Dennis Woodside Stories January 26, 2015

Rumored fingerprint reader in Nexus 6 was real until Apple killed it, reveals former Motorola CEO

The fingerprint reader widely rumored before the launch of the Nexus 6 was indeed part of the plan, confirmed former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside. Speaking to the Telegraph, Woodside said that the dimple on the back of the handset was originally intended to be a fingerprint reader, but they were stymied by Apple’s purchase of biometrics company AuthenTec back in 2012.

Indeed, the 6-inch Nexus 6, he can now admit, was stymied by just one of those big players. A dimple on the back that helps users hold the device should, in fact, have been rather more sophisticated. “The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier. So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet,” says Woodside.

It’s believed a fingerprint reader was included in internal prototypes, before it was abandoned. Woodside’s comments provide the explanation, Motorola originally intending to buy or license the sensor from AuthenTec. Motorola of course pioneered the smartphone fingerprint reader with the “Atrix” in 2012.

Dennis Woodside Stories September 17, 2014

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When Motorola was originally acquired by Google back in 2011, Punit Soni left his post at the Mountain View company and joined Motorola as the Vice President of Product Development. Today, however, in a post on Google+, Soni announced that he is departing position at Motorola Mobility.

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Dennis Woodside Stories February 13, 2014

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Last night, it was reported that Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside would be stepping down from his position to become the chief operating officer at cloud storage company Dropbox. Woodside has now confirmed this decision in a blog post on the Official Motorola Blog, saying that he will step down as CEO at the end of March.

Woodside goes on to announce that Jonathan Rosenberg, who was the SVP of Products at Google from 2002 until 2011, will step in as COO at Motorola Mobility on April 1st. Rosenberg worked closely with Woodside and was “intimately involved” with decisions at Motorola. Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora will remain Executive Chairman of the Motorola Operating Board and continue to oversee strategy at the company. It looks as if Motorola will be going without a CEO after Woodside leaves, leaving Lenovo with a lot of control.

Woodside says he is leaving Motorola Mobility “in great hands” and that he is immensely proud of what the company has accomplished in the past 18 months. He also notes that he is excited for the next chapter for the company under Lenovo, who purchased it for $3 billion last month.

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston has also issued a statement on the news.

“We’ve long admired Dennis’s leadership at Google and Motorola where he ran multi-billion dollar businesses and built amazing organizations around the world. We’re so happy to welcome Dennis to our team — I can’t imagine a better person to help us bring Dropbox to global scale.”

Read the full resignation letter after the jump:

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Dennis Woodside Stories February 12, 2014

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According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Dropbox plans to name Motorola CEO and 10-year Google veteran Dennis Woodside as its first chief operating officer. Citing people “familiar with the matter,” the report says that Woodside will focus on further expanding Dropbox services into businesses and schools, as the company faces stiff competition from other services, such as Box Inc. 

Woodside joined Google in 2003 and was tasked with helping manage the search giant’s relationships with partners and advertisers internationally. He became the CEO of Motorola Mobility when the company was acquired by Google in 2011. Of course, Google just sold its Motorola Mobility unit to Lenovo last month for $3 billion, meaning that Woodside’s rein at Google would be coming to an end.

This is a big loss for Motorola. Even though Woodside didn’t return the company to profitability in his short tenure as CEO, he did release several very well-received smartphones, including the Moto X and its lower-cost sibling the Moto G. It remains to be seen who will take over when Woodside officially steps down from his post at Motorola. 

At Dropbox, Woodside will be the business veteran of the team, working under chief executive Drew Houston chief technology officer, Arash Ferdowsi. Dropbox has reportedly been slowing down in terms of growth, with its sales slowing and questions being raised about whether it is profitable or not. Woodside will certainly have his hands full at Dropbox. 

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Dennis Woodside Stories January 22, 2014

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It’s no secret that 2013 was the best year that Motorola has had for quite a while, even contending for the crown of the best OEM of the year. Much of the company’s success is thanks to its CEO, Dennis Woodside. Woodside has made headlines for his comments before, and just recently, he conducted an interview with Trusted Reviews, during which he made some very interesting comments regarding the pricing of phones, as well as customization. Motorola has revolutionized both of these categories already, with Moto Maker and the Moto X and the $179 Moto G (via Droid Life).

First, Woodside commented on how even the $179 price tag for the Moto G is considered a lot of money in many parts of the world. He adds that the company is looking for ways to further trim down the prices of devices.

“In much of the world $179 is a lot of money so there’s a big market at a price point of less than $179. We’re going to look at that and just delivering on that value promise is super important. I mean why can’t these devices be $50? There’s no reason that can’t happen so we’re going to push that.”

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Dennis Woodside Stories December 29, 2013

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Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside is in the precarious position of living up to incredible expectations as a Google owned company while still keeping the Motorola name in the spotlight. In an interview with the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Woodside talked that very issue and more.

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Dennis Woodside Stories December 13, 2013

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Motorola had a pretty exciting 2013. The company released the highly-anticipated, highly-customizbale, American-made Moto X back in August. The company then released the budget Moto G, which received high reviews from many people. In a recent interview with AP, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside sat down to discuss the company’s past year and give a peak into the future and how the company has changed since its acquisition by Google.

