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Motorola may bow out of cellphones, aid Apple and rivals

post #1 of 58
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After struggling for years to regain the success it had with the RAZR, Motorola may soon quit the cellphone industry altogether, according to research by a Nomura investment analyst.

Richard Windsor of the London-based firm explains that an investigation suggests Motorola would drop the segment entirely and instead focus on its enterprise and government sectors.

Talks of a Chinese takeover, however, are an "old chestnut" that isn't likely to come true unless a buying firm knows how to mend Motorola's business, the analyst says. Instead, the American company is most likely to become profitable only after enduring a "very difficult" 2008.

Motorola is already said to be suffering, and in the fourth calendar quarter of 2007 reported a 38 percent drop in its mobile device sales compared to the same period a year ago -- a stark contrast to an industry widely agreed to be growing over time. The departure of Ed Zander from Motorola's chief executive spot in mid-quarter is understood to have been partly driven by the increasingly poor results.

Most of the reasons behind the plummeting welfare of the Motorola division are understood to stem from its emphasis on individual devices. By ignoring software and the platform as a whole, Motorola has essentially given Nokia a two-year lead, Windsor says.

The researcher sees this as a trend for other handset makers as well. Other leading cellphone designers such as Samsung and Sony-Ericsson are also expected to prey on Motorola's vulnerability. Though still small, Apple has also been cited in industry surveys as stealing marketshare and perceived influence from Motorola with the iPhone.

For Apple, a Motorola departure would only serve to vindicate its decision to create its own handset. The failure of the ROKR E1 music phone in both its awkward hardware and feature-limited iTunes software were reportedly frustrating enough to Apple head Steve Jobs that he launched an end-run around Motorola, discussing an Apple-made phone with Cingular (now AT&T) even before the ROKR reached store shelves.

Since then, Motorola has continued to develop the ROKR line on its own with different music software; an eighth generation, the E8, was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show this month.
post #2 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Motorola may bow out of cellphones, aid Apple and rivals.

No way! Is this guy for real?

And I say, soon man is going to land in the moon!



I do, however, see a buyout from Apple being possible!
Imagine how beneficial will be for Apple if all those experienced Motorola engineers start working on the iPhone.
post #3 of 58
I wish someone would tell me what it was that made the RAZR at all successful? Simply the fact that it had the good fortune to come out before there was an iPhone to compare it to?

I've been stuck with my corporate RAZR POS for the past year, and if that's the ultimate in what Motorola can accomplish, then they can't get out of the handset business quick enough.
post #4 of 58
This would be a good thing. Clean house, get a fresh perspective. Quit beating a dead horse. I think they finally see the light that years in the business does not equal leadership in the business.
post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I wish someone would tell me what it was that made the RAZR at all successful? Simply the fact that it had the good fortune to come out before there was an iPhone to compare it to?

I've been stuck with my corporate RAZR POC for the past year, and if that's the ultimate in what Motorola can accomplish, then they can't get out of the handset business quick enough.

I've never seen a RAZR in use. Maybe that's just me, though.
post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfoniq View Post

Imagine how beneficial will be for Apple if all those experienced Motorola engineers start working on the iPhone.

, I do hope that is sarcasm, if so you win funniest guy of the month, hell if you are serious, I still will laugh, but just this time at you
post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

I've never seen a RAZR in use.

O_O They are everywhere! Literally! Almost like AOL CDs in the 90's, open a magazine, like three of em fall out.

I'm exaggerating obviously, but really, like everyone has one or two of em.
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post #8 of 58
Actually, I really like my RAZR. But then again, my previous phone ran Windows Mobile, and I'd rather go back to using a tin can and string than use that crappy thing again. Nothing like having to reboot my phone at least once a day just to make a call.
post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by reallynotnick View Post



I do hope that is sarcasm, if so you win funniest guy of the month.

Of course, which month will that be??

post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

Actually, I really like my RAZR. But then again, my previous phone ran Windows Mobile, and I'd rather go back to using a tin can and string than use that crappy thing again. Nothing like having to reboot my phone at least once a day just to make a call.

I like my Motorola E815 too, but I bought it 2 1/2 years ago, and not a single Moto phone since until the RAZR2 was any improvement at all [and the RAZR2 only in some specs, I've never used one].

That's how you crush a brand, take 2 years to improve your product line.
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverInDoubt View Post

I like my Motorola E815 too, but I bought it 2 1/2 years ago, and not a single Moto phone since until the RAZR2 was any improvement at all [and the RAZR2 only in some specs, I've never used one].

My biggest complaints about the razr are the interface (why can't it have shortcuts ala Nokia), and the fact that I had to download a hack just to get my contacts to sync with my Mac. Aren't there any phones (besides the iPhone) that are fully iCal/Address Book compatible with the Mac?

Obviously my first mobiles were Motorolas as well--starting with a brick and the DPC550 flip. Both were workhorses that probably would've survived a fall from the top of the Empire State. The DPC550 even let me swap batteries mid-call.
post #12 of 58
<nelson> ha ha </nelson>
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post #13 of 58
I also like my three-year-old RAZR. It makes and receives calls (most of the time), it synchronizes telephone numbers with Address book, even distinguishes between home, work and mobile numbers. It's first names only but that is fine with me. It also sends and receives SMS. And on top its calendar synchronizes with iCal.

It also has a clock, a calculator and an alarm clock. What more could ask of a phone?
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

My biggest complaints about the razr are the interface (why can't it have shortcuts ala Nokia), and the fact that I had to download a hack just to get my contacts to sync with my Mac. Aren't there any phones (besides the iPhone) that are fully iCal/Address Book compatible with the Mac?

Obviously my first mobiles were Motorolas as well--starting with a brick and the DPC550 flip. Both were workhorses that probably would've survived a fall from the top of the Empire State. The DPC550 even let me swap batteries mid-call.

Agree - nice looking phones but who the hell wrote the software on the phones - did they even compare them to the competition such as Nokia or even Sony Ericsson. Good riddance in my opinion.
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post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfoniq View Post

Imagine how beneficial will be for Apple if all those experienced Motorola engineers start working on the iPhone.

They may be 'experienced,' but they will need to be re-educated. Lots of unlearning needed there.
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The departure of Ed Zander from Motorola's chief executive spot in mid-quarter is understood to have been partly driven by the increasingly poor results.

Oh, you mean Mr. Ed "Screw the nano. What the hell does the nano do? Who listens to 1,000 songs? People are going to want devices that do more than just play music, something that can be seen in many other countries with more advanced mobile phone networks and savvy users" Zander? That Ed Zander? Heh heh, somebody has a heaping plate of crow in front of him. Maybe users were too savvy for Motorola's products.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Motorola, the company that brought us the very first production cell phone, the good, old DynaTAC "brick."
post #17 of 58
Shut down Motorola and give the money back to shareholders .
They may as well all give up really, quit while nokia, sony eric,samsung still have their dignity. IMO
post #18 of 58
I find it very hard to believe that Motorola is going to quit the consumer cellphone market altogether. But they do desperately need some help over there.

Their quality control, in both software and hardware, is abominable. Its pretty much par for the course for Moto cellphones to be released with tons of significant bugs, faulty charger ports, battery/power issues, etc.

And Moto's day-to-day execution pretty much sucks across the board... a relative of mine worked in their cellphone division, and he said that pretty much anyone who knew what they were doing over there either left or is leaving Moto for greener pastures, because the company simply cannot seem to get its head out of its a** to save its own life.

Let's just say this... when I asked said relative what phone to buy, he said: "Don't get a Moto. I'd try RIM (Blackberry)."

.
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post #19 of 58
Actually, quite sad for those who like me started using cellular phones with the famous Motorola "brick," and years later with the infallible StarTac (other than its antennas that everyone kept breaking). Motorola played an indispensable role in helping make what has become the mobile phone industry today. Too bad most here have no clue what it was like in the beginning, but then again most Americans could care less about history.
post #20 of 58
I have had a Motorola phone and used those of friends. My major gripe has always been that they just don't seem to get connectivity. With Windows you needed an extra application and have the computer initiate discovery and data transfers. This is lame, especially when you consider Bluetooth. If there was another way it was not obvious. In fact my friends RAZR only became useful when he got his Mac, though I am not sure how much of this is Motorola's fault and how of the is Windows'.

In many ways Motorola was old school, in the wrong way, and just didn't understand what it needed to keep up.
post #21 of 58
Best thing Motorola could do is jump on the Android bandwagon. No point in giving up just yet. I dont know what OS they have been using, but it strikes me that it's at the heart of their problem.
post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

Actually, quite sad for those who like me started using cellular phones with the famous Motorola "brick," and years later with the infallible StarTac (other than its antennas that everyone kept breaking). Motorola played an indispensable role in helping make what has become the mobile phone industry today. Too bad most here have no clue what it was like in the beginning, but then again most Americans could care less about history.

