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Motorola, Inc.
Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (1928-1930)
Industry Telecommunications
FateDivided into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions
FoundedSeptember 25, 1928;91 years ago (1928-09-25)
Founders Paul and Joseph Galvin
DefunctJanuary 4, 2011;8 years ago (2011-01-04)
Headquarters1303 East Algonquin Road, ,
U.S. [1]
Area served
Key people
  • Greg Brown (CEO & Chairman)
  • Gino Bonanotte (CFO)
  • Shamik Mukherjee (CMO)
  • Mahesh Saptharishi (CTO)
Total assets
  • Decrease2.svg US$ 11.851 billion (2013) [2]
  • Decrease2.svg US$ 12.679 billion (2012) [2]
Number of employees
17,000 (2019) [3]
  • Mobile Phone Devices
  • Connected Home Solutions
  • Network Home Solutions
Website   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Motorola, Inc. ( /ˌmtəˈrlə/ [4] ) was an American multinational telecommunications company founded on September 25, 1928, based in Schaumburg, Illinois. After having lost $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009, the company was divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011. [5] Motorola Solutions is generally considered to be the direct successor to Motorola, as the reorganization was structured with Motorola Mobility being spun off. [6] Motorola Mobility was sold to Google in 2012, and acquired by Lenovo in 2014. [7]

Multinational corporation Corporation operating in multiple countries

A multinational corporation (MNC) or worldwide enterprise is a corporate organization that owns or controls production of goods or services in at least one country other than its home country. Black's Law Dictionary suggests that a company or group should be considered a multinational corporation if it derives 25% or more of its revenue from out-of-home-country operations. A multinational corporation can also be referred to as a multinational enterprise (MNE), a transnational enterprise (TNE), a transnational corporation (TNC), an international corporation, or a stateless corporation. There are subtle but real differences between these three labels, as well as multinational corporation and worldwide enterprise.

Telecommunication Transmission of information between locations using electromagnetics

Telecommunication is the transmission of signs, signals, messages, words, writings, images and sounds or information of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems. Telecommunication occurs when the exchange of information between communication participants includes the use of technology. It is transmitted through a transmission media, such as over physical media, for example, over electrical cable, or via electromagnetic radiation through space such as radio or light. Such transmission paths are often divided into communication channels which afford the advantages of multiplexing. Since the Latin term communicatio is considered the social process of information exchange, the term telecommunications is often used in its plural form because it involves many different technologies.

Schaumburg, Illinois Village in Illinois, United States

Schaumburg is a village in Cook County and DuPage County in northeastern Illinois, United States. It is a northwestern suburb of Chicago and part of the Golden Corridor. Schaumburg is roughly 28 miles (45 km) northwest of the Chicago Loop and 10 miles (16 km) northwest of O'Hare International Airport. As of the 2010 census, the village had a total population of 74,227. In 2018 Money magazine ranked the Village of Schaumburg the Best Place to Live in Illinois. In 2017 Money ranked Schaumburg the 9th-best place to live in the United States.


Motorola designed and sold wireless network equipment such as cellular transmission base stations and signal amplifiers. Motorola's home and broadcast network products included set-top boxes, digital video recorders, and network equipment used to enable video broadcasting, computer telephony, and high-definition television. Its business and government customers consisted mainly of wireless voice and broadband systems (used to build private networks), and public safety communications systems like Astro and Dimetra. These businesses (except for set-top boxes and cable modems) are now part of Motorola Solutions. Google sold Motorola Home (the former General Instrument cable businesses) to the Arris Group in December 2012 for US$2.35 billion. [8]

Wireless network any network at least partly not connected by physical cables of any kind

A wireless network is a computer network that uses wireless data connections between network nodes.

Base station

Base station is – according to the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Radio Regulations (RR) – a "land station in the land mobile service."

Set-top box information appliance device

A set-top box (STB), also colloquially known as a set-top unit (STU), cable box (CB) or stream box (SB), is an information appliance device that generally contains a TV-tuner input and displays output to a television set and an external source of signal, turning the source signal into content in a form that can then be displayed on the television screen or other display device. They are used in cable television, satellite television, and over-the-air television systems, as well as other uses.

