We’ve heard rumblings that Motorola (NYSE: MOT) is going to use Google’s new Android operating system, but now it’s starting to sound central to the company’s turnaround. Sanjay Jha, who recently hired as Motorola’s co-CEO and mobile devices head, is likely to explain his wide-ranging plan on Thursday during the company’s conference call, which could include thousands of layoffs and the elimination of many of its legacy systems, the WSJ reports. By focusing in on fewer platforms, he hopes to be more efficient, and therefore be able to lay off many people…he told employees at an in-house meeting that Motorola has two to three times as many employees working on a project as its competitors. “We have to create a well-run factory.”
A trend in wireless is for carriers and handset manufacturers to adopt more flexible operating systems as proprietary software becomes too difficult to adapt to produce phones quickly with the latest features and applications. Android is based on Linux, the open-source standard that Motorola has previously been interested in, and therefore could be more flexible than existing platforms. The move sounds fairly drastic because it means stopping the development of dozens of phones that are in mid-development, and may even mean outsourcing the development of some of its Windows Mobile phones.