I couldn't agree more. Until Nokia came along and kicked their butts in the late 90's (?), Motorola was the manufacturer of mobiles.
post #23 of 58
Motorola has been coasting on their industrial design while their software has been allowed to languish and become a joke of the industry. No one wants to spend a few hundred on a phone, or even get a "free" phone and deal with an unintuitive, cumbersome UI that is guaranteed to be slow as hell.

Which is not to say their industrial design is that great. The RAZR is notorious for falling apart for no reason at all, and putting a ringer-change button on the outside of every phone is monumentally stupid.
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfoniq View Post

No way! Is this guy for real?

And I say, soon man is going to land in the moon!



I do, however, see a buyout from Apple being possible!
Imagine how beneficial will be for Apple if all those experienced Motorola engineers start working on the iPhone.

Imagine a smart CEO for Motorola partnering with Apple akin to Intel and providing advanced chipset guts for the future iPhones and expanding from there.

Motorola has a ton of engineering talent. It just needs a visionary who can see how partnering with the Apples, the Boeings, the Lockheeds, NASA and more to provide advanced parts to allow for advances, in general.
post #25 of 58
oh i'm one of those with a long history with motorola. i've had those first bricks and 4 startacs. then i started to realize motorola wasn't the same anymore...

well, today i would never buy a motorola again. it's a shi**y product with a terrible os...
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post #26 of 58
The RAZR is a nice-looking (and sized) phone with an interface that is like being hit in the face with a brick.

Windows Mobile is like being hit in the face with a brick that occasionally explodes. I had to hard-reset periodically to get the damn thing to make a phone call--losing all of my data and contacts in the process. EPIC FAIL.

As far as I am concerned, the only player in the market at present other than Apple is Nokia.

If HTC were to put Android on their hardware (instead of WM), Apple might have a problem on its hands.
post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Motorola has a ton of engineering talent.

Well said, thanks for supporting me on this .
post #28 of 58
Amen. They (Moto) focused so hard on branding (nice ads, nice photography, but unsubstantial products) and "ever thinner" RAZR "2 V9! Latest OMFG!" .... and as you say, rubbish OS, sad but true, RAZR is the SUXXZR. That said, no way Moto is just going to dump out its mobile phones overnight. Still a core business. "...and instead focus on its enterprise and government sectors"... I nearly spat out my morning tea when reading that.

Yes, selling off the mobile business and concentrating on enterprise and government sectors is something Moto may well do. However, this would be entirely insane and IMO, it could happen, if it does, Goodbye Moto. You were important for a while, now I just look at your pretty ads and laugh at the creatives that milked your Marketing Dept. for all, *all* that it is worth.
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I dont know what OS they have been using, but it strikes me that it's at the heart of their problem.

Yup. The best way to describe their old OS is... sloooooooow. It's pretty embarrassing once you have a lot of contacts on a Moto phone using said OS... the thing chugs, painfully, when you try to do anything contacts-related in the menus. It makes OS X 10.0 look like a speedster.

The have developed a new Java/Linux OS (JUIX) that's a lot better, but, in typical Moto fashion, they have been incredibly slow to roll it out across their entire lineup.

I guess they call it 'execution' because if you don't, you're really executing yourself?

.
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post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

I've never seen a RAZR in use. Maybe that's just me, though.

I bet I would see around 50 different people with a RAZR a day last year.

Granted I am a teacher and a ton of my students had them, but I did see them outside of school too....a lot of them.
post #31 of 58
I owned a Razr, a piece of crap.
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post #32 of 58
As almost all of their handsets are made by Moto....
post #33 of 58
Hi, this is my first post - I was moved to sign up because this thread just reminded me of how much I loved my startac.

I like to think I am not subject to bouts of nostalgia... guess not... where's the 512K enhanced thread?

also, my razr is the only cell phone, except for the startac, that gets reception that is far better than anyone else in the room...
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

Actually, quite sad for those who like me started using cellular phones with the famous Motorola "brick," and years later with the infallible StarTac (other than its antennas that everyone kept breaking). Motorola played an indispensable role in helping make what has become the mobile phone industry today. Too bad most here have no clue what it was like in the beginning, but then again most Americans could care less about history.

