Motorola’s Webtop dock is dead (It’s official)

Motorola Atrix 4G

Motorola has confirmed that the Webtop is dead. Don’t remember the Webtop? It allowed you to plug in your Motorola smartphone to a laptop shell and effectively convert it into a PC. When the company first showed it off with the original Motorola Atrix, we weren’t alone in thinking that the idea had some potential. Unfortunately, the price was too high and the device ended up being too limited and slow. It never took off, despite several revisions.

The Webtop originally launched as a dock for the Motorola Atrix 4G which hit AT&T in February 2011. It is now being scrapped going forward; starting with the Photon 4G, Droid Razr HD, Droid Razr M, and the Droid Razr Maxx HD no new Motorola smartphones are going to support the Webtop peripheral.

Speculation at CNET and Phone News suggests that Google is holding the smoking gun. The Motorola statement mentioned a lack of adoption and said “We have also seen development of the Android operating system focus on the inclusion of more desktoplike features.” So the development direction of the Android platform has rendered it obsolete. Android 4.0 smartphones can adapt themselves to larger screens without a custom second operating system being built in — a major weakness of the Webtop accessories. The lapdock may also have been killed off as part of a cost-cutting exercise at Motorola Mobility.

Pricing was Motorola’s first stumbling block. Despite some critical plaudits, the first Webtop dock cost $500. That eventually dwindled to below $200, but it was too late to spark any real interest. Why pay out for a lapdock when you can buy a cheap laptop for the same price?

There was an expectation that it would be an ideal purchase for business travelers because they wouldn’t need to carry a separate laptop. Instead, they could just plug in their smartphone and get to work. It simply never caught on. With the meteoric rise of tablets, the chances of the lapdock taking off look even more remote so we aren’t surprised to see Motorola making this move.

We have reached out to Motorola for comment but have not heard back as of time of publication.

Update by Jeffrey VC 12:15pm: We asked Motorola representatives about the death of webtop. The official word is below.

“Motorola’s webtop app helps users extend their smartphone experience to larger screens. While consumers around the world have adopted webtop and the concept spurred a lot of innovation in the industry, the adoption has not been strong enough to justify continued resources being allocated to developing webtop on future devices. We have also seen development of the Android operating system focus on the inclusion of more desktop-like features. Beginning with Photon Q and Droid Razr M/Droid Razr HD/Droid Razr Maxx HD ATRIX HD, we will no longer be including webtop on our products moving forward.”


Article originally published at 8:45am.


Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.

Rumors say Apple's AirPower wireless charger may finally be in production

At its September event in 2018, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.

Every gaming laptop that was announced at CES 2019, ranked

Looking for a new gaming laptop? You're in luck, as we compiled and ranked all the gaming notebooks that were announced at CES this year. Be sure to take a look at the latest models with AMD or Nvidia chips before you buy.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.

Samsung rumored to mark 10 years of the Galaxy S line with a 5G model

Samsung is rumored to launch a 5G version of the Galaxy S10, called the Galaxy S10 X. The phone may be larger than the standard Galaxy S10 devices, and feature a very impressive specification sheet.

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

The Motorola Razr may return as a foldable phone — for $1,500

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.

Huawei in for a rough year as feds investigate alleged trade secrets theft

Huawei is also facing issues in the U.S., but it doesn't seem like that will end any time soon. According to a new report, the company is facing a federal investigation in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets.