screw up his masterpieces.

        1. Absolutely right. Bluemeansgo actually out argues himself because in this context playing with the superficial is exactly what the customisation is all about. Customization after the event if the user wishes it is very different to doing so during production whereby colour and materials can be superficially changed to little other effect but is simply trying to please everyone because you are presently pleasing very few as Moto are i.e. desperation. However if it were about changing the innards to suit everyone then you are inevitably compromising the product’s functionality itself at least 9 times out of 10. As the PC industry has found out fiddling and catering for all increasingly makes a mess of a situation. Apples success has been based on designing something that the customer wants even though he may not know it before he sees it. The PC industry and now Moto with this desperate but understandable move is trying to claim that smoke and mirrors concept of choice when in fact they are offering an inconsistent product. You takes your choice but I know what approach I prefer even if it can be a little frustrating around the edges at times.

  1. With Apple, you truely get what you pay for. I’ve had my mac for 2 or so years now, and it’s not broken at all. When you have a computer in a bag of books, heavy braille books at that, you don’t exactly expect that $500 mac mini to last long, but NO part of that computer has broken. Even the Beats headphones has died before the mac ever will.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Moto Boos is a fool.

    1. is it not more “outrageous” that Moto is near BANKRUPT?

    2. more “outrageous” that SmartPhone makers are FLUMMOXED by Apple as they “can not handle the truth”

    3. “outrageous” that Moto etc. produce JUNK (mostly)?

    4. “outrageous” that consumers not mere gadgetry/gimmickry/marketing hype/ecosystem keeps them LOYAL to Apple?

    5.”outrageous”? sure, since Apple owns 93% of SmartPhone market PROFITS! Samsung 7%. Moto 0%! keep bitchin’

    6. instead of BITCH about price/profits, as no one forces you Moto to not raise your prices or no one forces Apple users to buy at those prices, why do you not solve your problems and create something worthier?! maybe it’s because you’re simply flummoxed, unimaginative, incapable, accountability, competence. this has nothing to do with Apple fanboyism but reality and understanding your market/consumers.

    7. Quit your JEALOUSY and get on, move forward, maybe shut down as Dull Dell boss uttered once in 1997 (http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/18/michael-dell-on-the-infamous-apple-shut-it-down-quote-my-answer-was-largely-misconstrued or http://news.cnet.com/Dell-Apple-should-close-shop/2100-1001_3-203937.html)

    1. Yes, Moto Boss is a fool and an idiot, when you talk about iDevices,
      it’s not only the hardware that uses the best top of the line parts available, but so do the SOFTWARE that runs iDevices. Hardware/software combined to give everyone the Best iDevices ever. Not those android, msft stuffs. That’s the reason why every
      Apple device is worth the money. Hello Moto….shit

  3. Letting the end user be involved in the design? Ridiculous…the average person doesn’t have a decent design sense. Imagine if Steve Jobs had let the iPhone be imagined by the public.

    1. Design is mostly about how something functions, how it is engineered. The buttons, TouchID, the screen, the antenna. Good designers will make these things work well, great design will make them invisible and easy to use. Allowing someone to adorn and decorate and customize their phone on the assembly line is decoration, not design.

    2. I don’t see anything wrong with expandable RAM, expansion slots and faster processors, three things we’ve lost in recent years, not to mention ugly, buggy operating systems. It’s time Apple started listening to its customers again.

      1. Android hangs on more than 67.5% of the devices out there. Samsung, Nexus, Sony, Nokia, Alcatel, Motorola.

        Tested plenty. Heard from too many troubles from customers. Lots of unhappy Folks. Bottom-line, Android truly sucks.

        However, personally one thing I must say… the only great option Android has, is the microSD.

        Really wish Apple would add this to their next phone… iMac added SD card so why not the microSD on iPhone.

        1. I don’t do Android so I can’t confirm your numbers, but I doubt we’ll ever see storage expansion on iDevices. I was talking about iOS 7 and the almost universal hatred we saw from its introduction and the theme continuing on to iOS 8 and Yosemite.

          As far as bugginess, I’m talking about the ongoing WiFi, Mail and iTunes problems under 10.10.2, the loss of expansion slots in the Mac Pro and the loss of quad core CPUs in the Mac Mini line and the prevalence of soldered in RAM.

          These are all bad design decisions by Apple and they have me very concerned about my future purchases and willingness to upgrade OSs.

            1. “almost universal hatred” !!!!

              Good one. “Universal” as in dozens of people on blogs and forums. OK, let’s even say it could be hundreds. How does that compare to the tens of millions who have bought or installed it and are just fine with it?

            2. People sure have short memories. Go back and look at the reviews and comments sections on Ars, Anandtech and others. People despised the flat look. The only reason people have stopped complaining these days is that they’ve gotten used to the flat look, realized that no amount of complaining is going to have any effect are relieved that iOS 8 isn’t as buggy as iOS 7.

