Asus made a Nexus 7 tablet starting at $199 Samsung made a Nexus 10 tablet starting at $399 LG made a Nexus 4 phone starting at $299 Acer made a Chromebook (laptop) starting at $199It is hardly controversial to say all of these are better and more cost-effective devices than anything Motorola has produced. Even if Motorola had not been distracted by the pending (August 2011 to May 2012) merger with Google, could it have profitably engineered and manufactured any of these four devices at these kinds of prices? This type of capability breaks down into several dimensions: 1. Timing: How quickly can Motorola cough up a new design and deliver the finished product? 2. Quality: Can the fit and finish compete with Acer, Asus, Samsung, et al.? 3. Cost: Can Motorola accomplish any of this at a competitive price? Obviously these three things hang together, to some extent. You can always have at least one out of these three. However, even two out of three is not good enough -- this is the big boys' game now, so you cannot tolerate falling behind on a single metric. All of these prices for the newest Google gear listed above has been class-leading, and widely lauded. It also appears that most of this work has happened in Asia. Yes, it's true that I'm not saying that all or most of the work needs to happen in Asia, but there is one thing here that is a bit suspicious to me, and that's Chicago.