Understanding Motorola’s Plan For Winning The Smartphone Market

Motorola Mobility's CEO Sanjay Jha at CTIA 2010

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Mobility’s CEO Sanjay Jha characterizes his job half-done when it comes to turning around the struggling handset maker. So, what’s his strategy for taking it the rest of the way? Jha said in the company’s third quarter conference call today that the company’s plan is to broaden its smartphone portfolio to target three main areas: the high-end, easy-to-use mid-tier devices with affordable data plans, and finally, enterprise devices.

According to a transcript of the call by Seeking Alpha, Jha said he expects fourth-quarter smartphone shipments to be strong based on the number of new mid-range devices that will launch in the period. For the year, smartphone sales are now expected to hit the upper end of the company’s 12 million to 14 million projection.

On targeting the enterprise: Last month, Motorola announced the Droid Pro, which is expected to do well among BlackBerry users through its use of a full keyboard and additional security requirements. Jha said the strategy is to deliver devices, which consumers like to use for personal use, but that meet the requirements of the CIO. “So our sales effort is to make sure that CIOs don’t bar these devices or put it in an excepted list, but the sale is to the consumers. 80% of people in enterprises pay for their own device, and it is to that audience that we are selling primarily.”

On differentiating Android: There’s been some controversy on the subject of Motorola’s MotoBlur strategy that layers on additional services to Android to set it apart from other Android smartphones built by HTC or Samsung, for instance. Jha said they expect to focus “a lot more on MOTOBLUR as a service and making sure that we provide end-to-end services from a point of view of personalization, customization, as well as diagnostic support. These devices are getting more and more complex, and our consumers want support to make sure that their devices are working extremely well.”

Connecting to the home: Jha sees another competitive advantage for Motorola since it has expertise in home appliances, like set-top boxes, mobile phones and soon tablets. Jha: “That provides us with the opportunity to add new software capability into those Home devices that we can then link together with the capability running on top of the OS sitting in the tablet gives us as strong a position as anybody to own this converged experience opportunity in the future.”

Comments have been disabled for this post