Motorola's wireless telephone handset division was a pioneer in cellular telephones. Also known as the Personal Communication Sector (PCS) prior to 2004, it pioneered the "mobile phone" with DynaTAC, "flip phone" with the MicroTAC, as well as the "clam phone" with the StarTAC in the mid-1990s. It had staged a resurgence by the mid-2000s with the Razr, but lost market share in the second half of that decade. Later it focused on smartphones using Google's open-source Android mobile operating system. The first phone to use the newest version of Google's open source OS, Android 2.0, was released on November 2, 2009 as the Motorola Droid (the GSM version launched a month later, in Europe, as the Motorola Milestone).

Mobile phone Portable device to make telephone calls using a radio link

A mobile phone, cell phone, cellphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive calls over a radio frequency link while the user is moving within a telephone service area. The radio frequency link establishes a connection to the switching systems of a mobile phone operator, which provides access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Modern mobile telephone services use a cellular network architecture, and, therefore, mobile telephones are called cellular telephones or cell phones, in North America. In addition to telephony, 2000s-era mobile phones support a variety of other services, such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications, business applications, video games, and digital photography. Mobile phones offering only those capabilities are known as feature phones; mobile phones which offer greatly advanced computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones.

Motorola DynaTAC first certificated mobile phone model

DynaTAC is a series of cellular telephones manufactured by Motorola, Inc. from 1983 to 1994. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X commercial portable cellular phone received approval from the U.S. FCC on September 21, 1983. A full charge took roughly 10 hours, and it offered 30 minutes of talk time. It also offered an LED display for dialing or recall of one of 30 phone numbers. It was priced at $3,995 in 1984, its commercial release year, equivalent to $9,634 in 2018. DynaTAC was an abbreviation of "Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage."

Motorola MicroTAC Cellular phone by Motorola

The Motorola MicroTAC was a cellular phone first manufactured as an analog version in 1989. GSM-compatible and TDMA/Dual-Mode versions were introduced in 1994. The MicroTAC introduced an innovative new "flip" design, where the "mouthpiece" folded over the keypad, although on later production the "mouthpiece" was actually located in the base of the phone, along with the ringer. This set the standard and became the model for modern flip phones today. Its predecessor was the much larger Motorola DynaTAC and it was succeeded by the Motorola StarTAC in 1996. "TAC" was an abbreviation of Total Area Coverage in all three models.

The handset division (along with cable set-top boxes and cable modems divisions, which would later be sold to Arris Group) was later spun off into the independent Motorola Mobility. On May 22, 2012, Google CEO Larry Page announced that Google had closed on its deal to acquire Motorola Mobility. [9] On January 29, 2014, Page announced that, pending closure of the deal, Motorola Mobility would be acquired by Chinese technology company Lenovo for US$2.91 billion (subject to certain adjustments). [10] On October 30, 2014, Lenovo finalized its purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google. [11]

Cable modem networking device

A cable modem is a type of network bridge that provides bi-directional data communication via radio frequency channels on a hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC), radio frequency over glass (RFoG) and coaxial cable infrastructure. Cable modems are primarily used to deliver broadband Internet access in the form of cable Internet, taking advantage of the high bandwidth of a HFC and RFoG network. They are commonly deployed in the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Motorola Mobility LLC, marketed as simply Motorola, is a consumer electronics and telecommunications company owned by technology firm Lenovo Group Limited. The company primarily manufactures smartphones and other mobile devices running the Android operating system developed by Google.

Google American multinational Internet and technology corporation

Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple, and Facebook.


Motorola started in Chicago, Illinois, as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (at 847 West Harrison Street) [12] in 1928 when brothers Paul V. and Joseph E. Galvin purchased the bankrupt Stewart Battery Company's battery-eliminator plans and manufacturing equipment at auction for $750. Galvin Manufacturing Corporation set up shop in a small section of a rented building. The company had $565 in working capital and five employees. The first week's payroll was $63.

Paul Vincent Galvin was one of the two founders of telecommunications company Motorola. Founded as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation on September 25, 1928, Motorola became a leader in communications equipment. Galvin invented the mass production car radio, which provided the cornerstone of Motorola's early business. The company name "Motorola" was introduced in 1930. A little known fact was that Paul Galvin fired the engineer who designed the car radio, Howard Walker, for not following the original design, which was twice the size, but when Galvin released the car radio he used the engineer's smaller design.

