UPDATED: Motorola’s Handset Division To Conduct Layoffs; Might Pull Booth From CTIA

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Update: So, we can all have a collective sigh of relief. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) is not only going to have one booth at CTIA, it’s will have two! Show organizers were quick to correct today that the original report that said Motorola may be cutting back on such things as their presence at CTIA, were incorrect. They will in fact have two booth locations — one for handsets and other wireless accessories, and another for machine to machine. The two booths can be found on the exhibitor list here.

imageIn the final week of December, Motorola disclosed with the SEC that it will cut an additional 400 jobs on top 1,500 already announced, but our friends over at PhoneScoop are reporting that Motorola is gearing up to make much more significant job cuts, which may include up to 50 percent of the entire handset division. In addition, Motorola is not planning on having a booth at CTIA Wireless in April, and that going forward it will only deliver about a dozen handsets a year. The only smartphones that it will produce will use Google’s Android operating system. A spokeswoman declined to comment, saying the company doesn’t comment on rumors.

The number of jobs may sound high, but if Motorola is only going to deliver 12 phones, it would stand to reason that the company will likely need fewer employees. Also, for Motorola not to have a booth at the most significant wireless trade show in the U.S. is a big deal, especially since it typically has one of the largest displays on the show floor, and even had a significant booth at CES just last week.

The company previously said that it was planning on cutting back the number of operating systems it works with, but only working with Google’s Android will mean bad news for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile. Obviously, the company is trying to right itself now that it won’t be selling its handset division as planned. Earlier this month, Motorola took a number of drastic cost-cutting measures that included cutting the pay and benefits of both employees and executives, freezing pension plans, employee salaries, matching 401k contributions and cutting the pay of top executives.

Photo Credit: kevindooley

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"The only smartphones that it will produce will use Google’s Android operating system."

Hear hear! Android is perfect for Motorola. They already have a strong background with Linux phones. Whatever flaws Android may still have the Motorola engineers are exactly the right sort of group to fix them. I'd love to see what they bring to the platform.

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