On Google's Q3 2012 earnings call today, CFO Patrick Pichette talked briefly about Motorola Mobility's performance about half a year into its acquisition:
Look, we're really pleased with Motorola's progress in its first 150 days. As indicated in our public filings, our team has made a lot of operational changes, we harmonized and narrowed the product portfolio, [undertook] streamlining of software operations, and we scaled back the markets in which we operate. But that said, we're just at the beginning of the Motorola-Google story, and we should expect, as I mentioned before, results from this segment to be quite variable for quite a while yet.
Remember that we inherited an entire product pipeline where hardware business cycles are typically 12 to 18 months.
In other words, Pichette is warning that we can expect hardware from Motorola without design pressure from Mountain View for at least another half a year to a full year from now — and it could even be construed as a swipe at the desirability (and, in turn, the profitability) of the pre-Google products currently in Motorola's pipeline. In the short term, this would appear to be Verizon's vision for Motorola more than Google's.
"...we should expect, as I mentioned before, results from this segment to be quite variable for quite a while yet."
Needless to say, it's unlikely that Andy Rubin's team was happy to see Motorola launch a slew of new devices this month that aren't even coming to market with Jelly Bean. It sounds like we might see Moto finally start to harmonize with the mothership in 2013, but in the short term, don't be suprised to see more uninspiring phones running last year's Android.