The company's first products were the battery eliminators, devices that enabled battery-powered radios to operate on household electricity. Due to advances in radio technology, battery-eliminators soon became obsolete. Paul Galvin learned that some radio technicians were installing sets in cars, and challenged his engineers to design an inexpensive car radio that could be installed in most vehicles. His team was successful, and Galvin was able to demonstrate a working model of the radio at the June 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He brought home enough orders to keep the company in business.

Battery eliminator dummy battery that supplies electricity from a connected external power source

A battery eliminator is a device powered by an electrical source other than a battery, which then converts the source to a suitable DC voltage that may be used by a second device designed to be powered by batteries. A battery eliminator eliminates the need to replace batteries but may remove the advantage of portability. A battery eliminator is also effective in replacing obsolete battery designs.

Motorola Model 50XC (1940) radio, made of Catalin Motorola Model 50XC (1940).jpg
Motorola Model 50XC (1940) radio, made of Catalin

Paul Galvin wanted a brand name for Galvin Manufacturing Corporation's new car radio, and created the name “Motorola” by linking "motor" (for motorcar) with "ola" (from Victrola), which was also a popular ending for many companies at the time, e.g. Moviola, Crayola. [13] The company sold its first Motorola branded radio on June 23, 1930, to Herbert C. Wall of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for $30. Wall went on to become one of the first Motorola distributors in the country. The Motorola brand name became so well known that Galvin Manufacturing Corporation later changed its name to Motorola, Inc. [14]

Galvin Manufacturing Corporation began selling Motorola car-radio receivers to police departments and municipalities in November 1930. The company's first public safety customers (all in the U.S. state of Illinois) included the Village of River Forest, Village of Bellwood Police Department, City of Evanston Police, Illinois State Highway Police, and Cook County (Chicago area) Police with a one-way radio communication. [15] In the same year, the company built its research and development program with Dan Noble, a pioneer in FM radio and semiconductor technologies, who joined the company as director of research. The company produced the hand-held AM SCR-536 radio during World War II, which was vital to Allied communication. Motorola ranked 94th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts. [16]

Motorola went public in 1939, [17] and became Motorola, Inc. in 1947. At that time Motorola's main business was producing and selling televisions and radios.

Post World War II

Motorola vacuum tube carton Motorola Tube Box.jpg
Motorola vacuum tube carton
An advertisement for Motorola televisions from 1951.

In October 1946 Motorola communications equipment carried the first calls on Illinois Bell telephone company's new car radiotelephone service in Chicago. The company began making televisions in 1947, with the model VT-71 with 7-inch cathode ray tube. In 1952, Motorola opened its first international subsidiary in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to produce radios and televisions. In 1953, the company established the Motorola Foundation to support leading universities in the United States.

In 1955, years after Motorola started its research and development laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, to research new solid-state technology, Motorola introduced the world's first commercial high-power germanium-based transistor. The present "batwing" logo was also introduced in 1955 (having been created by award-winning Chicago graphic designer Morton Goldsholl in late 1954).

Beginning in 1958, with Explorer 1 Motorola provided radio equipment for most NASA space-flights for decades, including the 1969 Moon landing. A year later it established a subsidiary to conduct licensing and manufacturing for international markets. Motorola created numerous products for use by the government, public safety officials, business installments, and the general public.

In 1960, it introduced the world's first large-screen portable (19-inch), transistorized, cordless television. According to the 1962 Illinois Manufacturers Directory (50th-anniversary edition), Motorola had 14,000 employees worldwide of which at least 5,823 employees in 6 plants were located in Illinois. The company headquarters were at 9401 West Grand Avenue in Franklin Park and it listed TV receivers, Stereo-Hi Fi equipment as the products at this plant made by 1,700 employees. The Communications Division was in Chicago at 4545 West Augusta Blvd. where 2,000 employees made electronic communications equipment. The Military Electronics Division was at 1450 North Cicero Avenue, Chicago where 923 employees made microwave and industrial equipment. Two more Chicago locations were listed at 4900 West Flourney Street and at 650 North Pulaski but no employee count was listed for these. The last plant was listed in Quincy, Illinois at 1400 North 30th Street where 1,200 employees made radio assemblies for both home and automobile. [18]

In 1963, it introduced the first rectangular color picture tube. In 1964, the company opened its first Research and development branch outside of the United States, in Israel, under the management of Moses Basin. The modular Quasar brand was introduced in 1967.

