Apr, 29 2010

Back when Android and the Open Handset Alliance first came to be, Motorola was said to be the movement’s biggest supporter thanks to head of mobile devices Sanjay Jha: they needed a saving grace for their failing mobile handset division. The chronology from Motorola’s trek to thrust itself back into the market as a top mobile competitor since then has truly been a fairy-tale story.

Today, Motorola confirmed that they only lost $192-million from their mobile division in their first fiscal quarter, but this is a good thing compared to what they lost only a year ago: $545-million. This kind of turn-around from the fast-sinking ship they were on a year ago is tremendous in scope, and it’ll be great to see how Motorola continues to do as they’re poised to get even more aggressive in the handset market.

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The hugely successful Motorola Droid – with its quirky offsprings, the CLIQ and Backflip, amongst others – were the biggest factors in the turn-around (aside other modest internal moves such as cutting high-level executive salaries by 25%). Motorola expects to bring out 20 new smartphones this year ranging from low-end entry-level offerings to top-of-the-line Nexus-like beasts.

Co-CEO Jha also reportedly spoke about Motorola’s interest in the tablet market:

You are seeing a convergence with PC and mobility. I actually see this convergence as being very very important. Very, very important. We are very engaged with this marketplace. We think that tablet is one form factor, there are other form factors and other solutions that people are engaged in. We are engaged with the development very intimately, and we will announce whatever we need to announce at the appropriate time.

If this quote is true, Sanjay’s outlook is indicative of Motorola’s new mobile strategy and tells a story about how the company feels internally about their future. If 5 handsets alone were Motorola’s saving grace, we can’t imagine what’ll happen when they begin producing phones left and right like we once knew them to do.

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