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.