Can Android Save Motorola? - InformationWeek

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9/29/2008
10:09 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Can Android Save Motorola?

According to an insider, Motorola is looking to increase the size of its Android development team sevenfold. Could deploying an Android handset be the key to righting Motorola's listing ship?

According to an insider, Motorola is looking to increase the size of its Android development team sevenfold. Could deploying an Android handset be the key to righting Motorola's listing ship?Well, it certainly couldn't hurt, that's for sure.

Reports are suggesting that Motorola currently has an Android development team of about 50 people. According to Tech Crunch, an Android developer was approached by a headhunter to join Motorola's Android team, which the company is apparently hoping to boost to about 350 people.

Motorola's troubles the past 18 months have been well publicized. Sales have bottomed out, many of the company's senior managers have left or been replaced, and the company hasn't had a bona fide hit in what feels like forever. If there's any company that needs to a shot in the arm, it is Motorola.

Enter Android. Since Android is -- for the most part -- free for handset manufacturers to adopt, it can keep development costs to a minimum. That's important for Motorola. Motorola also happens to be a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance, so we know it has more than a passing interest in the new mobile operating system from Google.

T-Mobile and HTC are launching the first Android handset next month. Despite the device's flaws and the less-than-100%-complete nature of Android, the device is expected to sell pretty well. Motorola will be paying close attention to sales figures of the HTC G1, I am sure.

Motorola's own feature-phone operating system, which is based in part on Linux and called MotoMagx, lacks luster. Android could be the solution Motorola needs to recapture its glory days of yore.

With this news that it is beefing up its Android team, perhaps that's just what Motorola has in store.

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