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29 October 2008, 16:15

Motorola backs Android

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It seems that the ailing US mobile telecommunications vendor Motorola wants to further streamline its crisis-stricken mobile unit, counting on, among others, Google's Android platform to do so. The unit's new CEO Sanjay Jha wants to simplify the development and production of new mobile phones and cut further jobs, reported the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources. According to the newspaper, Jha will present his plans this Thursday, when the company announces its current quarterly figures.

Jha, who came to Motorola from chip manufacturer Qualcomm, wants to limit the number of software platforms Motorola uses on its devices to three, says the report. These apparently include Google's Android and two other operating systems. This would mean that at least four platforms would be discontinued. This in turn is likely to affect many jobs in the development and network provider customisation departments. At the same time, Motorola appears to have bolstered its Android development team which has reportedly been expanding. In other areas though, Motorola has already axed thousands of jobs in the last few months.

By limiting its production to three platforms – Motorola's own P2K for beginner models, Android for its mid-range models and Microsoft Windows Mobile for the business class models –, Jha wants to speed up the development of urgently needed new models, says the report. At the same time, it is also likely that the change will cause the development of dozens of new concepts to be discontinued, which could affect the breadth of the vendor's product portfolio in the coming quarters. Reports about an Android mobile phone by Motorola have already been circulating in the last week last week.

Motorola wants to split off the loss-making mobile phone unit and turn it into a separate listed company. Apart from being the new company's CEO, Jha will also have a chair on the overall company's executive board. Initially, the CEO's job will be to stabilise the mobile phone unit so that it can become a separate company by 2010.


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