Motorola nixes Android Webtop

October 8, 2012
2

Motorola has decided to stop developing its Webtop system. Motorola cited underwhelming sales as a key reason for its decision not to go forward with the project anymore. As Android devices become more powerful and feature-rich, the need for a desktop-like device becomes less necessary, and Motorola has realized this.

Motorola Webtop, with the help of a laptop shell, essentially allowed users to turn their smartphone into a laptop. It allowed users to create a mobile office almost anywhere, which was convenient, but by no means a critical part of using the devices. There was also a smaller device that allowed users to connect their phones to a television and set up an office almost anywhere.

In a statement to Cnet, Motorola said, "Beginning with Photon Q and Droid Razr M/Droid Razr HD/Droid Razr Maxx HD, we will no longer be including Webtop on our products moving forward." If you use a device with this feature, enjoy it while you can, as it appears Motorola is not wasting any time phasing it out of its devices.

The main limitation of the feature was the cost. AT&T sold the Atrix 2 with its laptop dock for $500. It is possible to pick up a cheaper smartphone and a dedicated laptop for cheaper than that. While Webtop performed some great functionality, it was still not as functional as a dedicated laptop. Hopefully, this failure does not stop hardware makers from innovating going forward, it just seems like this idea priced itself out of competition.

[via SlashGear]


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  • phor11

    I would say the Webtop software itself actually becomes MORE relevant as phones get more powerful. However, forcing people to either hack their devices or buy a $60 multimedia dock or $120 lapdock to be able to run the webtop was ridiculous.

    If you could pull it out of the box, connect HDMI to a TV, pair a bluetooth keyboard and use the webtop; it would have been a lot more popular.

  • boonesimpson

    the price of hardware was insane. As stated in TFA, a standalone laptop was cheaper and originally on the atrix, you needed a hotspot add-on plan.
    The CHROOT environment had some benefits but ultimately was too limiting for road warriors and IT people (who should be the core audience).

    the ICS versions of webtop simply trip the device into tablet mode, which makes some sense, but no webtop docks had touchscreens so some uses cases weren’t great.

    If they do not want to develop the software …fine, but I wish the micro usb / micro hdmi placement and spacing would stay, allowing new devices to still use legacy hardware. At least until MHL is on more consumer’s Tvs.

    By abandoning the users who spent so much on lapdocks, Moto is telling them and the community “don’t trust us, everything we do is just a gimmick that we have no faith in. We just want your money and couldn’t care less about you after the check clears.”

    The android community should take moto to task (especially now they are google controlled) for abandoning webtop users, breaking their promises to atrix / photon users, and for purposely one-upping themselves (razr -> razr maxx) within a few weeks to screw buyers.

    I hope MOTO gets their crap together because I do like their phones and want to be their customer, it just seems now that they want only my loot and not my loyalty.