Aug 13 AT 8:26 AM Nick Gray 25 Comments

Motorola to cut 4,000 jobs – focus shifting to fewer phones with longer-lasting batteries

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With the Motorola Mobility acquisition tucked away in Google’s pocket, changes  that should help Motorola regain its foothold in the mobile industry are starting to take place. The New York Times is reporting that Motorola will start by trimming its global workforce by 20 percent, resulting in the termination of nearly 4,000 employees. The cutback will allow Motorola to shut down one-third of its offices in Asia and India while reducing R&D in Beijing, Sunnyvale and Chicago. According to the company’s CEO, Dennis Woodside, this dramatic move will allow Motorola to focus on “a few cellphones instead of dozens.”

We have a right to compete in this market and I think we've got to prove why we're going to build and bring devices to people that are worth talking about again.Gary BriggsMotorola

The new company strategy will turn Motorola’s focus away from entry-level phones, which have very little profit margin, to high-end devices with longer-lasting batteries, improved cameras and new voice recognition software. These changes will be accompanied by new ads that will be more in touch with Google’s brand identity, portraying a simple and emotional message to consumers.

After posting losses for 14 of its last 16 quarters, it’s clear that Motorola is trying its best to reinvent itself as a means to achieve profitability. The dramatic workforce reduction is expected to cost $275 million in severance-related charges in Q3, but we expect to see a newly invigorated Motorola by early next year.

Via: The Verge

Source: NY Times

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • triangle

    I completely agree with the strategy of having fewer, better products from Motorola. Hopefully, they will all be Nexus-type devices.

    • zerosix

      Now we have only one product, and it is RAZR!*

      *including RAZR MAXX, RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD, RAZR MAXX HD 4G LTE, RAZR MAXX HD 4G LTE XT, RAZR HD 4G LTE XT+ and 15 more RAZR’s [some random letters].

    • thanzm

      I believe that Motorola’s new overall strategy is flawed. You can’t copy other business models without understanding your strengths and differences. That’s what moto is doing now. That’s where Samsung has excelled. Sure they copied designs from successful products out devices from their competitors, but they stood strong to their strengths and played their weaknesses to come up above everyone else. Samsung doesn’t make as much profit from the US market as much as it makes everywhere else. That’s why their products are released worldwide. That’s why Sammy releases their phones in Asia and middle east and Europe before even talking to carriers in USA. They make their profits globally from a wide variety of devices. They always have and they always will. Motorola is exiting markets to better align itself to sell more phones than Samsung. That’s a joke of a strategy. They are going downhill not up. So no, I have no doubt whatsoever if the rumours are true, I’m never going to be excited to buy a Motorola phone like I’m looking forward to what Sammy is going to come up with next.
      Also Im sure all Motorola phones are going to be available only in the USA imprisoned to carrier deals. Far away from where the rest of the world lives.

      The Razr Maxx for example never came out anywhere else other than in the US. And Samsung has already started putting higher capacity batteries in their new devices

  • fletchtb

    These are not easy decisions for a company to make and I am sure they did not take them lightly, but a company like Motorola with a pattern of financial losses has to make cuts.

    I am sure they will come out the other end of this a better company and producing devices that people all over the world will want!

    • aranea

      I agree with the Samsung comparison too so they need not only to make high end phones but to advertise them. yet I think the key thing is keeping up with the updates. If motorola can prove that their phones will get updates soon after the official release of a new version of Android instead of waiting for 7-12 months or never getting any. That will make a big selling point. They can advertise saying that your cool new gadget will always be the latest in features. That’s the one big reason that attracts many of us to Nexus phones.

      • thel0nerang3r

        About 2 years or so ago, many people swore they would never buy a Samsung phone because of updates and other issues. Now, they are the premier (or at least sell the most) Android manufacturer. I agree with you, updates not only bring new features, but also provide bug fixes. It helps the experience throughout the life of the phone.

