Motorola

History of Motorola

Motorola, a company that has gone through a fair amount of change in its 80-plus-years since it started, and for a company who is literally the inventor of the Mobile Phone.

It could  be said that Motorola is the unsung hero in the Mobile industry, the bottom line is Motorola has made its mark in history in spite of its ever changing structure.








Motorola Mobility perhaps somewhat predictable, was sold to Google in 2012, given the phone maker's portfolio developed almost exclusively around the search giant's mobile operating system, and then acquired by Lenovo in 2014.



The company is so big and diverse, if the Mobility wing had not been spun off from Motorola a year and a half prior, the sale would never have been possible. 



Priced at around $12.5 billion and rightfully so, this is one of the biggest company sales in history across all sectors.


Probably the biggest change for the company was when it was divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011 after having lost $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009, with Motorola Solutions considered to be the direct successor to Motorola, and Motorola Mobility as just a spin off.

Just to be sure The Motorola Dynatac 8000x is the one on the right Held by its inventor Martin Cooper

The company made history when it released the world’s first handheld Mobile Phone in 1984, it was called the M Dyna-TAC. Plus in addition It was also the first company to release the “flip phone” of which they called the MicroTAC and the “clam phone” named the StarTAC during the mid-1990s.


It was actually from 1973, that Motorola seriously made it's move towards Mobile Phones technology besides it naturally had all the prerequisites needed, this is the move that has defined Motorola as we know it today



At first showing off the DynaTAC (invented by Martin Cooper of Motorola who made the first private handheld mobile phone call in 1973)

Motorola MicroTAC
The Motorola DynaTAC 8000x

and displaying the Mobile Phone phenomenon to the world for the very first time. It was in 1984 that the so called brick-phone (was actually as big as one) started to make its way into the hands of consumers.

In Hanover, Germany In 1991, the world's first working-prototype digital cellular system and phones using GSM standard was demonstrated by Motorola. And then went on to ,introduced the world's first commercial digital radio system in 1994, suffice to say that the phrase "The Worlds First" is very much associated with Motorola.

Motorola Startac
Motorola Pager

And then the MicroTAC was released by the end of the decade but what was most notable was the dramatic drop down in size and weight, and the movement to the flip phone format. 

Motorola really let loose and released the hounds in 1996 when they released the iconic StarTAC, it was probably one of the smallest and tiniest practical Phones ever released its the StarTAC that helped make the clamshell design very popular and was the first to incorporate the vibrate option on a Mobile borrowed from the company's pager side of its business.



Two thirds of Motorola's gross revenue by 1998 comprised of Mobile Phones however in the same year, Motorola was overtaken by Nokia as the world's biggest seller of Mobile Phones.

In 2009 Motorola released its first Android SmartPhone the Motorola DEXT MB220, and its first Android tablet came out in 2011.  Comparing the specs of the Motorola DEXT with one of Motorola's latest SmartPhones such as the Moto X4 which was launched in November 2017, one can see that they are quite different but yet similar despite the 8 year release gap between them, but whats carried on here is still excellent with tech advancements for better and improved Mobile user experience.

The Motorola DEXT MB220, the first Motorola Android SmartPhone

Motorola DEXT MB220 is a device with a dimensions of 114 x 58 x 15.6 mm (4.49 x 2.28 x 0.61 in),

screen size is 3.1 inches resolution of 320 x 480 pixels and a weight of 163 grams, .

It has a 528 MHz ARM 11 processor, Qualcomm MSM7201A chip-set, a graphics card Adreno 130, a RAM memory 256 MB RAM and an internal memory of 1 GB. operating system Android v1.5 (Cupcake) from the factory.

DEXT MB220 supports frequency bands GSM and HSPA.

This device is Also called the Motorola CLIQ in USA


 As a Flagship then,  it was powered by 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor and as for image display the X4 has a 5.20-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels at a PPI of 424 pixels per inch.

