Motorola: 'Screw Nano' Comment a Joke

At a leadership seminar in California Friday, Motorola CEO Ed Zander talked about his role in rebuilding the phone maker's brand. But when answering a question from the audience about the iPod Nano, Zander apparently lost his cool saying, "Screw the Nano. What the hell does the Nano do? Who listens to 1,000 songs?"

Motorola, however, has fired back and claims IDG News Service, which first reported the outburst, is taking the comment completely out of context. Company officials say Zander was smiling and joking when he responded to the question, and he did praise Apple and its iPod.

"Motorola has a great partnership with Apple. Unfortunately Ed Zander's comments, made at a conference in California on Friday, were taken out of context," Motorola said in a statement.

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The iTunes-capable ROKR has been met with a fairly cold reception since the start. Even on the day of its debut, Apple's Nano stole the show and Motorola was left on the sidelines as Steve Jobs wowed the crowds with a new iPod no thicker than a #2 pencil.

"During the Q&A session one questioner repeatedly and insistently asked what Zander thought of the Nano. Jokingly, Zander said he wasn't there to talk about the Nano - but to talk about the next big thing happening in the industry - the fusion of the phone and music. ROKR with iTunes was a good beginning, he said, and there's more to come," the statement continued.

Motorola says that the 1,000 song remark was simply a joke in response to part of the question that asked why the ROKR only held a maximum of 100 songs. It has been widely reported that Apple -- not Motorola -- imposed the restriction to keep the iTunes phone from affecting sales of the iPod.

Nonetheless, Motorola is working hard to clean up the public relations debacle, even though Zander himself has no problems with the new iPod. Sources tell BetaNews that Zander actually bought two Nanos following the product's launch.

33 Responses to Motorola: 'Screw Nano' Comment a Joke

  1. wincement says:

    "Sources tell BetaNews that Zander actually bought two Nanos following the product's launch"

    lol. I'm surprised he didn't buy one for everyone at Motorola after that statement. Out of context or not, CEOs have to be careful what they say =p

  2. robertguda says:

    "Motorola has a great partnership with Apple. Unfortunately Ed Zander's comments, made at a conference in California on Friday, were taken out of context," Motorola said in a statement.

    sure...who they want to believe this ? they just in plain public showed how much this nano and ipod bussiness has them terrified...
    One doen'nt need a degree in psycology to jump to this conclusion. but cheer up fella's...you are not the only ones scared to death by another company's bigtime succes...

  3. PC_Tool says:

    When did Ballmer start working for Motorola?

  4. rijp says:

    Why should CEO's act any different? That's the problem with you political types. You think that because they hold a higher esteem, they are required to act or BE different. They are people. No more. No Less. Get over it.

    Screw the Nano. So what? Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You people watch way too much media hype, you should learn to get out more, and actually experience the real world for a change. Get out from behind the damn TV, and form your own damn opinion. Is that so hard?

    • wincement says:

      At the risk of being really cheesy and un-original, let me quote Spiderman: "With great power comes great responsibility."

      Ok, that wasn't a risk... that was a sure thing - oh well.

      Anyway, CEOs have to be more careful because their actions affect more people. It's that simple. Sure he's entitled to his opinion. It's just not the greatest idea in the world to tell everyone about it if it is potentially damaging to current business transactions (which was DEFINITELY the case in this story).

    • RationalCop says:

      Certainly they can say whatever they want. And people can use the knowledge of that statement in anyway they want. The freedom to say what's on one's mind, to express one's opinion, does not mean one is free from the consequences of one's speech; that one is free from the consequences of other people exercising their freedom of association and speech in response to what was said.

      • GoodThings2Life says:

        Indeed... As wincement quotes from Spiderman, he makes a great point... A person can say whatever they choose and think whatever they think... but they must also accept that what they say has an impact on others... either positive or negative. Maybe he doesn't care, maybe he does... and I believe he was joking (I say the same kind of thing all the time)... but when a person chooses to excercise their so-called right to freedom of speech, they also have the right to look like a complete jerk-off, too.

        [And before anyone flames me about the rights of our Constitution here in the US, let me remind flamers (or perhaps educate them) that the Constitution only grants the right of Freedom of Expression as it relates to the government and criticism thereof.]

      • RationalCop says:

        You are correct as to the US Constitution.

        Warning: Segue

        I would posit however, that the line from Spiderman was used in a different, though similar, context.

        When Uncle Ben used that line to Peter, as well as later when Aunt May used, they were referring to some proactive obligation that they believe a person has to society when that person possesses great power (read ability or means). This takes in the form of putting one's self in harm's way to protect others, to sacrifice of one's self or one's resources for the benefit of others. Because he has power, ability, or resource, his life is worth less than others.

        I think that is complete rubbish.

