Amid worries and optimism, Motorola to split into two in January

Android smartphones with little differentiation from rivals a worry for spin-off Motorola Mobility, analysts say

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A $1 billion annual R&D budget will keep Motorola Solutions in the forefront, Delaney said. Nearly all the various products sold by the Solutions group lead their respective markets, he noted.

Motorola Solutions can attribute its success partly to the fact that designers spend generous amounts of time with customers to see how they need to use Motorola products on the job, he said, citing the example of firefighters who use radios for mission-critical rescues inside of burning buildings.

"We have psychologists who see how people do in moments of terror, so they can make decisions on the screens or knobs on a radio ... and whether to put a knob at a 45-degree angle to make it easier to use," Delaney said.

Now that RFID prices have gone down, Motorola Solutions expects to see growth in the use of RFID chips in retail settings, potentially creating a strong market for Motorola's sales of RFID readers, Delaney said.

Another promising area is the use of LTE wireless for public safety data transmissions, including video, he said.

Motorola expects that many communities in the U.S. will begin to build private LTE networks for use by emergency groups as federal officials debate the fate of wireless spectrum.

Windows users 'embedded'

Delaney also said that Motorola Solutions will continue to remain devoted for many years to the older Windows Mobile OS, Versions 6.1 and 6.5, now being dubbed Windows Embedded, even though Motorola Mobility strongly supports Android.

"We need to provide what our customers need. In the enterprise, our customers are still using Microsoft-based OS's and apps," he said. "It's an embedded base."

Delaney said Motorola Solutions will have about 20,000 employees. Motorola Mobility is also expected to have 20,000 workers, according to a Motorola document on the company's Web site (download PDF).

What about the workers?

The first call for a split-up of Motorola came in 2007 from investor Carl Icahn. At the time, the suggestion incited an uproar inside the company, but some of that anxiety seems to have subsided.

The ill feelings some workers felt three years ago have "very definitely" gone away, Delaney said. "Today, it's all about focus -- strong focus -- on the customer."

Morale is fantastic, and people are excited about the future," he said. "There are some jobs changed out, which is the typical hygiene of a business, [but] the employee base is buzzed."

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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