Motorola Moto X4

The X4 has an array of Connectivity options at the users disposal including Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth, GPS, USB OTG, Headphones, FM, 3G and 4G with support for Band 40.   Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Compass Magnetometer, Accelerometer and Gyroscope are some of the Sensors on the phone.

And for Mobile Phone users who need access to more than one network at any


given time e.g travellers, the Motorola Moto X4 is a dual SIM smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Nano-SIM.  

And all this is powered by a 3000mAh non removable battery.

The phone packs an impressive 64GB of internal storage expandable to as much as 200GB using a microSD card and it comes with 4GB of RAM.  The cameras packs a 12-megapixel main camera on the rear and a 16-megapixel front one for selfies, so Motorola did have the selfie-age in mind when producing the X4.

This is the somewhat latest part of Motorola's history in a nutshell, however from the early years?  It is a long and fascinating story, as for the pre-millennials at best can maybe only remember as far back as the original StarTAC or RAZR.  

Motorola RAZR
The Motorola RAZR best-selling clamshell of all time.

To say that Motorola had success with RAZR would be a complete understatement, the RAZR was yet another giant hit after the massive hit of the StarTAC, in 2004 when the RAZR was released what stood out the most is that it further pushed the boundaries of Mobile Phone size, emphasising on thinness and fashion, at the end of the day yet again, becoming the best-selling clamshell of all time.

When Apple blew everyone out of the water in 2007 when it reinvented the Mobile Phone into a full blown SmartPhone, Motorola had no choice, it had to get up-to speed with the SmartPhone revolution, so the company moved its focus to Google's Android operating system.  Its time for the early years.

The Early Years

Motorola, Inc. was created on September 25, 1928 at Schaumburg, Illinois by two brothers, Joseph and Paul Galvin, they called their company the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation who bought-out at auction for $750, the bankrupt Stewart Battery Company's manufacturing equipment and battery-eliminator plans.

The Founders of Motorola Paul and Joseph Galvin

They started in a small section of a rented building. The beginnings of the company was so humble that the working capital  had only $565 with just five employees and the first week's payroll was just only $63.  Very impressive for a company who became a global telecommunications player and ended up making history by inventing the Mobile Phone.

By 1962, Motorola had 14,000 employees worldwide and then by August 2000, Motorola reached its peak employment of 150,000 employees worldwide.

The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (Motorola's original name) in 1930

released the "Motorola" car radio two years after the company was founded in Chicago.  The same year it was released, the Motorola became Galvin's first internationally sold product, it initially offered the battery eliminator that allowed battery-powered home radios run off of household electricity.

Vintage Motorola Car Radio

Wireless network equipment like signal amplifiers and cellular transmission base stations is what the firm offered at first including broadcasting networks and home like digital video recorders and set top boxes, High Definition (HD) televisions, network equipment to broadcast videos and computer telephony.

In 1947, the company dropped the name Galvin Manufacturing Corporation of its founders, and changed it to Motorola as they fancied a punchier name, which they got from the name of the their early car stereo -- the "motor" was pulled from "motorcar" added to "ola" to signify "sound in motion," according to the company tag line.

It was the company's destiny to become MobilePhone makers as they embraced all things radio which they produced for home use, police cars

 and the walkie-talkie, which saw action on the battlefields of WWII.  Starting in 1958, with Explorer 1 Motorola supplied radio equipment for most NASA space-flights for decades, including assisting by providing the radio technology for the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing from where Neil Armstrong

said the famous words "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" from the Moon's surface on a Motorola transceiver.

The bottom line here is that with all these wireless technological innovations displayed by Motorola, the birth of the Mobile Phone beckoned and was inevitable,but, by no other, only by them.

 

The present "batwing" logo was introduced in 1955 created by award-winning Chicago graphic designer Morton Goldsholl in late 1954.

Motorola "Batwing" Logo

Motorola developed and supplied many products used by the government, public safety officials, business installments, and the general public. These products included MobilePhones, computer processors, laptops,  and radio communication devices.

