Motorola has gone from hero to zero and back to hero in the past few years. The maker of the original cell phone, Motorola hit a peak with the Razr 10 years ago, crashed during the touchscreen revolution, and has now returned as part of Google with two of the best smartphones of 2013: The Moto X – which was US-only last year, but we’re hoping might be announced for the UK next week – and of course the budget-friendly Moto G.
Quiet and confident rather than flashy, Woodside came in as Google's pick to head the pioneering smartphone maker. His background at Google included running the company's emerging-markets business and the US ad sales operation, gaining a global perspective but staying out of the mobile phone world.
"Quiet and confident" is probably how you can describe Motorola's new product line, too. The Moto X isn't the biggest or fastest Android phone out there. It's just the cleanest, most elegant, and most thoughtful, which has made it a cult object among mobile phone reviewers (myself included).
The Moto G, meanwhile, has completely upset the industry's idea of what a £150 Sim-free phone can be, with its impeccable build quality and sharp screen. These great products haven't translated into world-beating sales, though, leaving Woodside with more work to do in 2014.
I caught up with Woodside at CES 2014. See what he has to say about Google, Android spec battles, low-cost LTE phones, and more in the video above.