In 1969, Neil Armstrong spoke the famous words "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" from the Moon on a Motorola transceiver. [19]

In 1971, Motorola demonstrated the first hand-held portable telephone. [20] [21]

In 1973, Motorola introduced its first microprocessor, the 8-bit MC6800, used in automotive, computing and video game applications. [22] That same year, Motorola sold its television business to the Japan-based Matsushita, the parent company of Panasonic.

In 1976, Motorola moved its headquarters to the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois.

In 1980, Motorola's next generation 32-bit microprocessor, the MC68000, led the wave of technologies that spurred the computing revolution in 1984, powering devices from companies such as Apple, Commodore, Atari, Sun, and Hewlett Packard. [23]

Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first private handheld mobile phone call on a larger prototype model in 1973. This is a reenactment in 2007. 2007Computex e21Forum-MartinCooper.jpg
Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first private handheld mobile phone call on a larger prototype model in 1973. This is a reenactment in 2007.

In September 1983, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the DynaTAC 8000X telephone, the world's first commercial cellular device. By 1998, cell phones accounted for two-thirds of Motorola's gross revenue. [24] The company was also strong in semiconductor technology, including integrated circuits used in computers. In particular, it is known for the 6800 family and 68000 family of microprocessors and related peripheral ICs; the processors were used in Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Color Computer, and Apple Macintosh personal computers and in the early HP laser printers, and some 6800-family peripheral devices were used in the IBM PC series of personal computers. [25] The PowerPC family was developed with IBM and in a partnership with Apple (known as the AIM alliance). Motorola also has a diverse line of communication products, including satellite systems, digital cable boxes and modems.

In 1986, Motorola invented the Six Sigma quality improvement process. This became a global standard. In 1990 General Instrument Corporation, which was later acquired by Motorola, proposed the first all-digital HDTV standard. In the same year, the company introduced the Bravo numeric pager which became the world's best-selling pager.

In 1991, Motorola demonstrated the world's first working-prototype digital cellular system and phones using GSM standard in Hanover, Germany. In 1994, Motorola introduced the world's first commercial digital radio system that combined paging, data and cellular communications and voice dispatch in a single radio network and handset. In 1995, Motorola introduced the world's first two-way pager which allowed users to receive text messages and e-mail and reply with a standard response.

In 1997, to optimize cell phone production with room for future growth, production was moved to the new giant factory in Harvard, Il. Later with Motorola losing market share, phone assembly was moved to Fort Worth, Tx. leaving the Harvard facility.

In 1998, Motorola was overtaken by Nokia as the world's biggest seller of mobile phone handsets. [19]

On September 15, 1999, Motorola announced it would buy General Instrument in an $11-billion stock swap. General Instrument had long been the No. 1 cable TV equipment provider, supplying cable operators with end-to-end hybrid fiber coax cable solutions. This meant that GI offers all cable TV transmission network components from the head-end to the fiber optic transmission nodes to the cable set-top boxes and cable modems, now at the availability of Motorola. GI's acquisition created the Broadband Communications Sector (BCS).

In 1999, Motorola separated a portion of its semiconductor business—the Semiconductor Components Group (SCG)-- and formed ON Semiconductor, whose headquarters are located in Phoenix, Arizona. [26]

In June 2000, Motorola and Cisco supplied the world's first commercial GPRS cellular network to BT Cellnet in the United Kingdom. The world's first GPRS cell phone was also developed by Motorola. In August 2000, with recent acquisitions, Motorola reached its peak employment of 150,000 employees worldwide. [27] Two years later, employment would be at 93,000 due to layoffs and spinoffs.

In 2002, Motorola introduced the world's first wireless cable modem gateway which combined a high-speed cable modem router with an ethernet switch and wireless home gateway. In 2003, Motorola introduced the world's first handset to combine a Linux operating system and Java technology with "full PDA functionality". In 2004, Motorola divested its whole semiconductor business to form Freescale Semiconductor.