In 1991, Motorola showed of the world's first working-prototype digital cellular system and phones using GSM standard in Germany.  And then In 1994, Motorola introduced the world's first commercial digital radio system. 

The Motorola Phones start here

We would start of with a SmartPhone but this Mobile Phone was exceptional.  The Aura used to be a luxury device with a $2000 price tag and that’s back in 2008 ok.


 Made from premium materials such as stainless steel and sapphire to appeal to large audience if not the high end, even came in a classy wooden box.  Had a striking similarity to the V70 from a few years previous.  But the bottom line is that this outlandish mobile represented an entry into the elite world of luxury high-end mobile phones with a £1,400 price tag that puts even today's flagships to shame.

Motorola AURA (2008)

The phone featured a unique high-resolution circular display with 300dpi and an adapted circular user interfaced based on Motorola's MotoMagx a Linux kernel-based mobile operating system.  One of the main selling points of the device apart from its Swiss-made lens screen, was its swivel-like opening mechanism.  Motorola tried to replicate the success of the Razr V3 series by making a new innovative phone. The screen's opening mechanism was made possible thanks to its Swiss-made gears composed of Rockwell 50-55 hardened steel and 130 precision ball bearings.

Unique so much so that the engineering is customised, consisting of a rotating mechanism of more than 200 high-precision different parts, protected against harsh conditions, made possible with special premium coatings, the same  type used in top-performance racing engines.  All these unique specs made the AURA a one of-a-kind phone, it looked intricate but yet sophisticated, the screen was able to display 26 Million different colours. This phone was well and truly about looks over functionality. No Wi-Fi, 3G or microSD card slot and back then certainly no apps to show, but it did look pretty special.

Motorola Droid (2009)

The Droid did not only get released as a reaction to the iPhone, but in addition, it’s the phone that showed SmartPhone users the potential of the Android OS, the droid popularized the Google's Android operating system it was launched with Android Eclair (Android 2.0) and represented Motorola’s proper entry into the SmartPhone era suffice to say that it had to be done, as one of the most successful mobile franchises in the world. 

They appropriately name It Milestone in other regions as that’s what it was for the company.  The Droid stalked up well as a multimedia-enabled smartphone with its touchscreen display and slide-out keyboard. At the time, the Droid was a fantastic device offering a state-of-the-art experience with flawless telephone reception.

Motorola ATRIX 4G (2011)

First the Atrix was different as it had the ability to incorporate with a laptop using a docking panel. Also had a dedicated HDMI dock.  This Phone at the time of its release, was the most powerful smartphone, being one of the first with a dual-core processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM and even had a fingerprint sensor way back then.

The Atrix 4G was a show piece to also show that Motorola wasn't afraid to innovate which is in their DNA. The SmartPhone won nine awards after a high-profile debut at CES 2011, with a powerful processor, Motorola's focus was on a smart handset that literally put a computer in your pocket, versatility was a target so it came with a range of accessories as well.

Motorola MING A1680 (2011)


This was a must have phone for Moto lovers. 

As we know how innovative Motorola are as the Ming being an attempt to bring formats of phones into one.

The Ming is a flip-phone, a clamshell, a SmartPhone plus it has a stylus pen for extra interface options.

 The Motorola Ming A1680 is quite a rare phone to be found as they were only released IN Hong Kong and china.  Phone Users and fans in other parts of the world demanded world release but did not happen. Unique design and functionality, equipped with a touch screen and transparent flip cover that provided screen protection.

It was amongst a series of devices with interesting specifications such as features like a 3.1-inch WVGA display, 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, compass and a 624 MHz Marvel PXA935 processor.

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx (2012)

When Motorola named this phone the Razr Maxx, They must have known that it would take some doing to fill the massive boots and success of the original Razr, The bottom line is, Motorola did not achieve this at all,  The Droid Razr Maxx did not have the same style as the original device, it was a different form factor all together it wasn’t a flip phone, it had a slide out keyboard which was still impressive, but however, what it did have was an outstanding battery life even for today’s standard - which lasted for as much as two days. It was likely the best Android device to own, especially if you wanted it to last long.

