Both Motorola and Google have steadfastly maintained that, even though it's owned by Google, the phone maker is treated just like any other Android manufacturer. That sentiment apparently undersells some of the divisions between the two, according to a report at The Wall Street Journal. As we learned earlier today, the Moto X doesn't ship with the latest version of Android, and the WSJ cites the usual "people familiar with the matter" who claim that a chilly relationship was part of the reason. "It's not like we were equally disadvantaged—we were more disadvantaged," an ex-Motorola employee told the publication.
Some of the tensions reportedly centered on ex-Android chief Andy Rubin, who is said to have "opposed embracing Motorola more closely." Other tensions apparently fell along fault-lines within Google that we've heard about before, namely that Motorola was reportedly concerned that it wouldn't be able to ship with the Chrome web browser preinstalled. The Android team is said to have not returned Motorola emails and generally kept a chilly distance that apparently wasn't fully resolved until Sundar Pichai took over the Android division.
Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside denied that a culture clash caused any problems in the development of the Moto X, "I don't believe there were any issues there." There are signs that the relationship is now on better footing. Woodside told the WSJ that the company has been assisting its parent company with manufacturing issues for Google Glass and could one day actually take over production directly.