In an interview with the New Yorker, Apple senior vice president of design Jony Ive made quite a jab towards Motorola’s Moto Maker, saying that the company was giving up on design. Shortly thereafter, in an interview with the BBC, Motorola president Rick Osterloh fought back.
Keep in mind that, while Ive didn’t mention Moto Maker by name, he alluded to the program and actually asked for Motorola’s name to not be mentioned in his interview. Ive’s statements were pretty harsh, and nearly everyone figured out that he was talking about Motorola.
“Their value proposition was, ‘Make it whatever you want.’ You can choose whatever color you want,” Ive said. “And I believe that’s abdicating your responsibility as a designer.”
Osterloh countered Ive’s little jab, saying that users should be involved in the design process. “Our belief is that the end user should be directly involved in the process of designing products,” said Osterloh. “We’re making the entire product line accessible. And frankly, we’re taking a directly opposite approach to them [Apple].”
Osterloh didn’t stop there. He took a shot at how Apple prices its products, calling the price tag for the iPhone “outrageous.” For reference, buying an unlocked 16GB iPhone 6 costs $650, while an unlocked 16GB Moto X (2014) will run you $400. According to Osterloh, expensive phones are not the future. Instead, forward-thinking companies focus on consumer choice and affordable prices.
Clearly, Apple and Motorola have completely different business models and points of view. Apple not only keeps the software experience cohesive, but controls the hardware experience as well, whereas Motorola’s Moto Maker platform allows for thousands of different color, inscription, and boot animation variations. It also leaves the OS up to Google almost completely.
Regardless of your thoughts about Apple, its strategy certainly seems to be working, as the company recently posted record iPhone sales and higher-than-expected profit.