What Motorola did resurrecting the Razr series, with the Maxx, was use Smart software called (obviously) “Smart Actions” software.  Motorola was trying to bring back the good old days of RAZR glory.  Smart Actions made it a little easier for the user. it allowed the phone to do some essential actions within some special parameters. For instance, you could “Trigger” an “Action” for the phone to automatically switch to WiFi when you enter your home or office. Or, you could change the sound profile to silent when you’re sleeping at night. Once you have set the triggers and actions, you don’t have to think about them again.

Users could instruct the phone with “Conditions” and “Actions “using Smart Actions. Through this method, it didn’t use any more battery than what your SmartPhone normally uses, in addition battery life Improved when using Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP) using Bluetooth® enabled headsets, so basically with Smart Actions Software users could set conditions that triggered actions, like, why us GPS to get your location which taxes the battery, when users can latch onto a signal using nearby cell phone towers to triangulate your position which taxes the battery less. The bottom line is that increased overall battery life is achieved but still targeting on its overall performance and user experience.

Motorola Droid 4 (2012)

The Droid 4 is considered one of the last great QWERTY smartphones. It supposedly perfected the mobile keyboard with responsive, tactile, and strong keys.

The Motorola Droid 4 was released with Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" out of the box, then it was gradually updated to Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" and finally to Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean". It was released February 10, 2012, as the successor to Motorola's Droid 3, and is one of the first to support GLONASS in addition to GPS.

First, we feel one of the outstanding features of the Droid 4 is the edge-lit QWERTY keyboard (keyboardResponsive) The Droid 4 did not only improve on its predecessors' keyboards, but also on other SmartPhone brands as well.  Motorola redefined the QWERTY keyboard to the next level, offering die-hard physical QWERTY fans one of the most refined experiences on the market back then.

First, we feel one of the outstanding features of the Droid 4 is the edge-lit QWERTY keyboard (keyboardResponsive) The Droid 4 did not only improve on its predecessors' keyboards, but also on other SmartPhone brands as well.  Motorola redefined the QWERTY keyboard to the next level, offering die-hard physical QWERTY fans one of the most refined experiences on the market back then.

In addition, it WAS the only dual-core LTE smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard that was a unique selling point. So tactile users who need to feel the touch, feedback and compressions, who need super-fast 4G internet using a SmartPhone that has a keyboard, the Droid 4 was (and maybe still is) the only game in town.  Everything else was high standards including a 4-inch HD screen display and a Micro USB / Micro HDMI combination at the bottom left hand corner.

Moto X (2013)

It was in August 2013 when Motorola released the Moto. The pressure was on Motorola, as the pioneer they are in the Mobile Phone industry, people were waiting in anticipation on what Motorola was going to release their own mainstream proper flagship SmartPhone like its rivals had, at a time when the company was faltering, plus in addition, it was being billed as a make a break time, the comeback device of Motorola, so much so that Moto X was Motorola's first flagship after becoming a Google-owned company in 2012.  Reviews of the Moto X was somewhat good, it didn’t blow up the market parse, well notice, lukewarm critical acclaim  but did not stand out enough against rival makes as expected.

It did not possess the cutting edge specs many were hoping for from a flagship SmartPhone It wasn't really much of a flagship, it didn’t have all the frills and thrills, all the bells and whistles, meanwhile the Moto X was acknowledged as relatively having lower performance capabilities with a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset backed by 2GB of RAM, in comparison to quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 chips flagship phones at that time had under the hood.

Still for Motorola the Moto X was a good entry effort into the flagship "big boy” level, some good innovative user interface software, performance was sufficient and the display was considered acceptable with crystal clear Corning glass.

