Is Motorola Finally Dying?
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s announcement this week that it will cut 4,000 jobs at the company it bought a year ago is just the latest signal of the end. (See Google to Cut 4,000 Motorola Jobs.)
Ever since Google struck the $12.5 billion deal to buy Motorola Mobility on Aug. 15, 2011, questions have been raised about what it was getting. Google was very clear that it was buying patents, but it also said it would continue to run Motorola as a separate business to help it "supercharge the Android ecosystem."
So far, however, this just doesn't seem to be happening. Samsung Corp. is getting lauded for its Android smartphones while Google went off and worked with AsusTek Computer Inc. to develop its own-brand Nexus 7 tablet. Hardly a ringing endorsement of Motorola there, Google.
In truth, though, the end of Motorola has been in sight for a long time now. The company simply hasn't managed to have a big hit in the marketplace since the RAZR. Remember that?
Here, let me refresh your memory: The Motorola RAZR came out in the fall of 2004. Motorola sold more than 100 million of these clam-shell phones, but it was basically all over by the beginning of 2007. That's more than five years ago now, a lifetime in cellphone terms.
The problem for Motorola is that it hasn't come out with a device with anything like the success of the RAZR, and it was blind-sided by the advent of the iPhone and tablet computers. Even a reboot of the RAZR brand in 2011 didn't help. (See Photos: Moto Gets Skinny With 4G RAZR and Moto Needs the RAZR to Burn.)
In fact, here at LR Mobile we've been trying to figure out what Moto could do next -- since 2007.
But, like Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and BlackBerry , Motorola is looking like a former giant of the mobile industry that is now running out of time.
There might be some lessons for Google in that, too.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile