Things have been rather quiet on the front with Motorola since Google acquired them. However, if you read between the lines of this newest report, this could be the "calm before the storm" that heralds a huge comeback for the manufacturer. According to a new report from the New York Times, Motorola is in a transition period where it is "reinventing itself."
First, the company is going to get more focused and streamlined. This means they will have to make some painful cuts. They will be cutting about 20% of their workforce, which amounts to about 4,000 people. One third of those cut will be in the United States and the rest will be internationally as Motorola leaves unprofitable markets. This includes deep cuts to to their upper management. They are letting go 40 percent of their vice presidents, and they already replaced senior executives. Additionally, Motorola plans to reduce operations in Asia and India, and focus research and development in Chicago, Sunnyvale and Beijing.
Second, Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s new chief executive, shared in an interview that the other big change for the company is their renewed focus on just a few quality phones instead of the 27 they released last year. They intend to stop making low-end devices. Here's a statement from Mr. Woodside,
Mr. Woodside expanded further on this sharing that he wants to make the company’s products "cool again." They have a new R&D department they call their Advanced Technology and Projects. This team of about a dozen advanced metal scientists, acoustics engineers and artificial intelligence experts are working on some pretty exciting stuff. For example, our future Droid devices will have sensors that recognize who is in a room based on their voices, cameras that take much crisper photos and batteries that last for days.“We’re excited about the smartphone business. The Google business is built on a wired model, and as the world moves to a pretty much completely wireless model over time, it’s really going to be important for Google to understand everything about the mobile consumer.”
Here's a quote with a few more details on this group,
Sounds pretty enticing! Motorola already has great brand recognition with both Droid and RAZR. If they can really make good on these innovations and ignite the marketing fire for their lineup, we could see both Apple and Samsung with a serious competitor to contend with. What do you guys think?To foster innovation, Google created the group to drop a Silicon Valley-style start-up into a lumbering Midwestern company and recruited Regina Dugan from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, to run it.
Ms. Dugan, though coming from Washington, already speaks the language of Silicon Valley. “It’s a small, lean and agile group that is unafraid of failure,” she said, and it will “celebrate impatience.”