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In Transit From Google to Lenovo, Motorola Announces Plans for New Wearables

A trio of executives talk about where the company is headed.

Ina Fried

Motorola didn’t have any new products to show in Barcelona, but the soon-to-be-sold Google unit says it does expect to have several wearable products on sale this year.

“It’s our intention to deliver some interesting wearable products this year,” Senior VP Rick Osterloh said at a press event at Mobile World Congress. One device will be a watch.

“We are trying to solve some real user problems,” Osterloh said. “There are no wearable products that you want to wear. They are all extremely ugly.”

Asked whether it will run Android, Motorola executives declined to give details, but Osterloh quipped, “It won’t be running Tizen.”

The event comes at an interesting time for Motorola, which is in the process of being sold to Lenovo.

Motorola scheduled the event before Google announced its plans last month to sell the company. The company decided to keep the event, with then-CEO Dennis Woodside slated to brief reporters on strategy. Then Woodside left for Dropbox, setting the stage for Tuesday’s rather awkward appearance.

As for that transition, the trio of Motorola executives who spoke on Wednesday talked up what Motorola could bring to Lenovo as well as what Lenovo brings to Motorola.

Google’s size, they said, while a benefit in some ways, lowered the sense of urgency. “They wanted us to be successful but they never truly needed us to be successful,” said Steve Horowitz, the senior VP who leads Motorola’s software engineering and previously worked at Apple, Google and Microsoft.

While not introducing new products at Mobile World Congress, Motorola did say that it plans to expand its Moto Maker online customization engine for Moto X to Mexico and Europe, starting in the second quarter.

“Users want to express their style, express themselves,” said Osterloh.

Update: In a question-and-answer session, Osterloh said there are no immediate plans to go into China with the Moto X. However, as part of Google, Motorola was essentially shut out of the market because of Google’s business decisions. With Lenovo, clearly the situation is very different.

“We see that as a really exciting opportunity,” Osterloh said.

Motorola’s event is still taking place. Check back for further updates.

This article originally appeared on

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