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View Full Version : Jackals Pick Flesh off Motorola's Still-Warm Corpse


Jason Dunn
08-11-2003, 05:04 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=10959' target='_blank'>http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=10959</a><br /><br /></div>I didn't come up with that rather vivid title, Caroline Gabriel did. The first two paragraphs of her article:<br /><br />"Motorola, it seems, it seems, is set to launch a handset based on Microsoft Smartphone and a dual mode Wi-Fi/cellular Windows phone. This has been widely spun as the start of a breakthrough for Microsoft in this most difficult of markets for Windows, but the new partnership has the appearance of two giants that have been suddenly cut off from their accustomed sunshine and are huddling desperately together for warmth. Motorola has, for the first time in its history, fallen out of the top 10 global chipmakers, has lost its sure footing in handsets and is seeing its domination of the set-top box market threatened. It needs friends, and bringing out a Windows handset may be a small price to pay."<br /><br />Make sure you go read the whole thing - it's a fascinating article full of a lot of industry insights. Caroline Gabriel has some very interesting opinions - she pulls together a variety of data and delivers some solid hits. Still, I'm always struck by the duplicity of the media when it comes to the topic of Microsoft and Smartphones. <br /><br />When the partnership with Sendo was announced, the media crowed that Sendo was a "nobody" in the market, and that unless Microsoft could secure one of the MEN partners (Motorola, Ericsson, Nokia), the Smartphone would go nowhere. Then when the partnership with Sendo collapsed (their prototype phone was complete junk anyway), the same media crowed "Microsoft loses critical industry player - the Smartphone is doomed!". So which is it? Is Sendo a little nobody, or are they a big industry player? The media seems to spin any which way on a given issue. :roll: Now that Microsoft has secured Motorola as a partner, suddenly "MEN" is only "EN" - Motorola is no longer an important player. So which is it? Motorola might indeed be losing ground, but they're certainly still a force to be reckoned with. And the persistent rumours that Samsung is not releasing a Smartphone product are false - the Samsung i600 will see the light of day this year.<br /><br />Caroline doesn't explore the obvious underpinning to this story - that as powerful as the Symbian consortium is, they're all still competitors, and that's an unstable relationship at best. Samsung is Nokia's friend for now, but what happens when one company starts stepping on the other? Motorola was a die-hard Symbian supporter by all accounts, yet now they're pulling away and looking for other opportunities. I'm still learning a lot about this market, but my understanding is that it takes Nokia roughly 18 months to go from design to shipping phase with a new phone. By combining the expertise of Microsoft on the OS end and the rapid-build potential of the ODMs, a Smartphone can be released in about eight months. Then we all wait for the carriers to do their 12 months of testing, but that's another issue entirely. That's a big difference in terms of time to market! Motorolla might be hoping that they can innovate faster with the Smartphone platform, and I think they're right.<br /><br />Only time will tell how this all plays out, but with both Motorola and Samsung on board the Smartphone train, we're moving forward and picking up steam! :way to go:

TANKERx
08-11-2003, 05:32 PM
I think it's good for the market that Motorola has decided to build a Microsoft Smartphone because it will encourage the Symbian members to keep up the innovation. If Symbian wants to remain in front both in terms of marketing and technology, they need someone to chase them.

Microsoft may be quite some way behind Symbian at the moment, but the fact that Microsoft isn't giving up, and that Microsoft will not let anything get in its way (whether it's money, morals or law) will keep the Symbian consortium closely knit (nothing like a common enemy to keep people together) and always looking for more innovation.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Motorola in a few years, to see if the reputation Microsoft has for 'assimilating' organisations is actually true. If Microsoft treats Motorola with respect and fairness, they may even win more big names. But if they treat Motorola the way they have treated other companies, they'll just frighten everybody away..... Kinf of like the male dragon in "Reign of Fire".

markpmc
08-11-2003, 06:35 PM
I agree that Motorola is behaving in a disjointed fashion. Here's my earlier post from this topic: http://www.smartphonethoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3931

I'm not sure what Motorola is doing.

They have the Symbian based A920 coming out for "3" soon.
The Linux/Java based A760 is expected in Asia any day now.

Now a PPC clamshell. I admit that the feature set is "what I've been waiting for", but I just don't trust that Moto will stick with the device if sales are weaker than expected.

markpmc

So I guess the Symbian design was based on Moto's original intent to be a happy symbian family member.

I can see the Linux/Java direction being the replacement for Moto's godaweful "wisdom os". There's also a bit of hype here that surfaced when Metroworks (moto property) bought Lineo (Linux OS for Sharp Zaurus).

Does this mean the the 3rd shift is 2 years really means something and Moto is clearly going microsoft? I doubt it.

If ANY of the 3 phones mentioned above sells poorly, Motorola will dump it and abandon the users.

Which is why I'm still thinking hard about the Samsung/Symbian clamshell....

markpmc