From Recession Delays Motorola Cellphone Spinoff, More Cuts Coming (MOT) (Sillicon Alley Insider):
8:24 Have had too much complexity. Today over 20 combinations of software, silicon, and UI platforms. This has resulted in high costs and portfolio gaps in 3G, smartphones, very low tier.
No longer planning to develop certain OSes. Will focus on Android, Windows Mobile, and P2K. ODM solutions for low and very low tier. Will no longer offer new OSes on internally developed Linux Java or Symbian UIQ. $370 million of charges on inventory write down.
The above is actually a very good thing. Focus, focus, focus. Less OSes translate to less maintenance overhead. And leveraging Open OSes mean leveraging others (i.e. cheaper) to build a high-quality product.
I think Android has fallen from the Sky and just at the right time for Motorola.
Motorola can focus on creating strong H/W pieces based on Android, while riding the Android wave and making things cheaper.
If I was Motorola, I would design a common platform, a foundation for all of their handsets, and drop all OSes except for one, Android, as it is (or should be) cheaper, it is based on Linux (and Motorola likes Linux), has a great UI (Motorola is not great at UIs), and leverages the Google infrastructure (GMail, Contacts, Maps, etc) allowing for highly functional handsets right out of the box. I would also use a powerful design company such as Frog Design for their industrial H/W design, and then concentrate on the manufacturing aspects.
I’ve the feeling positive things will be happening for Motorola, if they continue working on the right things: re-organizing and cutting costs/expenses, working on the right technologies, taking advantage of their strengths (manufacturing) and culture, and focus, focus, focus.
Last but not least, all of this begs the question: what is the future of MIDP3? Motorola is the MIDP3 spec lead, and the spec is pretty much ready to go, complete. But it seems for obvious reasons that MIDP3 is not on Motorola’s top/high priority list. Will Motorola drop MIDP3 or will Motorola have a MIDP3-runtime on top of Android? That would be interesting. Let’s wait and see.