The Motorola Razr became one of the most influential mobile phones of all time, reaching 130 million sales Razor2000ppx.jpg
The Motorola Razr became one of the most influential mobile phones of all time, reaching 130 million sales

The Motorola RAZR line sold over 130 million units, [28] which brought the company to the number two mobile phone slot in 2005.

In June 2005, Motorola overtook the intellectual property of Sendo for $30,000 and paid £362,575 for the plant, machinery and equipment. [29]

In June 2006, Motorola acquired the software platform (AJAR) developed by the British company TTP Communications plc. [30] Later in 2006, the firm announced a music subscription service named iRadio. The technology came after a break in a partnership with Apple Computer (which in 2005 had produced an iTunes compatible cell phone ROKR E1, and most recently, mid-2007, its own iPhone). iRadio has many similarities with existing satellite radio services (such as Sirius and XM Radio) by offering live streams of commercial-free music content. Unlike satellite services, however, iRadio content will be downloaded via a broadband internet connection. As of 2008, iRadio has not been commercially released and no further information is available. [31]

Motorola failed to repeat the success of the highly popular RAZR phone, especially in competition with new smartphones like Apple's iPhone, leading to a dwindling in its mobile phone business. [32] In 2006 the company's mobile phone market share was about 23% but by the end of 2007 it dropped to 12%, falling to third place behind Samsung. [33] It was further halved again, to 6%, by 2009, [34] by which time the market share was overtaken by LG, and by 2010 was overtaken by Research In Motion, Sony Ericsson and Apple. [35] [36] The company's shares also more than halved during the period [37] and caused large losses. [38] Motorola managed to recover with the release of the Motorola Droid in late 2009 with Verizon Wireless, which sold in good numbers and made the phone division profitable again by late 2010. [39]

In 2007, Motorola acquired Symbol Technologies to provide products and systems for enterprise mobility solutions, including rugged mobile computing, advanced data capture, and radio frequency identification (RFID).

In 2010, Motorola sold its cellular-infrastructure business to Nokia Siemens Networks for $1.2 billion. [40]

Major facilities

Local branch in Glostrup, Denmark Motorola Danmark Glostrup.JPG
Local branch in Glostrup, Denmark


  • Motorola Solutions Inc. corporate headquarters relocated from their Schaumburg home to 500 W.Monroe St in Chicago's west loop in 2015. MSI occupies the top 6 floors of the building with approximately 1100 employees. While most of the Schaumburg property has been turned over to the city for redevelopment, a portion of the Schaumburg campus retains MSI offices.
  • Motorola corporate headquarters was 1301 E Algonquin Rd, Schaumburg built 1976. Parts of the Schaumburg HQ campus has been sold off to Zurich and Top Golf.
  • Motorola's headquarters from 1960 to 1976 was at 9401 West Grand Avenue in Franklin Park, Illinois. There was also a television assembly plant built here in 1952. The facility was demolished in 2017
  • (radio) Communications Division 4545 West Augusta Blvd, Chicago
  • Cellular Handsets (later Cellular-Infrastructure dept only) 1421 W Shure Dr, Arlington Heights, Il. NSN HQ after sale of cellular-infrastructure business to Nokia Siemens Networks
  • Automotive & Industrial Electronics Group 4000 Commercial Ave Northbrook, IL 60062
  • Military Electronics Division 1450 North Cicero Avenue, Chicago
  • 4900 West Flourney Street, Chicago
  • 650 North Pulaski, Chicago
  • Quincy manufacturing facility 1400 North 30th Street Quincy Illinois


Arizona was home to Motorola's semiconductor division as well as its government Electronics division

  • Motorola research laboratory 3102 North 56th Street Phoenix AZ built 1950
  • Government Electronics 8201 East McDowell Road Scottsdale built 1957 all Motorola equipment built for NASA was manufactured here
  • Phoenix semiconductor plant 5005 East McDowell Road, built 1956
  • Mesa semiconductor plant Broadway and Dobson roads built 1966 Demolished
  • Chandler semiconductor plant
  • Tempe semiconductor plant 2108 East Elliot Road built 1968
  • Motorola flat panel adjacent to Tempe semiconductor plant
  • Diablo facility 2900 South Diablo Way Tempe
  • Roosevelt facility 8220 East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale

