Motorola’s president shot back at Apple Inc.'s lead designer Jony Ive, who had earlier offered a “scathing” criticism of the company’s Moto Maker program in a recent interview. Ive appeared to criticize Motorola's decision to allow customers to choose how their smartphones looked.
Rick Osterloh, president of Motorola, told BBC that his company had a "different philosophy." He called Apple’s prices “outrageous” and said Motorola had taken an “opposite approach” to its products on purpose.
"Our belief is that the end user should be directly involved in the process of designing products,” Osterloh told BBC. "We're making the entire product line accessible.”
In a recent interview to The New Yorker, Ive had asked the magazine not to name which company he was criticizing, but Motorola’s popular Moto Maker customization program fits his description. He told the magazine that he was bothered by a number of products that were “developed to be different, not better.”
"Their value proposition was, 'Make it whatever you want. You can choose whatever color you want,'" Ive told the New Yorker. "And I believe that's abdicating your responsibility as a designer."
Motorola’s Moto Maker program lets customers choose a number of color and material choices for its Moto X smartphones. They include leather and wood backs and a number of other color options, but Osterloh said Motorola’s differences with Apple extended beyond product design.
"We do see a real dichotomy in this marketplace, where you've got people like Apple making so much money and charging such outrageous prices. We think that's not the future," Osterloh told BBC. "We believe the future is in offering similar experiences and great consumer choice at accessible prices."
Motorola’s handsets are powered by Google Inc.’s Android software, and the Moto Maker program began while it was owned by the tech giant. Motorola was later sold to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo.
"The mobile phone industry's greatest failure is also its greatest opportunity -- to make really good, affordable devices for people who don't want to spend a lot of money,” Osterloh reportedly said. "A great smartphone, and a great mobile internet experience, shouldn't be an expensive luxury. It should be a simple choice for everyone."