Motorola CEO: “We take phones away from people and they start crying”

Jun 23, 2011
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Motorola CEO: “We take phones away from people and they start crying”

Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha has admitted that the company's research into phone design and functionality has led to tears among users, though the chief exec is more curious about the potential for consolidation with a mobile software business. In an interview with Fortune, Jha suggests that phone manufacturers acquiring each other is not necessarily the best approach, and that instead "consolidation across content manufacturers and hardware and software manufacturers" has more potential value. Given Jha threw out all software on Motorola's phones but Android, could the CEO be hinting at a potential Google merge?

If that's the case, he's certainly not saying it outright. "There are lots of opportunities for us to combine different resources and create more shareholder value" Jha says, when asked if consolidating with a software outfit is a possibility, though he "hope[s] very much" that Motorola will remain independent. Still, while analysts crunched the numbers last week and decided that Apple could buy up most of its smartphone rivals - Motorola included, with the Mobility business valued at $4.2bn - with its cash reserves, there's nothing to say Google couldn't acquire Motorola as its dedicated in-house hardware arm.

"I absolutely believe that the phone is going to be the best computer, because it's with you at all times. It's going to be the best camera, because it's there when you need it. It will be the best music player because it's with you at all times. We do surveys and sometimes take phones away from people, and they start crying. They have that amount of personal investment in the relationship." Sanjay Jha, CEO, Motorola Mobility

Instead, Jha is looking to boosting tablet adoption - especially in enterprise, where he suggests more employees are bringing their own personal tablets in and expecting to use them for work - but still prioritizing smartphones, which he sees as "the digital hub of your life." People carry tablets only around 30-percent of the time, the CEO suggests, whereas a phone is "with you at all times."

 


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