Motorola Mobility thrown a Googly*
Search engine behemoth Google is cutting 4,000 jobs at its recently purchased Motorola Mobility unit and closing or amalgamating a third of its 90 facilities as it tries to slot the hardware manufacturer into future mobile plans. A report in ‘USA Today’ quotes Google as indicating that two-thirds of the job cuts will be outside the USA, and as saying the move will "simplify” Motorola's mobile product portfolio, shifting the emphasis from feature phones to more innovative and profitable devices."
"These changes are designed to return Motorola's mobile devices unit to profitability, after it lost money in 14 of the last 16 quarters," Google reportedly said in a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Motorola, once the second largest mobile phone vendor in the world, lost US$249mn in 2011 on top of the loss of US$86mn in 2010.
Google bought Motorola Mobility in May 2012 for US$12.5bn. The industry wisdom was, and is, that the search engine giant wanted Motorola Mobility for its patent library – reportedly 17,000 granted and 7,500 pending – as ammunition with which to fight IPR challenges to the Android OS from competitors. However, the effectiveness of the Google patent acquisition strategy is being questioned after a US court this week has ruled against Motorola Mobility and in favour of Apple in an iOS royalty dispute.
Kendrick Struthers Watson
*Googly: In cricket, a googly is a type of confusing and disguised delivery bowled by a right-arm leg spin bowler. It is occasionally referred to as a Bosie (or Bosey), an eponym in honour of its inventor Bernard Bosanquet. To make matters worse, if bowled by a left-arm bowler, it is called a ‘Chinaman’, but is really still a Googly. Simples, isn’t it?