Google Cutting 1,200 More Motorola Mobility Jobs
Google is cutting about 1,200 more jobs in its Motorola Mobility unit, according to a new report.
The downsizing comes just seven months after Google announced about 4,000 Motorola Mobility job cuts, closed about one-third of its production facilities, and streamlined its mobile lineup. The latest round of cuts will reduce the Motorola Mobility workforce by more than 10 percent to just fewer than 10,000 employees, according to a Friday report from The Wall Street Journal.
"These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer," a Google spokesman said in a statement to PCMag.com. "It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition."
In an email to Motorola staff obtained by the Journal, Google said that "while we're very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges. Our costs are too high, we're operating in markets where we're not competitive and we're losing money."
The layoffs will affect Motorola employees in the U.S., China, and India, with most of the cuts reportedly occurring outside of the U.S.
Sorry Motorola, Samsung and Apple Phones Top Reliability Survey
Every smartphone has it flaws, but according to FixYa, Apple's iPhone has less than others.
Cupertino's popular device beat out Samsung, Nokia, and Motorola in terms of reliability, based on FixYa's analysis of troubleshooting requests.
According to the FixYa Smartphone Reliability Report, Apple dominated the test with the fewest number of problems relative to market share. Despite complaints about the smartphone's battery life, FixYa said, users love the simple, if less customizable, user interface.
The Motorola Droid lineup, meanwhile, earned the lowest reliability score, as well as the least market share. Customers "have constantly been let down by an overwhelming number of problems," according to FixYa, which describes itself as a community based trouble-shooting resource. Motorola garnered a total 136,436 problem impressions on FixYa, including notes about touch-screen issues, speaker and camera quality, and pre-installed bloatware.
"Smartphones are consistently being compared on a case-by-case basis, but no one has looked at the overall trends across the manufacturers' entire smartphone line," FixYa CEO Yaniv Bensadon said in a statement.
The site's newest report compared the iPhone, Galaxy, Lumia, and Droid lines, comparing reported issues with market share, and releasing a final reliability score. The result, Bensadon said, is a scaled approach "to truly see who is the most reliable, and who is barely even comparing."
Google Sells Motorola’s Set-Top Box Business for $2 Billion
Google is selling off Motorola Mobility's set-top box division, Motorola Home, to Arris Group for $2.35 billion, the companies announced Thursday.
The deal, which has been approved by both companies' boards, is expected to close by the second quarter of 2013. Under the agreement, Google will receive $2.05 billion in cash when the transaction closes, as well as approximately $300 million in Arris shares, giving Google a 15.7 percent stake in the company.
Google acquired the division as part of its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility. The Web giant reportedly received multiple offers for the unit, which makes set-top boxes used to deliver cable video. Google was reportedly looking to offload the unit to focus its attention on mobile devices.
With more than 500 customers in 70 countries, Motorola Home is a profitable business that generated revenues of $3.4 billion for the period ending on Sept. 30, 2012.
"The industry faces its biggest technology transformation, and together Arris and Motorola will be able to accelerate related innovations such as the introduction of the IP Connected Home environments that service providers need and that their consumers crave," Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside said in a statement.
Google Warns of More Motorola Jobs Cuts
Google already cut 4,000 jobs from the Motorola Mobility team, but a new regulatory filing suggests that might not be the end of the cutbacks.
"Motorola continues to evaluate its plans and further restructuring actions may occur, which may cause Google to incur additional restructuring charges, some of which may be significant," Google said in a filing with the SEC.
The search giant provided details on how much the layoffs will cost. That includes $300 million in severance-related charges, and $90 million in facility and market exit charges. Much of that will be recognized in the third quarter of 2012, but a portion will roll into 2013, Google said.
A company spokeswoman said today that the filing was made "to provide updated information around Motorola Mobility's cost reductions that were announced earlier this summer," but provided no further details about additional costs or more job cuts.
In July, Google reported a jump in revenue since its Motorola acquisition was finalized – Google earned $12.21 billion in the last quarter, up 35 percent from the same time last year. Motorola's earnings reached $1.25 billion.
Motorola’s Razr i Has Intel Inside
Google-owned Motorola Mobility on Tuesday joined Intel in London to unveil the Razr i, Motorola's first smartphone with an Intel processor.
The Razr i features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display that "spans from edge-to-edge with virtually no border," Motorola said in a news release. Under the hood, there's a speedy, x86-based Intel Atom Z2460 processor, which runs at up to 2.0GHz courtesy of the chip giant's Burst Performance technology.
Though Intel has had a tough time loosening rival ARM's grip on the mobile processor market, with the Medfield-class Atom Z2460 it has achieved single-watt-and-below thermals that are very competitive with the ARM-based chips in Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S III. The Atom Z2460 is a single-core processor—many current ARM chips used in smartphones are dual-core and quad-core parts—but Intel's Hyperthreading tech serves up similar multi-core functionality.
The phone will be available next month in select markets in Europe and Latin America, including the U.K., France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, according to Motorola. There's no word yet on pricing or when it will arrive in the U.S.
Thanks to multi-threading in its Intel chip, the Razr i allows for multitasking, like jumping from playing a game to a music playlist without skipping a beat. As PCMag's sister site ExtremeTech noted, Intel and Motorola's partnership dates back to January when the companies announced a multi-year deal to bring Intel chips to Motorola phones and tablets running Google's Android mobile operating system.
