Friday, October 31, 2008

Motorola expected to announce “Google Phone” plans this week

Private Property
The new head of Motorola’s mobile phone division, Sanjay Jha has decided that the company should focus the bulk of its efforts on developing phones based on the Google backed Android system. Spurces close to the issue told The Wall Street Journal that the plans will be formally announced on Thursday and could result in thousands of job cuts.

Motorola declined to comment on the news report.

The move could result in scrapping existing handsets under development which would rely on Linux or Nokia backed Symbian, and there are concerns that this could position the company with few new handsets in the critical Christmas holiday shopping season. Mr. Jha told Motorola employees late last month that the firm would base its future handsets on Windows Mobile, its own in house OS and a third unnamed platform.

There have been analyst comments in the past though that the company’s diversified OS portfolio had spread its development teams too thinly and helped the general decline of handset sales at the company.

The company was recently reported to have 50 staff working on Android phones already and is ramping up its team to 350 people.

A recent report from Gartner, Symbian commanded 57 per cent of the global sales to end users in the second quarter of 2008 compared with 66 per cent in the same period last year. Symbian’s performance was affected by a 26 per cent drop in unit sales in Japan and Symbian’s licensee Mitsubishi exiting the market. Overall, Symbian’s share declined as a result of a more competitive and fragmented mobile operating system market.

Sales of Microsoft Windows Mobile devices increased 20.6 per cent year over year, with Microsoft’s share remaining flat at 12 per cent in the second quarter of 2008. Microsoft’s strongest region in unit terms was North America, followed by Western Europe. Both regions combined accounted for 74 per cent of global Windows Mobile sales.

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