Yeah, it's too bad that they're doing poorly. They need to clean house and buy Palm or something. Palm's a real innovator.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

For Apple, a Motorola departure would only serve to vindicate its decision to create its own handset. The failure of the ROKR E1 music phone in both its awkward hardware and feature-limited iTunes software were reportedly frustrating enough to Apple head Steve Jobs that he launched an end-run around Motorola, discussing an Apple-made phone with Cingular (now AT&T) even before the ROKR reached store shelves.

I don't believe that Apple made the iPhone because the ROKR was so limited. I believe the ROKR was so limited because Apple was making the iPhone. Apple was the one that made sure no more than 100 songs could be put on the phone at one time.
post #36 of 58
Late 90's Motorola decides power PC CPUs for desktop (ie Apple) ain't worth it anymore 'cause "Apple is teh dying", declaring the AIM alliance a failure, and focus resources on power pc for communications stuff, tossing apple to the curb, and switching their semiconductor group to all windows/dell, dumping Macs that had been there for years. Later the semiconductor group is amputated by demand of wall streeters, shareholders for bleeding billions quarter after quarter. Year 2001 60,000 people were laid off at motorola. Freescale formerly the semiconductor group is sold to a private group and taken off the stock market. Motorola drops from #1 cellphone maker to #2 to Nokia. More recently they continued, dropping to #3. In part because they were getting their chips from Freescale, who still couldn't get the product out. So ironic that now Apple is playing in Motorola's field and taking their customers.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

They may be 'experienced,' but they will need to be re-educated. Lots of unlearning needed there.

Maybe not if MOTO's problem was bad management. The only reason the RAZR line existed at all was that its original team was in some sort of special isolation from standard MOTO red tape. It doesn't sound like the company learned anything from that project.
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorGonzo View Post

Motorola has been coasting on their industrial design while their software has been allowed to languish and become a joke of the industry.

And that sums it all up nicely.
Every 'Oil patch' employee from Texas to Alberta had a Motorola phone. It was a phone that "could be dropped from the Empire State Building, and survive" as another poster stated. It was a phone for trades people... rugged, durable. An industry phone when only industry could afford cell.
Then they sucked some choda for 10 years and coasted on contracts with providers, all the while being surpassed by Nokia and Samsung.
They didn't do anything significant again until the RAZOR (Macbook Air tactic). "Hey look... it's thin... it sucks ass and nobody wants it... but it's thin".
What happened is that consumers got educated and sophisticated in Motorola's 10 year coasting period. The RAZOR was the last 'OMG... industrial design matters over function" phone to be released.
What I find interesting is that Apple realized this flaw in the industry, and created the iPhone... but have severely and detrimentally made the same mistake as Motorola with the Macbook Air.

Innovation and industrial design together are a sure thing. On their own... not so much.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunWuKong View Post

Late 90's Motorola decides power PC CPUs for desktop (ie Apple) ain't worth it anymore 'cause "Apple is teh dying", declaring the AIM alliance a failure, and focus resources on power pc for communications stuff, tossing apple to the curb, and switching their semiconductor group to all windows/dell, dumping Macs that had been there for years. Later the semiconductor group is amputated by demand of wall streeters, shareholders for bleeding billions quarter after quarter. Year 2001 60,000 people were laid off at motorola. Freescale formerly the semiconductor group is sold to a private group and taken off the stock market. Motorola drops from #1 cellphone maker to #2 to Nokia. More recently they continued, dropping to #3. In part because they were getting their chips from Freescale, who still couldn't get the product out. So ironic that now Apple is playing in Motorola's field and taking their customers.

I remember all that, Motorola is such a huge global company, it so big that one part of the company were developing a new product while another part was doing pretty much the same thing, neither group knew about each others existence. This wasn't strategic, it was the fact the company is such an old grey stumbling elephant...

I worked there as a contractor, sadly to say migrating Mac's over to HP desktops. I must of saw every variation of mac made at the time, this was before OSX. I suppose thats where I got interested in Mac hardware.

Though, I hope Apple don't take over their business or engineers. Mind you Motorola were very good at dual and tri band mobiles. So maybe they should take one or two radio engineers. But I reckon they're well into finishing the next gen iPhone with 3G
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

What I find interesting is that Apple realized this flaw in the industry, and created the iPhone... but have severely and detrimentally made the same mistake as Motorola with the Macbook Air.

Innovation and industrial design together are a sure thing. On their own... not so much.

true, that Air thing I don't get either, half baked idea. Should of being 11" or 12" with FW... Stick with making computers not handbag accessories.
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