The Moto X seemed like an upper mid rang Phone with flagship class but didn’t really cut it with mainstream Heavy Mobile User. Motorola was strategic by targeting more at the mass market and designed to appeal to everyone that was "mainstream" consumers. It did, however, offer customisation options and some funky aesthetics thanks to Moto Maker. 

Motorola’s fundamental strategy and goal was to give users who cannot (or will never be able to) afford that brand new flagship phone experience price, a chance to do just that. But the key is that this phone did undercut most other smartphones in price at the time, while still offering more than enough of every feature anyone could want in a flagship phone.  So in a nut shell, it was an upper mid-range SmartPhone with a flagship spirit that focused on and cared about the unique user experience.

Moto G (2013)

Motorola followed the same script when they dropped the Moto G in 2013 while rivals were rightfully spending big on flagships, Motorola smart-fully did the opposite, it was innovatively different, and there was a big niche in the market nobody was looking at. 

They targeted the emerging markets with above average specs. Motorola grabbed a piece of the pie, by providing Android to users who previously could not afford not only a flagship SmartPhone, but could not own a smartphone. It presented a great experience at the affordable end of the market.

Nexus 6 (2014)

As the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” Motorola took this to heart as all they did was simply took the Moto X and scaled it up to the size of a phablet, gave it more specs and power to give us the Nexus 6 and they did a good job with it too.

Google and Motorola Mobility come together to develop The Nexus 6 as a phablet co-developed that rans the Android operating system.  Appropriately named the Nexus 6 (codenamed Shamu) as the SmartPhone was the sixth device in the Google Nexus series and the successor to the Nexus 5, and carrying on the Nexus lineage powered by the Android 5.0 "Lollipop" OS that first appeared with the Nexus 6.

Motorola went large, they went BIG, literally, this was the “era” of the big phone known as the Phablet, which made sense as the SmartPhone was becoming the main one-stop-shop, the ultimate all-in-one for personal entertainment, information and utility when on the move or not,  besides that’s what all the rivals were releasing, so there for the Nexus 6 saw Motorola 2014 going large when they dropped the Nex 6 device that moved them into the phablet territory.  What did the Nexus 6 bring to the table?  It was a fantastic all-round SmartPhone with the latest version of Android, good chipsets with plenty of power, with excellent all-round performance, firm build backed by an attractive design from the design of the Moto X.  Primarily aimed at heavy flagship mobile phone users and to true Android fans. Like we said in the beginning “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” in fact improve it further, then give it a good undercutting price.

What did the Nexus 6 bring to the table?  It was a fantastic all-round SmartPhone with the latest version of Android, good chipsets with plenty of power, with excellent all-round performance, firm build backed by an attractive design from the design of the Moto X.  Primarily aimed at heavy flagship mobile phone users and to true Android fans. Like we said in the beginning “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” in fact improve it further, then give it a good undercutting price.

Moto Z and Moto Mods (2016)

Lenovo launched the Moto Z in 2016.  The Moto Z was far more than met the eye, it looked like and functioned like a regular SmartPhone however, it excelled better than the rest when in a different mode, through exclusive customised attachable accessories assigned to do a function including improved speakers, printers and cameras and then some more including projectors.  

With contact points on the back of the phone, that sends data and power between the add-on Mod and the phone. Each Mod attaches to the back of a Moto Z-series SmartPhone using built-in magnets.

The question is was the Moto Z a Flagship SmartPhone or just one that’s stands out from the rest, allowing PhoneUsers to amplify interested functions and features on the phone using accessories that work much better than the phones ability. The Moto Z wasn't a flagship it was like a pioneer device, - as since then, even though Motorola foresaw the gap anyway, Moto Mods has been an eye opener for mobile accessories makers who manufacture these add-on accessories for phones still continues and as for Motorola, it went well beyond the original phone, the Moto Z as the Moto Z2, Z2 Play, Z2 Force and Z3, Z3 Play followed.

What are the different Mods Snap-On accessories for Moto Z?  What are Moto Mods?