updated 05:45 pm EDT, Mon October 8, 2012
Three phones, no tablets available from Motorola's website
According to German wireless news website Areamobile, German customers have severely limited access to Android-based Motorola smartphones. The site noted that according to the Motorola Mobility German website, only three smartphones are available -- the Razr i, Razr MHD, and GLEAM. No Android tablets are available at all. When links on other portions of the website are followed, users are directed to a page that says that updated devices will be available at the end of July.
Areamobile contacted Motorola Mobility who said that the software on the unavailable devices, including the Xoom tablets was being "reworked at the moment" and would be available soon.
According to patent analyst <Florian Mueller, Motorola will probably have to "ask third-party Android app developers to create special German versions of their apps to avoid the infringements that the courts in Munich (five injunctions) and Mannheim (one injunction) decided to end."
Mueller considers Motorola to be "tasting its own medicine." Mueller notes that "Motorola Mobility started it all as far as litigation in Germany is concerned. Motorola won the race to the courthouse against Apple in the US as well. Motorola was hoping to do serious damage to Apple and Microsoft in Germany, but while Apple and Microsoft are still selling all of their products in this market, Motorola Mobility has nothing to offer but a vague promise to resume its sales. It already promised to do so by late July, as its German website proves."
The companies are currently fighting several legal battles in several countries, including the US. Most of the lawsuits are related to mobile technology patents, as part of a larger legal war between competing mobile platforms. Microsoft has struggled to grain traction in the smartphone market as it pushes its competitors to license its mobile technology.
Only two of the three injunctions against Motorola products have been enforced in Germany. It remains unclear if Motorola will appeal the decision, attempt to reengineer the software to avoid infringement, license the technology, or simply cease selling the affected products. [via Florian Mueller]