Motorola almost went down in history on Tuesday as being the first major equipment vendor to host a press conference in Barcelona without actually having a single product to announce. However, the U.S. company just about redeemed itself at the eleventh hour by announcing that it will launch a wearable device later this year, and that that device will be less "ugly" than those its rivals have produced so far.
"It is our intention to deliver some interesting wearable products…We're going to be developing a watch and that will be coming out later this year," Rick Osterloh, SVP of product management at Motorola told a sprinkling of journalists at the vendor's MWC 2014 event on Tuesday night.
And Moto is keen that its smartwatch will differ from those already unveiled by various competitors in one crucial way.
"They are all extremely ugly," Osterloh said. "We're trying to solve the problem of style."
The vendor did not specify exactly when it will unveil the smartwatch. "We're going to be announcing it in a few months," Osterloh said.
Understandably, the press in the room were keen to ask the questions that the Motorola executives on stage were not able to answer, specifically those surrounding its $2.91 billion acquisition by China's Lenovo that was announced in late January. However, the comments they were able to make suggest that Moto is not expecting much to change if and when the deal closes.
"We are 100% focused on our strategy of embracing Android," said Steve Horowitz, SVP of software engineering at Motorola.
One of the key reasons Lenovo was attracted to Motorola was for its brand, which has undergone a shift in recent years, the executives pointed out.
Motorola stands for "great value for money," for solving real customer problems, "and giving users choice in the design of their phone," said Osterloh. "We will continue with that."
One of Moto's recent customer choice innovations was its decision to introduce wooden backs for its Moto X smartphone range, something it did just over a year ago.
"It's a trend we're going to continue," said Osterloh. "This is something we'll keep doing…later in the year we'll have more to offer."
Just when you think Motorola might have a workable future in front of it, it goes and pushes wooden phones at a Barcelona non-event. The jury's still out on the former U.S. powerhouse.