Motorola to rely on Android to revive phone sales

Company pushes off phones using Windows Mobile 7 until 2010

One trick for Motorola will be to come up with an Android phone that is "lower down in [price]tiers and differentiated" from competitors, Jha said. He said the Android devices that Motorola develops will "deliver a much more highly integrated social networking experience."

Co-CEO Greg Brown said that layoffs and other cost reductions should save the company $1.5 billion by mid-year. For all of 2008, sales at Motorola were US$30.1 billion, down from US$36.6 billion in 2007.

The executives said the company is still committed to spinning off the mobile devices division, but said the poor global economy has delayed any action. In the meantime, Jha said, "We are completely committed to making the handset business work. The path we are on is the right path."

The other two divisions at Motorola had different outcomes in the fourth quarter. Home and Networks Mobility sales for the fourth quarter were US$2.6 billion, down by 5 percent from the same quarter of 2007. Enterprise Mobility, which includes updated products from its acquisition of Symbol Technology, had sales of US$2.2 billion, up by 4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007.

Phillip Redman, an analyst at Gartner Inc., said Motorola needs a full breadth of mobile device offerings, not just low-end devices, which have not sold well. "You don't see anyone using its phones anymore and Motorola has to stop the slide before it becomes too late," Redman said. "The clock is ticking and its opportunity is closing."

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