Jack Gold, an analyst at J.Gold Associates, said that while Google has long coveted the Motorola patents, it probably is also looking to utilize the engineering expertise and mobile device knowledge of the unit's workforce.
"I don't think this is the end of Motorola, but I do expect a scaled-back presence with fewer phone models and a heavy concentration on the higher end of the market," Gold said. "Just like Nokia and RIM, Motorola is being forced to concentrate on its core growth areas and not [on] the low end, where it can't win."
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner, said the layoffs might not be a sign that Google plans to keep patents and drop workers, but the action does suggest a narrowing of focus at Motorola Mobility. She said Google could succeed in the smartphone and tablet business by bundling its own software and services with Motorola Mobility devices. "Making money out of the hardware is a game that only very few can succeed at nowadays," Milanesi noted.
John Ribeiro and Marc Ferranti of the IDG News Service contributed to this story.
This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.
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