Report: Motorola To Hang Up On Thousands Of Workers, Focus on Android Software

The Wall Street Journal

Unnamed sources close to Motorola's co-chief executive Sanjay Jha told the paper that the company hopes to stem continuing losses by focusing its efforts on Google's Android software as an operating system for its new phones.

Motorola did not return calls for comment.

As of now, Motorola has seven different platforms for its different cell phones, but back in September, Jha told employees that he'd like to cut that number down to three platforms, the paper said.

Going forward, smartphones aimed for business use will reportedly continue to use Windows Mobile, and low-end handsets will use the internally-developed P2K system. The remaining cell phones will supposedly use Google's Android operating system, the paper said.

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Last week BusinessWeek cited its own unnamed sources who said Motorola is readying its own Android handset, which could see a launch date sometime in the second quarter of 2009. The magazine said that Motorola's version will feature a touch screen similar to iPhone, a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, and various social-networking features.

If the rumored jobs cuts are true, it would be in addition to cuts of 3,500 jobs announced in January, and the elimination of 4,000 employees in May. Motorola may make an official announcement on Thursday when the company announces third quarter earnings.

For the second quarter ending June 30th, the company reported sales of $8.1 billion, a drop of roughly 7 percent versus the same period a year ago. The company attributed the decline in lower sales in mobile devices, and also forecasted flat third quarter earnings.

Jha and Greg Brown are the co-chiefs of Motorola. Brown replaced CEO Ed Zander last year. Zander was taken to task for the company's loss of market share to Samsung and because it stalled on entering the 3G market. Jha was named to his position in August; he previously served as chief operating officer at QUALCOMM.