        A "Spiderman" (or person of great ability) has no proactive "contract" or obligation to society, save any to which he voluntarily commits (like emergency personnel do). A person's only legitimate "contract" with society is to not violate other people's rights, which is NOT a proactive obligation. That doesn't mean people don't hold inaction by powerful people against them, it just means they really don't have a legitimate reason for such a grudge.

        The CEO, on the other, hand has a "contract" or obligation to his company, stockholders, board of directors, etc., to act in a proactive manner to further business, AND not act against it's interests.

      • wincement says:

        Agreed.

  5. smith288 says:

    I agree with the statement. WHo has the time to listen to 1000+ songs? No offense but I always seem to think the marketing is the wonder of the ipod. Its a glorified walkman with advances n technology. Whoopty flippin do. The ipod phones and other similiar technologies ARE intriguing. Of course this is my personal opinion. :)

    • RationalCop says:

      I have 5000+ songs on my iPod. Do I have time to sit down and listen to them all the way through? No. Do I have whatever song I want to listen to with me whenever I want to listen to it? Chances are, yes. The amount of storage is just another option for those who have a desire for it. Some folks aren't strictly confined to the things they "need", and often buy things simply because they want them and they are useful TO THEM.

      Because you don't find value in the device and it's storage capability doesn't mean other people don't value it or have a use for it.

    • javip says:

      the ipod is actually crap and overpriced compared to other mp3 players out there.
      it's all marketing..
      which i find kinda ironic since it's apple freaks that constantly whinge about having a superior product but losing out to microsoft simply due to marketing..
      and how ms copies apple and blah blah
      now we have apple benefiting from it's own marketing techniques to win over the public with an inferior product

  6. tmaioli says:

    Kinda sounds like Steve Balmer about Google, they all must take the same management seminars. I don't know why someone use Ipods anyway, I like my music to be freed from DRM of any kind. Call me Old School but MP3 on a CD, via a MP3 CD player, done. Ya I know it doesn't fit in my pocket, but the money I save does.

  7. JW25 says:

    Who cares what some exec has to say. If you like the product buy it and use it. If you don't, don't buy it.

  8. sadproz says:

    First of all, to all you "old" people who just dont get it:

    -iPods dont prevent anyone from getting out. Infact, I bike an average of 4 hours a day, and most of the time I'm listening to music while enjoying to the great outdoors. Its either listening to music or listening to the sound of honking horns and road rage cursing. People dont listen to their iPods when INSIDE, atleast on headphones. Thats what a stereo is for.

    Secondly, for all you technically retarded:

    -iPods arent just for DRM'ed songs. I have a 4 Gig iPod Mini holding 50 allbums and not one song has DRM. You wanna know why? Cause every song is an mp3. Thats right, iPods hold mp3s. You dont need to buy from the iTunes store to listen to music on an iPod. Get over it!

    BUT...if you wanna complain about something, complain about the fact that these $200+ items scratch and even screen-crack under normal use. So you cant actually put the Nano in your pocket or carry it in your purse or backpack without worrying the entire time that next time you pull it out...its broken. Now that sucks!

    • wincement says:

      Um. Who said those things? I'm confused. =(

    • soupruls says:

      The Nano is tougher than you think. Look at the newest article from ars technica and see what they put it through before it started to have problems. They ran the thing over with a car, and threw it out of a moving vehicle and it still ran, so stop whining about durability.

  9. nightops says:

    Is the iPod meant to compete with the cellular industry? No. Is the ROKR meant to compete with iPod? Possibly. Is it truly a competitor? No, not really. Motorola is ridden with clunky interfaces that are a little slow in response time. I have a 20GB 4G iPod and a V3 Razr. Before the Razr, I owned a V600. I like Motorola, but I'd never let go of my iPod for a ROKR due to the low capacity. As others have said, there is NO WAY that I will listen to 1,000+ songs straight, but it is nice to have the option of choosing ANY song from my reasonably vast library. That's what it's about. As far as cost/price comparison, you must be referring to the mini's...which really are overpriced. Same for the new Nano...but it will drop in a few months once the hype is down. I'd pit my 20GB iPod against the iRiver or any other hard-disk based mp3 player any day. I have every bit as much flexibility. I use EphPod for the file management. My battery life is every bit of 14 hours after probably 25 discharge cycles. My phone couldn't hold out that long.

  10. sillycybin says:

    its amazing how many people are clueless to the iPod capabilities, but are willling to bust on it at will.
    iPods are inferior to what other mp3 player? and what jukebox software do those other mp3 players use to load them up with mp3's? EXCACTLY! Maybe you get it now. You dont have to spend a penny on mp3s to fill your iPod. Sounds like you are the victim of marketing. how ironic huh?

