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Jha Don't Say

11:45 AM -- Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) co-CEO and Mobile Devices chief Sanjay Jha should remember: If you say you're not going to speculate, then don't.

In Unstrung's coverage of Motorola's horrible quarter this morning, Jha was asked when the company's ailing devices unit would break even. His reply: "Sometime after 2009, whether its 2010 or 2011, I'm not going to speculate."

He really thinks it will break even? Seriously? At this point, why set any expectations for the business?

Moto is up a tree. It's hanging its hopes on Android, partly because, compared to products from Apple and RIM, the current version of Windows Mobile is a dumpster fire. And Moto does need some way to come up with a low-cost phone capable of enabling high-margin services.

The trail of coverage leading to Moto's front door suggests that Android won't do much for Moto in 2009; no one wants to buy Moto's devices unit; and Moto can't afford to spin the unit off. That situation, if even close to correct, is not one to inspire confidence.

Even hinting that Moto's device unit would break even, even in five years, was too rosy a picture to paint. This is the group that invented the RAZR, then proceeded to slash its own wrists.

Jha may have a good plan for the devices unit, long-term, but he should have dodged that question as if it were a diamond-studded BlackBerry being hurled at his head.

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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