  • h0ruza

    Yes its a good plan but HTC has proved that you need more than just reducing your line up. The One line beat Samsung in my eyes but look at the sales. Samsung’s current success was born from the SII and even though the One range is phenomenal the general public spent there cash based on the SII being the only competition to the iPhone 4 (at the time) and made a simple choice based on the SIII being automatically better again.

    Brand loyalty is so strong to break so if any manufacturer was to make any head way they would have to make a phone that…

    1.Hands down looked better than anything else on the market.
    2.Was amazing to use with less fuss, ease of use and truly made light of daily tasks
    3.All there mates would envy.

    Simple!

    Moto should truly go for it or not bother.

    • shadhussain

      I agree with the HTC comment but Moto does a have some existing (albeit fading) brand power. I still see some baby boomers carrying around the classic slick razr flip phones. problem with their current crop of smart phones is that they all appear far too clunky, techy and futuristic (what’s with those sinister looking energon glowballs?), with odd corners.

      Moto obviously has the engineering know-how, they just need that extra bit of direction. Get those NexusQ hardware designers in the mix and rip some real slick hardware out! Perhaps a line-up of of integrated smartwatches, smartphones, set-top boxes, and web-docks to full ChromeOS. OK, I’m dreaming but there’s so much potential to really upset the stranglehold Samsung has created.

      • h0ruza

        Build wise Motorola can stand up and be counted but for many years they have been releasing pen tile screens regardless of the bad press.
        They do have historic phones like the razor but does it translate the way we dreamed it would?

        They need to keep things simple. Bring out a 4.4″ edge to edge phone & a 4.8″ phone also edge to edge before someone else does. Get a proven product designer on board, go JB stock with the software and run tegra 3.
        Successful come back in the bag and the world is their oyster.

    • redraider133

      HTC is still releasing a lot of phones though. Plus HTC has always been weak in battery department where moto decided they can make thin phones with a maxx battery. All HTC did was say consumers want thinner phones and not larger batteries.

  • MoSDeeb

    If this will lead to Motorola having a secure future and the ability to offer better handsets than I’m all for it. From the moment the acquisition was announced job cuts were already on the table. Google had taken on about 20K new employees.

    • zerosix

      Great words.
      I used to love Palm and I hoped that HP would do things the right way, but they FAILED.
      Now I just hope, that Mr. Woodside is not Leo Apotheker (or Stephen Elop), and will do his best to make Motorola important playerof smartphone market.

  • snowbdr89

    Im a fan of less phones, i hate buying a phone just to find out a better phone is in its way!! Make a couple of beasts an perfect it with proper updates…

  • Nathan D.

    I do like this new tactic but look at HTC, they aren’t doing as good as they should be. What both motor and HTC should do is make more ads like Samsung does to catch the attention of the more people if they want more sells. But then again what do I know.

  • Mattheo

    Ok, lets start with unlocking all motorola bootloader shall we?

  • Droidna

    Good for Motorola, bad for the folks on unemployment.

  • redraider133

    Hopefully moto sticks with this. More high end phones with huge batteries and potentially stock or very little blur could really help get faster updates.

  • jamal adam

    Finally, these companies are starting to learn to focus. Also, I think Motorola needs to stop sending all their best phones to Verizon and start being more like Samsung and have their top-tier phones on all the major carriers.

  • Alex Belko

    longer lasting batteries are the most interesting feature, all manufacturers should consider it

  • cb2000a

    Smart move….they have a ways to go to catch Samsung.

  • JH

    Google should just take the patents, ideas and best people from Motorola and get rid of the rest.
    Motorola is done.

    • dutrak

      But they wont

  • NeoJesus

    Motorola phones suck!

    They are a PITA to root, had the Droid 2 Global and will never buy a Moto again. Samsung all the way!

  • thanzm

    Instead of downsizing, they can expand. Open shop in more countries around the world. Do the same thing they are planning now, but on a global scale.
    Samsung did not make it big by selling devices only in the US market.