By Stephen Schenck | July 12, 2012 6:55 PM
Back in early 2012, Motorola sounded positively enthusiastic about its Webtop docks, including the laptop-style Lapdocks. CEO at the time Sanjay Jha talked about plans for the next generation of Webtop, adding features and expanding functionality. Could it be, though, that Motorola has finally succumbed to the general lack of user interest in the system, and given up on those plans? That’s the feeling we get from the new Atrix HD.
While the original Atrix, as well as the Atrix 2 supported Webtop, the new Atrix HD does not. We might not jump to so severe a conclusion if this was just some random Moto handset that lacked Webtop, but for the company not to bring it to the latest Atrix model really feels like a bad sign for the project’s future.
In a statement, Motorola explains the lack of Webtop on the Atrix HD as a cost-saving decision, and doesn’t touch upon its future. That’s a rational explanation, but are there really still users out there who would pay a premium for Webtop on other Motorola models?
Jha had admitted back in January that not even ten percent of its users with Webtop-capable phones take advantage of the feature; for it to continue investing money in something so unpopular, even with plans to dramatically improve Webtop on the table, might have simply become an untenable position. If that’s true, it’s a shame, because even if it wasn’t getting the kind of use Motorola wanted to see, it was a genuinely useful feature that maybe just wasn’t given the promotion it needed to succeed.
Until we hear something official, it may be too early to speculate on just where Webtop might have fallen apart, but for the sake of getting things started: Lapdocks were never given the kind of pricing they’d need to be really attractive. With a Lapdock itself costing nearly as much as a stand-alone netbook, it just didn’t make sense to go with the less capable option. If they had cost half as much, things might have been very different.