by Al Sacco

Google Chops Motorola Jobs Amidst Massive Android Growth

Aug 13, 20122 mins
MobileSmall and Medium BusinessSmartphones

Google’s Android mobile OS continues to grow market share, but the search giant’s handset division, Motorola Mobility, isn’t faring so well; Google plans to cut thousands of jobs, close offices and restructure its senior management, according to new reports.

Last week research firm IDC released it latest mobile market share numbers, and if you’ve been paying attention for the last year or so, the stats are really just more of the same: Android is by far the most popular mobile platform, followed by Apple’s iOS, and both of these platforms saw significant gains in share in the second quarter of 2012. BlackBerry is still hurting, as is Symbian; both platforms lost market share in the period, according to IDC. Windows Phone is even less popular than these two struggling platforms.


“The mobile OS market is now unquestionably a two-horse race due to the dominance of Android and iOS,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC.

Android also has a very large lead in that race, with 68.1 percent of the overall mobile market, followed by iOS with 16.9 percent; BlackBerry has 4.8 percent; Symbian has 4.4 percent; and Windows Phone has 3.5 percent of the overall market, IDC says.

That’s great news for the Android ecosystem and for Samsung in particular, which is fueling the massive Android growth with its hugely popular Galaxy S handsets and other mobile devices that run Google’s mobile OS. However, it’s not all sunshine and roses for Google when it comes to Android—or should I say it’s not all Ice Cream Sandwiches and Jelly Beans. (ZING.)

Google is about to cut roughly 4,000 Motorola Mobility jobs, or 20 percent of the business unit’s overall workforce, and shutter nearly a third of its offices, in an effort to bring it back to profitability, according to Reuters. A third of those cuts are expected to affect U.S. workers. Google has also done some major management restructuring, cutting 40 percent of its VPs and hiring new senior executives, the New York Times says.

Motorola Mobility, which Google purchased for $12.5 billion last spring, has been bleeding money for the past four years.

So while the Android OS dominates the mobile OS market, Google’s own handset business is suffering. The search giant is now attempting to revive that business to compete with Samsung and others, including HTC. Samsung has more than 40 percent of the Android market, and Motorola and HTC command less than 10 percent each.