Motorola and Google: a bar-room marriage

September 10, 2009

It’s easy to frame the latest tech business developments as epic clashes of giants and alliances of superpowers.

But Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha finds more inspiration for his metaphors in saloon bar lovers.

After unveiling the Cliq smartphone at the Mobilize 09 event in San Francisco on Thursday, Jha explained to the crowd how it was he turned to Google executive Andy Rubin and the Google Android operating system for the new phone.

“Actually it was two drunks in a bar finding each other and then finding that really it was the only solution that we had,” Jha said.

Jha called Google’s Rubin within the first day or two that he took the reins at Motorola, in August 2008, he said.

“Andy I’ve got to come to see you, we have some big decisions to make,” Jha recalled saying.

The resulting Cliq phone features some innovative software that integrates various social media and communications applications in the phone. But it faces tough competition in the Apple’s popular iPhone.

The next few months will tell whether Motorola’s embrace of Android was a game changing move or a case of beer goggles.

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