If you thought Motorola and its Moto X Maker helped you customize a unique smartphone, then prepare for even more. The Google-owned company has just announced Ara, a hardware platform that is entirely open to customization — essentially letting tinkerers develop their own smartphones.
“We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines,” Motorola said in a blog post (via Android Police), which explains this is an advancement of its Sticky make-a-thon initiative.
Motorola says it will begin inviting developers to create modules for the ambitious project in a few months, while it is working with Dave Hakkens, the creator of Phonebloks, and the Phonebloks community to explore the possibilities of fully customizable smartphones.
via The Next Web.
Motorola isn’t doing very well as a part of Google. In Google’s most recently reported quarter, Motorola garnered revenue of $1.18 billion. Not a small number, but a mere 8% of its parent company’s consolidated revenue. And, in the comparable third quarter of 2012, its revenue totaled $1.78 billion.
That’s a decline of 34% in a year, even with Motorola launching its much-hyped Moto X smartphone.
That’s only half the picture, however, as Motorola loses quite a lot of money: $248 million in the quarter. Google sums this well, noting that the loss was “-21% of Motorola Mobile segment revenues.” Motorola lost $192 million in the year-ago quarter, so the trend here isn’t positive.
However, Motorola costs Google in other ways as well. Google recorded an amortization expense relating to Motorola of $153 million in the quarter. However, only $37 million of that sum was incorporated into Motorola’s results, so the net impact of Motorola onto Google’s quarter is in fact larger than it first appears.