When asked what he thought consumers were most interested in seeing in their future smartphones, Woodside commented that a big area was durability.  expand full story

Dennis Woodside Stories December 3, 2013

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Update: Motorla has just detailed the full process for obtaining a Moto X at $350 on its blog. The company will now issue coupon codes to obtain the device at a discount, and customers will have one week to redeem the code and design their device with Moto Maker. Visit Motorola’s blog for the detailed instructions.

While plenty of retailers and online stores will take the time this week to discuss the great sales they had, Motorola will likely be a lone sad face as they apologize for their website downtime. Originally planned as a sale for the Moto X with a $150 Cyber Monday discount, the Motorola website was slammed to the point of oblivion and the company even missed its self-imposed deadline to come back online.

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Dennis Woodside Stories November 13, 2013

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Motorola’s Moto G announcement just ended as the company truly introduced something very aggressive and perhaps exactly what the smartphone market has needed for a very long time. There’s little question that a lot of customers are turned off by the high price of today’s smartphones and that’s exactly the mindset Motorola is aiming to change. The company hopes to convince customers that aggressive pricing featured with specs that match “high-end” smartphones don’t require a $500+ price tag.

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Dennis Woodside Stories September 11, 2013

The Verge has a great behind-the-scenes look at Motorola’s Moto X factory in Texas that is currently pumping out around 100,000 units of the new flagship device per week. We reported this morning that Motorola is currently shipping a disappointing 100k units a week, so it’s not that surprising to learn that around 200,000 square feet of the factory is not being used.

To accomplish this, Motorola partnered with Flextronics to refab a factory in Texas formerly used by Nokia. In a mere six months, the factory was completely updated and transformed to Motorola’s specifications, which including the hiring of 2,500 workers to make it run. Motorola did not actually make a final call to do manufacturing in the US until late 2012, but the factory was operational by August 6th of this year. The factory currently puts out about 100,000 devices per week, but Motorola says that it’s possible to scale it to tens of millions of units. Given that more than half of the over 400,000 square foot factory floor sits unused right now, that’s not too hard to believe.

It also spoke with Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside about why bringing assembly to the US was crucial for the Moto X’s MotoMaker customizations features.  expand full story

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Reuters reports that Motorola is currently shipping 100,000 Moto X handsets a week – though not necessarily selling this number.

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said “When you set up to ramp a factory you need a plan, and we have shipment targets we need to make with our carrier partners, and where we need to be right now is 100,000 units and that’s where we are.”

Woodside would say only that direct sales to customers were “substantial”. Either way, we suspect the company must be secretly disappointed in the numbers …  expand full story

Dennis Woodside Stories July 24, 2013

Motorola now exclusive Verizon Droid manufacturer, last pre-Google handsets roll off line

While we already knew that the Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra and Droid Mini, like all Droids would be exclusive to Verizon (‘Droid’ is a Verizon brand licensed from LucasArts after all!).  CNET now reports that the exclusivity will work in reverse too: with all Droid-branded devices being manufactured exclusively by Motorola.

Starting with the Droid Ultra lineup, Motorola will be the only smartphone manufacturer to build Droid smartphones, Verizon marketing executive Jeff Dietel told CNET on Tuesday.

Verizon had previously used the Droid brand for handsets from a range of manufacturers, including HTC’s Incredible series and Samsung’s Droid Charge. With HTC moving to its own ‘One’ branding and Samsung’s own, more powerful Galaxy branding, the news doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

These latest handsets are likely the last vestiges of pre-Google Motorola and with the Moto X coming in a few short days, these are likely some of, if not the last devices designed before the takeover by Google.  Google-installed CEO Dennis Woodside noted earlier this year that Google was working to clear some mediocre inventory that had been been built by his predecessors. With due respect to Mr. Woodside, the 48-hour battery life and other specs on these are going to give the X phones a run for their money.

Dennis Woodside Stories July 20, 2013

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The X leaks keep coming in. Evleaks/Unlockr appear to have the first press shots (besides the ones on the invite and all of the ones Eric Schmidt showed off).

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AndroidPolice also tweeted out a AnTuTu benchmark (below) which verifies our “Ghost” codename scoop earlier this year. expand full story

Dennis Woodside Stories January 22, 2013

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Google CEO Larry Page just wrapped up his opening comments during the company’s Q4 2013 earnings call taking place right now. While noting that “managing our supply better” is a priority (see Nexus 4 supply constraints), Page also hinted at some possible upcoming Motorola smartphone features. Page said Motorola is working on the following two areas: better batteries and impact-resistant designs.

I am excited about the business. In today’s multi screen world, the opportunities are endless.  Think about your device.  Battery life is a huge issue.  You shouldn’t have to worry about constantly recharging your phone.  When you drop your phone, it shouldn’t go splat.  Everything should be a ton faster and easier.  There’s real potential to invent new and better experiences.

Page also said Motorola’s new CEO, Dennis Woodside, has a built a “world-class team” that is currently exploring these new opportunities: expand full story

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