Motorola Unveils Revamped Droid Razr Lineup
Motorola today unveiled an updated Droid Razr lineup, including HD versions of the Droid Razr and the Droid Razr Maxx, as well as the smaller Droid Razr M.
The 4.3-inch Razr M will be available from Verizon Wireless starting next week for $99; the carrier will start accepting pre-orders tonight at 5 p.m. Eastern. Motorola said the Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD will be released in time for the holiday season.
All three new Droid Razr devices will (eventually) run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and include various Google services, including Chrome for Android, Google Maps, Voice Actions, and YouTube. They will run on Verizon's 4G LTE network.
According to Rick Osterloch, senior vice president of product management for Motorola, the Droid Razr HD is the most compact 4.7-inch LTE smartphone while the Droid Razr Maxx HD provides "ridiculously long battery life" and extra storage.
QWERTY, 4G LTE Motorola Photon Q Coming to Sprint
Motorola announced today that its Photon Q smartphone, the followup to last year's Photon 4G, will soon be available from Sprint.
The updated smartphone includes a five-row, QWERTY keyboard and 4.3-inch ColorBoost touch screen, which Motorola said is the largest screen available on a QWERTY smartphone.
The Photon Q will run Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and a 1.5-GHz, dual-core processor. It features an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p video capture and a front-facing HD camera for video chat.
The Photon Q's "mirror mode" allows users to connect their smartphone via HDMI to larger screens, like TVs, to view photos, movies, or other files stored on the phone.
For mobile payments, the Photon Q also supports near-field communication (NFC).
The Photon Q will connect to Sprint's 4G LTE network where available. Earlier this month, the carrier rolled out its network in 15 cities around Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, and San Antonio. Sprint said today that that network will expand to include Baltimore, Gainesville, Ga., Manhattan/Junction City, Kan., and Sherman-Denison, Texas by Labor Day. Sprint expects to complete its 4G LTE buildout by the end of 2013.
Motorola U.S. Import Ban Takes Effect Today
A ban on Motorola devices in the U.S. was scheduled to go into effect today, but the Google-owned company said it has come up with a workaround to address the patent violation that prompted the ban.
In May, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered an import ban on Android-based Motorola devices that infringe on a Microsoft-held patent.
The patent in question covers technology for "generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device." Unless Motorola removes the infringing technology from its gadgets or comes to a licensing agreement with Microsoft, it will not be able to import and sell them in the U.S. - starting today.
In a statement, Motorola said it has taken "proactive measures" to avoid a ban.
"In view of the ITC exclusion order which becomes effective Wednesday with respect to the single ActiveSync patent upheld in Microsoft's ITC-744 proceeding, Motorola has taken proactive measures to ensure that our industry leading smartphones remain available to consumers in the U.S.," the company said. "We respect the value of intellectual property and expect other companies to do the same."
The company did not elaborate on what those measures might be.
"Microsoft brought this case only after Motorola stopped licensing our intellectual property but continued to use our inventions in its products," David Howard, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, said in a statement. "It's unfortunate we've been forced to pursue legal action, but the solution for Motorola remains licensing our intellectual property at market rates as most other Android manufacturers have already done."
Motorola Reveals Atrix HD Full Spec List
It appears that Motorola inadvertently revealed a full spec list for the latest device in Atrix lineup, the Atrix HD.
Details about the Android-based smartphone showed up on Motorola's site this morning, but were promptly removed. The short-lived splash page revealed that the Atrix HD is headed to AT&T, thanks to the carrier's logo on the front of the pictured device.
The specs revealed the Atrix HD phone is powered by Google's latest mobile operating system, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and sports a 4.5-inch, 720-by-1,280 HD LCD display with ColorBoost, according to reports. The third-generation Atrix device, which is the follow-up to the high-end Atrix 2 smartphone, boasts a 1.5-Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 4G LTE connectivity. It has 8GB of internal storage, which is expandable with a microSD card.
The device has an 8-megapixel camera with flash on the back, and a 1.3-megapixel front camera. It looks very similar to the Droid Razr, but is not quite as slim, measuring in at 8.4mm thick and weighing 140 grams.
Like the Razr, the Atrix HD will feature a Kevlar-backing and a Gorilla Glass-enforced screen for durability. One possible downer, however, is the device's 1,780 mAh battery — a downgrade from the 3,300mAh battery in the Droid Razr Maxx.
Judge Dismisses Apple, Motorola Case (for Real)
A Chicago judge on Friday formally dismissed a patent case between Apple and Motorola.
Judge Richard Posner tossed the case with prejudice, meaning neither company can refile in that court. "It would be ridiculous to dismiss a suit for failure to prove damages and allow the plaintiff to refile the suit so that he could have a second chance to prove damages," Posner wrote in his decision.
Basically, neither Apple nor Motorola could prove that they were entitled to damages. Apple acknowledged that the judge's decision to exclude testimony from its damages expert witness doomed its claims on two of four patents.
In a statement, a Motorola Mobility spokeswoman said the company was pleased by the dismissal. "Apple's litigation campaign began with their attempt to assert 15 patents against us," she said. "As it relates to Apple's violation of our patents, we will continue our efforts to defend our own innovation."
The road to dismissal has been a bit of a roller coaster. Several days after dismissing the patent case between Apple and Motorola, Judge Posner reversed course and said he would allow Apple to pursue an injunction against Motorola devices. But Apple did not present a strong enough case after all, and Judge Posner decided to end the case.