How Motorola blew it

“Motorola’s stunning quarterly loss is just the latest development in the company’s long, inexorable decline… Motorola, which effectively defined ‘Cell Phone 1.0’ [with the RAZR], consistently missed the trends that have fundamentally changed the mobile-phone industry. Now, Motorola is teetering on the very edge of irrelevance,” Jonathan L. Yarmis reports for BusinessWeek.

“The evolution of the cell phone from 1.0 to 2.0 is all about the change from device to platform. While Apple’s iPhone is certainly the best example of this transition, many of the other players in the market have been focused on this for a long time,” Yarmis reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, focused on the wrong things. Once they saw iPhone, their eyesight got much, much better. 20/20 hindsight often works wonders.

Yarmis continues, “Leading the way are Apple and Google, which has championed the Android operating system for which anyone can develop applications.”

MacDailyNews Take: No. Leading the way is Apple. Google is following; trying to make a fake Apple version for all-comers. Google seems to want to be Microsoft this time around. It’s a much different market and these are very different times, though. And anyone can – and does, obviously – develop applications for Apple’s iPhone, Jon. We’re nearing 20,000 apps already.

Yarmis continues, “Motorola has very few attractive options. The company’s early commitment to the Windows Mobile platform, with the Q, has brought it no reward, and Microsoft’s current challenges don’t seem to offer a lifeline. Motorola has said that it plans to invest more resources in phones that use Google’s Android, but the operating system is still in its early days. Given a fractured operating system platform, no clear partnership opportunity, and limited software expertise of its own, Motorola is likely to struggle for the foreseeable future.”

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote above and Yarmis now confirms, contradicting his earlier mistake: Leading the way is Apple; Google is following. It really is okay to report the facts, not try to “include” others due to some misplaced, ill-conceived notion of “fairness,” that, from what we can see, is almost entirely unique within, and rampant throughout, U.S. “journalism.” We blame ratings pressure, “journalism” professors, and, of course, the vapid stupidity of political correctness. It’s not “fair” to distort the facts in order to present a “balanced” report when balance is simply not present. The fact is that Apple alone redefined the smartphone so completely that all other major (and, now, once-major) handset-makers have been struggling for years just to copy Apple’s introductory device. They have not yet even achieved that lofty (for them) goal (patent infringers, included).

Yarmis continues, “With few available dance partners and an outdated strategy, Motorola has no clear path to return to its former glory.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Remove the word “clear” and you got that one right, Jon.

In May 2007, Motorola’s then-Chairman and then-CEO Ed Zander boasted that his company was ready for competition from Apple’s iPhone, due out the following month. “How do you deal with that?” Zander was asked at the Software 2007 conference. Zander quickly retorted, “How do they deal with us?”

Barely six months later, this crossed the wire: Beleaguered Motorola’s CEO Zander out; ‘plans to spend more time with his family’ – November 30, 2007

In November 2008, The NPD Group reported that Apple’s iPhone 3G had surpassed the Motorola RAZR as the leading handset purchased by adult consumers in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2008.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]

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