The New York Times is reporting that Google will be cutting up to 4,000
jobs within its recently integrated Motorola Mobility division in order to change the company’s current direction on manufacturing and developing phones going forward and the changes look to emulate Sony Ericsson and HTC’s own attempts to revitalize themselves with varying levels of success for each respective company.
First, Google is said to have issued a new mandate to Motorola to kill off all low-end phone development, with feature phones and any related development being halted, along with the closure of up to a third of their international offices and subsidiaries, all of which combine to equal up to 20% of its global staff along with leaving markets that have been proven to be unprofitable within the past 2 years.
In explaining the various moves, recently installed CEO Dennis Woodside offered this rather obtuse statement explaining the cuts and change in company direction:
“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.”
With the change in direction for Motorola Mobility imitating previous moves from Sony Ericsson and HTC, what remains to be seen is whether the cuts will result in devices that will actually be desirable, as the company’s latest releases in the ATRIX HD and the forthcoming Photon Q serve as the last vestiges of the formerly independent company and its now former philosophy of releasing as many phones with as many variants as possible with specifications that merely matched competing devices.
To that end the company is now employing everything from metal scientists, acoustics engineers and artificial intelligence experts in order to develop their next wave of devices, although the Google connection would allow it more time to compete in the marketplace, with time being of the essence.
With the new focus on fewer devices, that means that Motorola’s next wave of devices need to be hits out of the gate, otherwise Motorola risks the same fate that has befallen HTC since the release of its One series, with losses mounting quarter after quarter and reflecting the poor consumer interest in the devices compared to its pre One series lineup just 18 months ago.