              People still hate iTunes 12 but you don’t hear them complaining about the loss of the universal sidebar much anymore but that doesn’t mean they’ve learned to love it, they’re just tired of complaining.

              It seems that no one on this board can criticize Apple without getting called a troll or some bonehead says “Enjoy that new Surface and its kickstand!” Apple has been doing a lot of good things, but they’ve also done some things that annoy the customers. Remember the poll a month or so ago that showed that the majority of users would prefer that Apple would take its time and release stable OSs rather than put out buggy ones on a yearly schedule?

              Apple’s not perfect but they’re the best alternative out there and the only way they’ll improve is if we complain about their faults. How many people like soldered in RAM? I have a 2011 MBA that maxed out to 4 GB and is struggling with Yosemite. The dual core i7 can handle 8 GB. Am I happy about this? No. Does that make me an Apple hater? No. It just makes me aware that Apple cut corners on a premium product when it didn’t have to and now it’s adversely effecting my use of the product.

      2. Expandable RAM, expansion slots on a phone?

        And Apple already has by far the fastest processors and only really usable 64 bit processors in the industry.

        Either you are a paid troll, or a blithering idiot.

      3. “I don’t see anything wrong with expandable RAM, expansion slots and faster processors, three things we’ve lost in recent years”

        You must be referring to some other company, because those “three things (you’ve) lost in recent years” aren’t things Apple has “lost.” iPhones have never had expandable RAM or expansion slots and they never came with slow processors.

  4. Back when iTunes was first released and I had ripped my CD collection onto my Mac, I thought it would be great to have all the content on a portable music player.
    Having the idea is one thing. Making the product is a lot harder. But designing it to be superior to anything else in the market is very hard.
    Thats what Apple does and Ive is intimately involved in. No other company in the world has the same mindset. For most companies it is about make a fast buck and moving onto to the next product. You need patience to build world class products.

    1. To this day, I still can’t “have all the content on a portable music player.” Apple doesn’t provide enough storage. Apple has even gone backward in this metric. You used to be able to buy iPods with more storage than today’s iPods.

      I suspect it is all about Apple’s plan to push everybody into their iCloud whether they want it or not. This is about what makes the most money for Apple; not what the customer wants. Apple has lost its direction.

    1. Completely agree here. Mind you… you have to admit… MOST people think design is about form, and not function… where in reality it’s more about function and engineering. The part where the designer packages the function into an aesthetic package a tiny, but very visible, part of design.

      1. It’s precisely because most people imagine that design is only about choosing colours and materials that Apple is able to differentiate it’s designs so easily.

        While everybody else obsesses over the look and the tech specs, Apple pays attention to thousands of tiny details. We sometimes hear idiots claiming that something was designed without compromise, but anybody who has ever designed something knows that compromises have to be made at every turn. Every choice you make has knock-on effects. The art of design is to carefully make those choices so there is an overall balance to the design. It’s not much good making a car that accelerates amazingly fast if it’s dangerous on corners. Nobody would tolerate a refrigerator that was very efficient, but also very noisy. Nobody wanted a head-worn display that made you look like a dork.

    2. You are correct. For most “design” means color and material.

      Great design include usability along with a pleasing form factor. This is what the Moto-maker doesn’t understand and it’s not like the average user has a clue or experience with usability. Hell, I can’t get our programmers to understand it. Just had a meeting with them yesterday on a project and their answer to a poorly designed product was, “we can give them a manual or instruction sheet”. Ah, epic fail was my answer.

      Mr. Rick, get use to failure.

  5. Guess what. People will pay for security and quality, especially those who have assets to protect.

    If you weren’t selling someone else’s operating system, then you wouldn’t have to get so cheesy as to let people skin a phone, and you could differentiate your product in a more sensible and valuable way.

  6. True story: I have my iPhone because after 29 months my Motorola RAZR phone simply stopped functioning without any warning. At that moment, not having a phone put me in a real jam. I won’t forget THAT. EVER. (The RAZR is the ONLY cell phone I ever had that completly failed.)

    Apple products overpriced? It depends on what value you place on your personal safety. I can assure you, I place a value on my safety that FAR exceeds the cost of ANY phone.

  7. Well, we’re all about to embark in a role as Apple Watch “designers” anyways. As you all know, we will be able to come up with all kinds of watch-strap combinations. We will be able to change the look of the watch by simply changing the strap. And if it turns out to be a fairly straightforward process, that of changing the strap, I will buy additional straps no doubt. Maybe, we’ll end up with a strap collection. How about that!

  8. Did you guys get the latest Lenovo Thinkpad egregious spyware? I mean really breathtakingly evil spyware?
    It’s even included in the low, low price of the Thinkpad.
    Such a deal! Who would want anything else?

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