Idle Musings: Chances Of Motorola Ditching The Handset Business Seem Slim

from the go-back-to-selling-startacs dept

There's some buzz today about a research note from an analyst firm suggesting that Motorola might ditch its struggling handset business. However, as Eric Savitz at Barron's points out, even the analyst who brought up this possibility doesn't seem to think it's likely. Motorola has really had quite a roller coaster ride in the handset business over the years. Every so often it seems to hit on a specific handset design that catches on... but then forgets that it needs to keep innovating. Remember the Motorola Startac of the mid- to late-90s? Everyone had one of those. And then, everyone else innovated past Motorola while it kept releasing the same phone over and over again with minor improvements. The same sort of thing happened in the mid-2000s, as Motorola had a hit with its RAZR phone. Again, however, all the other handset makers eventually leapfrogged (or should that be LPFRG'd) Motorola, leaving Motorola in trouble once again. The research note points out that the business is so far behind that the company might even have trouble selling off the division to a Chinese manufacturer -- the strategy Siemens used to dump its struggling handset division to Benq a few years back. At this point, it still seems unlikely that Motorola will exit the business, but it seems pretty clear that the company needs a strategy a little more long term then "let's come up with an iconic phone every 10 years and then sit back."


Reader Comments (rss)

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    MILES, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 10:24am

    Its working!!! A lil work every 10 years sounds like a job i want!

     

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    Michael Megalli, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 10:33am

    RAZR Burn

    Yes, I agree that this is unlikely. That set-top box business isnt what it used to be either. I was also struck by the Startac / RAZR similarites(http://marketing.blogs.com/marketing/2008/01/razr-burn.html). This time instead of just sitting on the design, they also killed the brand!

     

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    Hellsvilla, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 1:07pm

    well....

    I really liked my first razor... Then when it shattered (what can I say, I have kids, life happens), I went to my cell provider and got a new one. I was up for a renewal anyways, so the new phone was basically free. I "had" been pleased with the service thus far.

    Then I got the phone home, and found out it was a "verizon wireless RAZR" and every single god damn feature of the phone has been disabled, and I'm stuck in a 2 year contract with verizon for a piece of crap phone that I absolutely hate.

    I know it's not Motorola's fault for this piece of crap I have now. But I'll still never forgive them for making a custom phone for verison with none of the god damned advertised features that the RAZR is famous for. So I will never buy another motorola again, nor will I ever use VZW again.

    The goddamn fuckers (pardon my language) even disabled the fucking vibrate-then-ring feature. Cause I might forget to buy ringtones if I dont listen to the ringer.

     

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    Wyatt, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 1:58pm

    That's what you get when you opt for a POS!! company like Verizon. Power corrupts, and they just suck balls.

    I don't think Motorola would give up their handset division. Some of the best profits were (for the most part) do to the handset part of the business. There's no way they could justify losing the potential profit. But I guess it happens all the time. Funny how’s these big multi billion dollar company’s have so little insight on their own doings.

     

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      John Duncan Yoyo, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 12:18am

      Re:

      Yep if it wasn't that Verizon has great coverage in the places I go I would be gone. They mess up phones with great features and wonder why everyone hates them.

      I want my count down timer back on my LG. It is still on the Sprint version of the phones. Hopefully they will stop mucking about with the software like they claim will.

       

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    Stephen Pate, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 2:53am

    Motorola needs to finish the engineering

    Motorola needs to finish their engineering, mainly the software. I've owned Motorola phones since the 80s and they all suffer from what was called "Chinese Engineering" - i.e. incomplete.

    The Razor has software for sharing data with your computer. Dozens of calls to their tech line, web site etc have not produced the fix for the software communication error.

    Joe Public would have quit long ago in disgust. The deeper I go in Motorola the more indifference and incompetence I meet. The company is all advertising and glitz with virtually no desire to complete the picture.

    Lazy group - probably think they're still making walkie talkie's for the military.

     

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    sprearson81 (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 6:42am

    Motorola needs to stop sucking so bad.

     

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