Other US states

  • Motorola research Riverside California built in 1954
  • semiconductor plant Austin Texas built in 1974
  • Automotive and Consumer Products division 400 Main Street Arcade New York
  • Component Products Division, 4800 Alameda Blvd NE Albuquerque NM
  • Pager and cell tower component manufacturing\development 5401 Beach St. and 5555 Beach st. Fort Worth, TX respectively.
  • Cell Phone assembly 4801 Westport Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX (5300 Westport Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX after google acquisition)

Motorola, post-split

The process to split Motorola into successor companies began in 2008, driven by Motorola investor Carl Icahn. Though the split was originally planned for 2009, it was not actually executed until 2011. [41]

In January 2011, Motorola split into two separate companies, each still using the word Motorola as part of its name. One company, Motorola Solutions (using a blue version of the Motorola logo), is based in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, and concentrates on police technologies, radios, and commercial needs. The other company, Motorola Mobility (using a red logo), is based in Chicago (formerly at 600 US-45, Libertyville, Illinois), and is the mobile handset producer. The split was structured so that Motorola Solutions was the legal successor of the original Motorola, while Motorola Mobility was the spin-off. Despite this, the domain name is the website for Motorola Mobility, whereas Motorola Solutions's website is

On August 15, 2011, Google announced that it would purchase Motorola Mobility for about $12.5 billion. [42] On November 17, 2011, Motorola Mobility stockholders “voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with Google Inc”. [43]

On May 22, 2012, Google announced that the acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. had closed, with Google acquiring MMI for $40.00 per share in cash. ($12.5 billion) [44]

On October 30, 2014, Google sold off Motorola Mobility to Lenovo. The purchase price was approximately US$2.91 billion (subject to certain adjustments), including US$1.41 billion paid at close: US $660 million in cash and US$750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares (subject to a share cap/floor). The remaining US$1.5 billion was paid in the form of a three-year promissory note. [45] After the purchase, Google maintained ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures, while Lenovo received a license to the portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally, Lenovo received over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio. [45]

Divisional Products: [46]


Motorola's handset division recorded a loss of US$1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, while the company as a whole earned $100 million during that quarter. [48] It lost several key executives to rivals, [49] and the web site TrustedReviews called the company's products repetitive and uninnovative. [50] Motorola laid off 3,500 workers in January 2008, [51] followed by a further 4,000 job cuts in June [52] and another 20% cut of its research division a few days later. [53] In July 2008, a large number of executives left Motorola to work on Apple Inc.'s iPhone. [54] The company's handset division was also put on offer for sale. [55] Also that month, analyst Mark McKechnie from American Technology Research said that Motorola "would be lucky to fetch $500 million" for selling its handset business. Analyst Richard Windsor said that Motorola might have to pay someone to take the division off the company's hands, and that Motorola may even exit the handset market altogether. [56] Its global market share has been on the decline; from 18.4% of the market in 2007 the company had a share of just 6.0% by Q1 2009, but at last Motorola scored a profit of $26 million in Q2 and showed an increase of 12% in stocks for the first time after losses in many quarters. During the second quarter of 2010, the company reported a profit of $162 million, which compared very favorably to the $26 million earned for the same period the year before. Its Mobile Devices division reported, for the first time in years, earnings of $87 million. [57]


Television and radio manufacturing

In 1974, Motorola divested itself of its television and radio-manufacturing division, which included the Quasar brand of electronics. This division was acquired by Matsushita, already known under its Panasonic brand in North America, where it was looking to expand.

Iridium and Celestri satellite constellations

Motorola developed the global communication network using a set of 77 satellites. The business ambitions behind this project and the need to raise venture capital to fund the project led to the creation of the Iridium company in the late 1990s. While the technology was proven to work, Iridium failed to attract sufficient customers and it filed for bankruptcy in 1999. Obligations to Motorola and loss of expected revenue caused Motorola to divest the ON Semiconductor (ONNN) business August 4, 1999, raising about $1.1 billion. Motorola manufactured two satellite phone handsets for this network – the 9500 and 9505 as well as transceiver units. Some of these are still in production by an OEM but sold under the Iridium brand.

Motorola attempted to follow the Iridium system with an envisioned Celestri constellation, to offer global, broadband "Internet in the sky" services. However, this effort was not successful, and the Celestri system was never built.

