Google's crazy Android choice has sunk Motorola's chances

Google's crazy Android choice has sunk Motorola's chances
X-traordinary decision from Moto

Picture the scene, Tim Cook walks out on stage at the next big Apple launch just after Phil Schiller has shown off the features of the new iPhone 5S including iOS 7.

"Here's the iPhone Mini," he says, proudly "And it's so sleek it can easily run iOS 6!"

It simply would not happen. And if it did, Apple would be rightly pilloried for failing to run its latest operating system on its phone.

Which brings us to the Moto X and the, frankly, crazy decision to go with the option of Android 4.2.2 rather than the latest 4.3.

We wood-n't go for it anyway...

We wood-n't go for it anyway...

Kind of a big deal

Let's dial back a bit and explain why this is a big deal. As you no doubt know, the Moto X is the new flagship phone from Motorola, representing the dawn of a new era for the company.

You'll, of course, be aware that Motorola belongs to Google. As you also know, Android is Google's operating system.

So just to be clear: the flagship Android phone from Google-owned Motorola doesn't have the latest version of Android.

Yes, there are excuses that some would consider as mitigating. Carriers have to test the latest Android software to check that it works on their networks - a process that can take days and even weeks.

In other words, going with Android 4.2 is the safe option. And nothing says flagship phone like playing it safe right? Right?

Multiple colours, but is it enough

Multiple colours, but is it enough

Screw U, UK

Given that I'm in the U.K., I probably shouldn't even care. That's because Motorola wants to concentrate on the U.S. market and we won't be getting our hands on the phone.

Plus, it's a phone that feels like it should really have come out last year, possibly at the launch of Android 4.2. But of course that was the Nexus 4 - which got a deserved burst of publicity when it arrived WITH THE LATEST OPERATING SYSTEM.

Actually, a big swathe of my annoyance probably stems from the ludicrous amount of hype around this phone in the build up to the announcement.

It's enjoyed as much pre-launch discussion as a genuinely cutting edge phone, so when it becomes apparent that this isn't, it's difficult not to feel let down (as the TechRadar team were), and that's not really Moto or Google's fault.

4.3 - not a big step, but still the latest one

4.3 - not a big step, but still the latest one

It should also be pointed out that Google's Nexus program, and its ownership of Motorola are very different animals. The search giant seems at pains to make it clear that it is not favouring any particular manufacturer, and if it then threw it weight behind a manufacturer it owns, the steady trickle of talk about big guns leaving Android to set up proprietary operating systems would become a torrent.

But given that 4.3 is already out, is already featured on phones like the Nexus 4 and will soon be on Galaxy S4 and HTC One Play editions, that point becomes surely becomes less relevant.

So, hello Moto, but let's keep the small-talk short. I'm in the U.K. so it seems you don't really care about me and, to be honest, I think that playing it safe with Android does nothing to make me want your products anyway.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.