    • smacktard says:

      IPODs are played. There are WAY Better .mp3 players out there. I just picked up an ARCHOS Gmini 402. I got a 20GB HD .MP3 player, Picture viewer, Movie Player and Voice Recorder. My screen is bigger than your IPOD's and the device's total dimensions are small than your IPOD's. You go listen to your music. I'll watch some DVD's on my Gmini. IPOD's are for those weird MAC freaks who don't know any better. Get a Clue Fool.

      Oh wait, but you got PODCasts..yeah!

      • sillycybin says:

        If i wanted to watch my dvds on a lil player like that i would buy one. I bought an iPod to listen to music. I rarely watch a dvd at home in front of my TV, so why would i want to watch one on a miniscreen. my eyes hurt just thinking about it.
        why do you act like voice recording is something special? do you actually use it? If it had some kind of digital input for professional recording then yes, that WOULD be cool, but voice recording, come on.
        OIC!!! i got it. you need to take your porn on the go. Short videos like that my eyes can handle. I SEE THE LIGHT

      • smacktard says:

        "so why would i want to watch one on a miniscreen."...when travelling perhaps.

        RE: Voice recording...you have a point. I don't record my voice. However, I read a review where someone brought their Gmini to a concert and was able to record the whole thing in relatively good quality. So there are benefits. It also has TV Out for Video and Pictures so you don't have to watch it on the small screen. But when travelling for long distances its a nice feature to have.

        IPOD's are nice and all, but when compared to less expensive products with more features and similar to better quality, the IPOD starts to lose its luster. The problem is that when ppl think ".MP3 Player" they think IPOD. They then get sucked into the Apple trap without first realizing other options.

        RE: Nano's...I jumped on that bandwagon IMMEDIATELY. I was psyched to get one. Then I did my research and for the same $$ got my ARCHOS. Now after reading about their screens being easily scratched, I am SO glad I went with my decision. For all you ppl thinking about getting an IPOD.. research first. ARCHOS has some nice competition at the same pricepoint.

        I'm done.

        -pce

        -smacktard-

      • Smacktard.. you sound a little retarded!.. You also appear to be VERY young. It is obvious that you are jealous of Apple's SUPERIOR products.. Yes I am an avid Mac freak as you so ignorantly stated.. There is a REASON why MOST of the iPod owners are PC people(80% of iPod owners are NOT MAC FREAKS!!)... they REALIZE that APPLE is far ahead of the game compared to most non Apple products..There aren't ANY MP3 Players that come anywhere near Apple's success.. Sony just GOT out of the MP3 market because of iPod's...and they started the portable music industry, 20 odd years ago!!! ..They COULD NOT COMPETE!!!..I know of the unit you speak of.. I just laughed out loud when I read your comments.. they were so RIDICULOUS..I think everyone is intitled to their opinion, including you... The only reason I am responding to your idiot post is that you need to realize that assertion...Enjoy your unit and DON'T be so hostile against those who have different taste..also being jealous is a TERRIBLE THING!!!!!....
        One last thing maybe one day you too can afford an iPod!!!!!:)...

  11. sadproz says:

    ARCHOS Gmini 402? Where was ARCHOS in November 2001 when Apple released the 1st Generation 5Gig iPod?

    but Now...the ARCHOS seems cool, but i bet its retarted in practice. And really, is it compatible with PCs AND Macs? If I want to start watching REVENGE OF THE NERDS on the metro for everyone to croutch around and make fun of me, ill look up the ARCHOS. But to play music transparently, and manage my 60 Gig music collection (which is very important by the way - you Windows Media Player lovers, ugk!- then im sticking to iPod or any other device that does things BRILLIANTLY! If im going to spend a good amount of money on an electronic device, I want it to do what it does WELL, and for a very long time. Ive had my Mini for 2 years, ive used it everyday, and I wouldnt trade it for anything less. Obviously, some would.

  12. barcrest says:

    Big problem i have with the IPOD is it is not quite where i want it to be. If i really wanted to carry around all my music and not just 5,000 songs it's too small. If i don't and just want to load up what i am likely to listen too it's too big, i mean most of us know what we want to hear on a journey before we leave the house...

    This is strange because on one hand i would love to carry around 200gb of mp3's however having to pick 20, 40 or even 60 gig from that lot. I might as well just pick the 10 albums i am into right now and stick them on a 1 gig solid state mp3 player which i can pick up for the price of a pair of ipod head phones. If i loose it or break it no biggie... It's not the size that counts but what you do with it.

  13. Andrzej_Pl says:

    I prefer Zen Touch then iPod. Why? Simple...the price. I don't need the coloured screen to watch photos. I don't need several types of accesories. I don't need to pay extra for a sign of apple

    Yet if someone wants to buy iPod it's his/her cash and I don't care what someone does with money :).

    And about 1000+ songs. I just want to load my player with lots of music. Then I can listen what I want, where I want.

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