Government and defense

Due to declines in business in 2000 and 2001, Motorola spun off its government and defense business to General Dynamics. The business deal closed in September 2001. Thus GD Decision Systems was formed (and later merged with General Dynamics C4 Systems) from Motorola's Integrated Information Systems Group.


On August 4, 1999, Motorola, Inc.'s Semiconductor Components Group, manufacturing Motorola's discrete, standard analog and standard logic devices was spun off, recapitalized and established as an independent company named ON Semiconductor. The new company began trading on the NASDAQ on April of the following year.

On October 16, 2004, Motorola announced that it would spin off its Semiconductor Products Sector into a separate company called Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.. The new company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on July 16 of the following year.

On December 7, 2015, Freescale Inc. was sold to NXP Semiconductor, a former Philips semiconductors European company. [58]


On January 29, 1988, Motorola sold its Arcade, New York facility and automotive alternators, electromechanical speedometers and tachometers products to Prestolite Electric. [59]

In July 2006, Motorola completed the sale of its automotive business to Continental AG. Motorola's automotive unit had annual sales of $1.6 billion (€1.33 billion) and employed 4,504. The division's products included telematics systems - like GM's OnStar used for vehicle navigation and safety services, engine and transmission control electronics, vehicle control, electronics and sensors used in steering, braking, and power doors and power windows.


In 2000, Motorola acquired Printrak International Inc. [60] for $160 million. [61] In doing so, Motorola not only acquired computer aided dispatch and related software, but also acquired Automated fingerprint identification system software. [62]

In October 2008, Motorola agreed to sell its Biometrics business to Safran, a French defense firm. Motorola's biometric business unit was headquartered in Anaheim, Calif. The deal closed in April 2009. [63] The unit became part of Sagem Morpho, which was renamed MorphoTrak.


On March 26, 2008, Motorola's board of directors approved a split into two different publicly traded companies. This came after talk of selling the handset division to another corporation. These new companies would comprise the business units of the current Motorola Mobile Devices and Motorola Broadband & Mobility Solutions. Originally it was expected that this action would be approved by regulatory bodies and complete by mid-2009, but the split was delayed due to company restructuring problems and the 2008–2009 extreme economic downturn. [64]

On February 11, 2010, Motorola announced its separation into two independent, publicly traded companies, [65] effective Q1 2011. The official split occurred at around 12:00 pm EST on January 4, 2011. The two new companies are called Motorola Mobility (now owned by Lenovo; cell phone and cable television equipment company) and Motorola Solutions (NYSE :  MSI; Government and Enterprise Business). Motorola Solutions is generally considered to be the direct successor to Motorola, Inc., as the reorganization was structured with Motorola Mobility being spun off. [6] Motorola Solutions retains Motorola, Inc.'s pre-2011 stock price history, though it retired the old ticker symbol of "MOT" in favor of "MSI."

Motorola Mobility deal by Google

On August 15, 2011, seven months after Motorola Mobility was spun off into an independent company, Google announced that it would acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, [66] [67] subject to approval from regulators in the United States and Europe.

According to the filing, Google senior vice president Andy Rubin first reached out to Motorola Mobility in early July 2011 to discuss the purchase by some of Google's competitors of the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks Corp., and to assess its potential impact on the Android ecosystem.

Google boosted its offer for Motorola Mobility by 33% in a single day in early August, even though Motorola wasn't soliciting competing bids. The aggressive bidding by Google showed that[ citation needed ] the search engine company was under considerable pressure to beef up its patent portfolio to protect its promising Android franchise from a growing number of legal challenges.

According to the filing, Google and Motorola began discussions about Motorola's patent portfolio in early July, as well as the "intellectual property litigation and the potential impact of such litigation on the Android ecosystem".

Although the two companies discussed the possibility of an acquisition after the initial contact by Mr. Rubin, it was only after Motorola pushed back on the idea of patent sale that the acquisition talks picked up steam.

The turning point came during a meeting on July 6. At the meeting, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha discussed the protection of the Android ecosystem with Google senior vice president Nikesh Arora, and during that talk Jha told Arora that "it could be problematic for Motorola Mobility to continue to exist as a stand-alone entity if it sold a large portion of its patent portfolio".

