Perhaps Cuts in Android Tablets, Smartphones Are Next

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-08-13 Print this article Print

5. It's the plight of non-Samsung Android vendors

Google's decision to lay off so many Motorola employees might provide some insight into the plight of being an Android vendor. Even with a trusted company brand and products that aesthetically appeal to customers, today's Android vendors are running with too many employees and not enough innovation. Google's layoffs might just prove that point.

6. Maybe Motorola didn't know what to do

As noted, Google has said that it wants to take a hands-off approach to Motorola. And yet, it's very much hands-on at the moment. That might make some wonder if Motorola's management really knows what it needs to do to be successful. Google is simply unwilling to give Motorola's executives enough rope to get themselves into trouble. And with $12.5 billion at stake, who can blame the search company?

7. The move doesn't seem all that strategic

According to Google, the cuts are being made across all of Motorola's divisions, which seems to indicate that the company has no real strategic vision beyond the layoffs. That's a real problem. Typically, layoffs are designed to target areas that need improvement, but maintain those that are doing well. That Google conducted a slash-and-burn campaign at Motorola indicates a lack of a clear view on what to do next.

8. Tablets are getting the boot

According to several reports, Google's next move will be to eliminate tablets, so the company can focus its mobile efforts on smartphones. That's probably a smart move. Motorola's tablets are by no means popular in the mobile space, and they're costly to produce. At this point, Google needs to revive Motorola–not feed into its troubles.

9. Fewer smartphones, too

Although Motorola will be focusing on smartphones, it's possible the company won't be releasing the number of handsets it has offered up in years past. From now on, it appears as though Google wants to deliver only a handful of high-quality smartphones, according to reports, and follow a more Apple-like model. Will it work?

10. Maybe there was a reason competitors didn't care

Perhaps Google's slash-and-burn policy at Motorola is revealing a soft underbelly at the handset maker. Perhaps that soft underbelly was the reason that there was so little apparent concern by other Android mobile device OEMs that Google was acquiring a competitor. It appears that Motorola was in deep trouble long before Google acquired the company. Competitors like Samsung, HTC, and others, found no reason to protest because of it. After all, what are the chances of Motorola turning things around anytime soon?

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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