Motorola Reported to Be Working on a Google Phone
Published on: 29th September 2008
It has been reported that Motorola is ramping up development of mobile phones based on the Google backed Android Operating System. The company is understood to have 50 staff working on Android phones and is ramping up its team to 350 people.
The TechCruch blog has spoken to an unnamed developer working on Android applications who was headhunted to go and work for Motorola. The same person says that they have seen Nokia and Verizon representatives at Android conferences, which they hint may suggest Nokia is interested in developing Android based phones. However it would be usual for companies to keep an eye on industry developments. anyway - so the sight of Nokia at the show is more likely to be routine conference attendance by their staff.
The move could be the first major decision by the new CEO for Motorola's handset division, former Qualcomm exec, Sanjay Jha. He said in an interview shortly after taking the job last month that he would seek to implement changes quickly within the company, although he warned that it was too early to tell when phones with his fingerprints would hit the market given the long handset design cycles.
Motorola has been notably promiscuous with its support for mobile phone operating systems, having supported Linux, Symbian and Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS. There have been analyst comments in the past though that the company's diversified OS portfolio had spread its development teams too thinly and helped the general decline of handset sales at the company.
Nokia is generally committed to the Symbian OS which underpins its smartphones - and recently decided to open-source much of the platform to encourage more companies to use it. Nokia is however, also rumoured to be looking at using Mobile Linux in some of its future handsets.
A recent report from Gartner, Symbian commanded 57 per cent of the global sales to end users in the second quarter of 2008 compared with 66 per cent in the same period last year. Symbian's performance was affected by a 26 per cent drop in unit sales in Japan and Symbian's licensee Mitsubishi exiting the market. Overall, Symbian's share declined as a result of a more competitive and fragmented mobile operating system market.
Sales of Microsoft Windows Mobile devices increased 20.6 per cent year over year, with Microsoft's share remaining flat at 12 per cent in the second quarter of 2008. Microsoft's strongest region in unit terms was North America, followed by Western Europe. Both regions combined accounted for 74 per cent of global Windows Mobile sales.
On the web: TechCruch
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