In connection with these discussions, the two companies signed a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement that allowed Google to do due diligence on the company's patent portfolio.

On July 21 and 23, Jha met with Arora and Rubin to discuss strategic options between the two companies, agreeing to continue to discuss a potential sale. On the morning of August 15, the two companies entered into a merger agreement at the offered price of $40. On November 17, Motorola Mobility stockholders approved the proposed merger with Google Inc. [68] On April 17, 2013, ARRIS Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRS) announced that it completed its acquisition of the Motorola Home business from a subsidiary of Google Inc. [69]

Motorola Mobility (Google) deal by Lenovo

On January 29, 2014, Google announced Lenovo plans to acquire the Motorola Mobility smartphone business. The purchase price is approximately $2.91 billion (subject to certain adjustments), including $1.41 billion paid at close: $660 million in cash and $750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares (subject to a share cap/floor). The remaining $1.5 billion will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note.

Google maintained ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including active patent applications and invention disclosures. As part of its ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo received a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally, Lenovo received over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio. [70] On October 30, 2014, Lenovo finalized its purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google. [11]

Canopy and Orthogon

Cambium Networks was created when Motorola Solutions sold the Canopy and Orthogon businesses in 2011. Cambium Networks has evolved the platform and expanded it to three product lines: Point to Point (PTP) (formerly Orthogon), Point to Multipoint (PMP) (formerly Canopy) and ePMP.

Quality systems

The Six Sigma quality system was developed at Motorola even though it became best known through its use by General Electric. It was created by engineer Bill Smith, under the direction of Bob Galvin (son of founder Paul Galvin) when he was running the company. Motorola University is one of many places that provide Six Sigma training.

Environmental record

Motorola, Inc., along with the Arizona Water Co. has been identified as the sources of trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination that took place in Scottsdale, Arizona. The malfunction led to a ban on the use of water that lasted three days and affected almost 5000 people in the area. Motorola was found to be the main source of the TCE, an industrial solvent that can cause cancer. The TCE contamination was caused by a faulty blower on an air stripping tower that was used to take TCE from the water, and Motorola has attributed the situation to operator error. [71]

Of eighteen leading electronics manufacturers in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics (October 2010), Motorola shares sixth place with competitors Panasonic and Sony). [72]

Motorola scores relatively well on the chemicals criteria and has a goal to eliminate PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), though only in mobile devices and not in all its products introduced after 2010, despite the fact that Sony Ericsson and Nokia are already there. All of its mobile phones are now PVC-free and it has two PVC and BFR-free mobile phones, the A45 ECO and the GRASP; all chargers are also free from PVC and BFRs. [72]

The company is also increasing the proportion of recycled materials that used in its products. For example, the housings for the MOTO W233 Renew and MOTOCUBO A45 Eco mobile phones contain plastic from post-consumer recycled water cooler bottles. [73] According to the company's information, all of Motorola's newly designed chargers meet the current Energy Star requirements and exceed the requirements for standby/no-load modes by at least 67%. [74]


Motorola sponsored Scottish Premier League club Motherwell F.C. for 11 years. This long-term deal ended after the company started to reduce its manufacturing operations in Scotland. The company also sponsored Livingston F.C. between 1998 and 2002. The company also had a plant on the edge of the town. However, this closed down at the same time as their sponsorship with the club ended. The South Stand at Livingston's Almondvale Stadium, was named after the company, during their time of sponsorship. The company also sponsored a cycling team that counted Lance Armstrong amongst its members. Motorola is also a sponsor of Danica Patrick, David Beckham, and Fergie. It also sponsored the Richmond Football Club in the Australian Football League from 2004 to 2007. Motorola sponsored São Paulo FC from 2000 to 2001. Motorola also sponsored Club Bolívar since 2008. Motorola awarded TrackIT Solutions for being "The company with most Innovative Enterprise Mobility Solution" in 2010.

Motorola sponsored Indian Premier League team Rising Pune Supergiant

In Madden NFL 07 franchise mode, a Motorola phone is used to communicate with coaches and agents.

Robby Gordon was sponsored by Motorola in 2007 and 2008. Motorola is on Gordon's car in NASCAR 07 and NASCAR 08.

Motorola sponsored the golf tournament Western Open from 1994 to 1999.

See also

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Further reading