Dec 10

Motorola, iPad & the theory of evolution

I love it when technology companies talk tough. Add Motorola to the list of contenders who brazenly proclaim that they can make iPad look silly.

This video is Motorola’s way to help build the excitement leading up to the grand unveiling of their mysterious tablet-to-come at CES.

Does it work? Well, as always, that depends on who you are. I’m sure there are people in the world who look at this video and think, “Wow, cool, I wonder what they have up their sleeve.” As a teaser for the event, that’s all they can ask for. So I’ll give them the honorary G.W. Bush “Mission Accomplished” medal for that.

However, as our friend W. discovered, things aren’t always what they seem. At some point, Motorola has to produce a working tablet that really does make you want to move beyond iPad — or they’re going to look laughable for making the claim.

Let’s just pause for a moment to consider the reality:

One year ago at CES, when everyone knew Apple was about to revolutionize the tablet category, companies fell over themselves trying to beat Apple to the punch. Not only did they know what Steve Jobs had up his sleeve, it was pretty obvious Apple was going to build upon the technology already established in iPhone. Steve Ballmer stood up during the keynote waving the Microsoft/HP tablet prototype, which was never heard from again.

Now, after all this time, with Apple owning the lion’s share of the tablet market and still no real competition in sight, Motorola will now “evolve” beyond iPad?

Pardon my lack of faith, but it’s a bit far-fetched.

The technique used in the video is to establish a sense of humor by first bashing “tablets” that have been around for eons (Egyptian Hieroglyphic Tablet, 10 Commandments Tablet, Rosetta Stone, Mayan Engraved Tablet), and then apply the same humor to iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab before leaving us with a tease about Motorola’s higher evolution.

Dismissing iPhone, the title says “It’s like a giant iPhone, but … it’s like a giant iPhone.” Others have made this argument, and honestly it’s one of the most brain-dead arguments there is. iPad really is a giant iPhone (minus the phone), and that’s exactly what it needs to be. Apple already had the magic combination with iOS, multi-touch and the App Store. A faster processor and bigger screen were the only missing ingredients.

The video dismisses the Galaxy Tab by saying, “Android OS, but Android OS … for a phone.” Never mind that Motorola’s tablet will run on a tablet-optimized Android OS, just as iPad runs on an iPad-optimized version of iOS. By their own logic, Motorola’s “evolved” tablet will be nothing more than a giant Android phone.

The spot ends with the Motorola logo, at which time a bee enters the picture. It’s jarring enough that a number of YouTube commenters thought the bee-buzz sounded like a certain human emission. In theory, we’ll soon find out what the bee is doing there in the first place.

Then again, maybe that bee was never intended to be there at all, like the fly that got into Seth Brundle’s teleportation machine. Be afraid. Be very afraid…

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  • George

    Haters gonna hate.

    PS the bee is a hint that its going to be running Google’s next iteration of Android, named Honeycomb (aka 3.0)

  • honkj

    the iPad is nothing more than an iPhone, except with 45,000 apps written specifically for the iPad, (along with about 300,000 other apps where 98% also work on the iPad from the iPhone collection)

    the Motorola tablet will have approximately ZERO apps written specifically for the Motorola tablet, (along with 100,000 app where 1% and less will work for the Motorola tablet from the Android collection)

    hmmm… tough choice there….

  • bryan Birch

    Just trying to slow sales of the iPad this Christmas.
    Good Luck Motospoiler.

  • mikeP

    Who should Apple and Samsung send the cheque to for the product placement advertising?

  • Riz

    I have one word for Motorola: Loser!

    With it’s engineer centric approach there simply is no place in this world for Motorola. They cannot design. They have their moments (Razor was one) but otherwise, they are stuck at the Motor-o-la days of functional but ugly devices.

    We live in a world where the perceived value is everything, hence design leads sales. Even Apple was affected by this for a while. When people perceived that iPhone 4’s reception is perceived to be low. They changed the meter algorithm and all went back to normal.

    They will fail and soon the name Motorola will be part of History.

  • Kesey

    The bee is there because the tablet runs android honeycomb.

  • Motorola will be introducing the iPad wannaBEE tablet next year!