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Google stifled Motorola’s iPhone-killer aspirations

Google repeatedly hampered Motorola’s efforts to create smartphones that brought the two brands closer together and this ultimately prevented it from creating a high-powered handset to challenge the iPhone.

Related: Google gives up on smartphones: A closer look at the sale of Motorola to Lenovo

The Information reports that CEO Larry Page was one of those that was most unenthused by the partnership and one of Google’s major worries was doing damage to relations with other Android OEM partners.

Motorola executives complained about Google’s lack of support for its devices during monthly operating meetings with Page, said three people that attended the meetings.

Specifically, Motorola wanted to plunge more cash into advertising, make Google’s brand more prominent on Motorola devices and make further use of Google’s technology, such as its AI software, to improve the quality of Motorola smartphones.

Page’s response was always non-committal and usually stated that issues would be “evaluated” but never ended up resolving them. “He wanted to let things play out,” said one employee that sat in on the meetings.

Page, reportedly, went as far as to prevent Motorola’s teams from working with Google Android departments and instead only allowed Motorola’s staff to work with other Google units such as YouTube and Google+.

The same article goes on to state that the Motorola Moto X, which was marketed as “Moto X by Motorola – A Google Company,” wasn’t close to the fully integrated Google-powered phone that Motorola engineers and executives had imagined. It also stated that the company wanted to use Google’s natural language processing technologies to allow a device that makes better use of the technology.

Motorola Mobility, which is now owned by Lenovo, was originally acquired by Google in 2011 for $12.5 billion [£7.5 billion] in a deal that was done, according to Google, to “supercharge” Android.

Related: Microsoft tells Google “stop abusing patents” after firm’s Motorola Mobility ordered to pay $14.5m

Lenovo, meanwhile, spent just $2.91 billion [£1.75 billion] on acquiring Motorola’s brand and smartphone portfolio, whilst Google held onto the “vast majority” of Motorola’s patent portfolio, now the obvious motivation for the original deal.