Motorola may bow out of cellphones, aid Apple and rivals

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 57
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 57
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,509member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 57
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,509member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    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
  • Reply 6 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 57
    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??



  • Reply 9 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    <nelson> ha ha </nelson>
  • Reply 12 of 57
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member
    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?
  • Reply 13 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    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."
  • Reply 16 of 57
    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
  • Reply 17 of 57
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    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)."



    .
  • Reply 18 of 57
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 57
    ajmasajmas Posts: 557member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 57
    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.
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