Motorola CEO Talks CLIQ, BLUR and Selling The Company?


The guys over at Gizmodo dug up an interesting video of Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha discussing the company’s new phone (CLIQ), new service (BLUR), Android strategy and potential sale on CNBC. Wait what – potential sale? Here is what Gizmodo’s John Herman said about the video:

Motorola isn’t depending on the Cliq to revive their phone business; they’re depending on it to ditch their phone business. Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha practically said as much, in a strangely frank interview on CNBC:

Decide for yourself – the ‘spin off’ talk comes with about 2 minutes left:

I’m usually picking up what Giz is puttin’ down, but I have to disagree in this case. He is talking on a financial news segment. The entire world knows Motorola has thought about spinning off the Motorola Handset division in the recent past. He acknowledged that if the right market conditions existed and right offer presented, sure they might spin it off. But isn’t that what any good CEO would do, pursue the interest of their shareholders?

He goes on to say that he likes the direction of Motorola’s Android strategy and thinks they can turn it around in the next several months, mentioning a SECOND Android phone to be announced on a SECOND American carrier for HOLIDAY release (ahem Motorola Sholes on Verizon).

PALM was in this position earlier in the year. Their company was in trouble. Their product sucked. People talked about DELL buying them. They announced an amazing new operating system and the Palm Pre. People STILL talked about DELL buying them so they could cash in on their new found hype.

Would PALM have sold to DELL for the right price? Sure. And no… Motorola doesn’t have their own operating system to rely on, but they also don’t have the burden of producing and maintaining an entire operating system. They have JUST released a pretty solid product with a fantastic OS and finally there is excitement and hope regarding what the MOTO handset division is all about.

Why sell now? Unless you get an offer that exceeds the present day valuation – what is the point? By leveraging Android, Motorola has nowhere to go but up. While the CLIQ might not become a dominant device on T-Mobile’s crowded Android lineup it will likely be considered a success when all is said and done. And when a little bit more upscale of a phone is announced on Verizon for the holidays?

I don’t think Motorola’s Handset division will be sold any time soon. It is all about the POTENTIAL of Motorola’s Android strategy. In this climate, a buyer won’t purchase based on “potential” value and I doubt Motorola is willing to sell without this consideration.

The Motorola Android thing needs to play out before any type of deal would be struck. And honestly, I’m thinking Motorola will succeed and the price tag will be higher than most company’s will be willing to pay. If DELL wants to offer some outrageous amount that is “an offer they can’t refuse” – sure they’ll take it. But so would most other companies.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. movie not loaded?


    woohoo! MOT shares are up! i decided to buy yesterday (during the unveiling of the cliq). to anybody else is playing the stock ponies, MOT is NOT a bad buy.

  3. oh, and if they do sell the company, to lets say DELL… their shares go up to DELL’s stock price

  4. no movie?

  5. I’m afraid I’ll have to agree with Gizmondo on this one.

  6. @Pieter

    Indeed, wooohoo. I picked up some mot stock when it was down at $5.10 almost exactly a year ago which means I missed out on the 52 week low ($3!!) back in march of this year. I’ve been waiting patiently for these android devices to hit, and now it seems the payoff may be even bigger than I imagined. I’m beginning to hope these dell rumors pan out and dell ultimately breaks open the market segment for portable android devices from netbooks on down to mobile phones.

    Tech for these devices is finally ripe enough to bust into the mainstream, and the situation reminds me of the 3d graphics market when NVIDIA was up and coming. I think it’s more likely that bigger established corps like dell are probably going to crowd out the wild nvidia-like upstarts for this paradigm. It still makes it really fun to play the stocks, though.

  7. I really hope they sell. Bought MOT at the bottom last jan because of there support for android and so far it’s paying off pretty well.

  8. I think gizmodo is reading too much into what Moto CEO said. Ya, most businesses are for sale if the price is right, nothing new here. As for spinning off handset division, it would be a right move. AT&T Wireless was sold to cingular, and later spun-off again as AT&T, and see how good they are doing.
    At this point Motorola should focus on bringing more Android handsets. Lower and mid segment of Android is for anyone’s taking. Motorola can become Nokia of Android, if they play it right.

  9. I don’t think they’r reading too much into it. I think it’s pretty clear he’s softly confirming rumors that have been floating around since last february that motorola is interested in spinning off their handset division. Around that same time, Dell was rumored to be interested.

  10. i post this idea to goolge on last year 2008
    im boring with system mail
    mail=mail+app+entertain+social + news…
    mail= universal user + easy registre

  11. could google be interested in purchasing the handset division??

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