Feature Article

December 10, 2012

Motorola Mobility will Quit the South Korean Market

Well, this news likely won’t surprise anyone, but Motorola Mobility – the side of Motorola that was acquired by Google, not the thriving “other” side of the old Motorola known as Motorola Solutions – is going to pull its smartphone group out of the South Korean Market, and along with it will cut over 400 jobs. Not that this should be much of an issue for those being cut – what are the odds that powerhouse Samsung will have a home waiting for them? Pretty darn good we’d say.

The news comes following other recent news that Google has finally begun the process of accepting bids for Motorola Mobility’s other line of business, that of set top boxes. It was long anticipated that the set top box business would be sold. That leaves the smartphone business, which some of us still aren’t all that clear on as to whether or not it will survive in any form or fashion. Some rumors have it that Google admits it only wanted Motorola for its patent portfolio, but some of us do hope that Droid lives on.


Image via Shutterstock

In any case, the news comes by way of a leaked memo that is in Korean. That isn’t much of a problem though as Google’s handy dandy translator does a decent – and in some ways humorous job of providing a workable translation. It’s worth checking out for that reason alone. Here is the translated headline and subhead:

“Corporation in February next year, Motorola, market withdrawal should ... organize - Presence in Korea four years ... after HTC first official foreign companies withdraw”

The memo does say that those losing their jobs will be entitled to compensation packages, which will be valued based on employee years of service. All employees will also receive job hunting assistance (“All employees' reemployment program through headhunters job.”)

The memo notes that Motorola’s heyday came in 2006 (RAZR anyone?) and then essentially nosedived in 2009. A bit more amusement on how the translation program frames this: “Is similar to the history of ups and downs.” We have to agree with the translation!

Motorola Mobility confirmed the cuts and noted that, “the changes in Korea reflect the company’s plans to consolidate global research and development efforts to foster collaboration, and to focus more attention on markets where we are best positioned to compete effectively.”

Interestingly, Motorola also noted that it’s really old business – iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) - will continue to operate. There are probably agreements on the table that Motorola needs to support here – there are no iDEN alternatives as far as we know. It isn’t clear to us how Motorola will provide service for any Moto phones that are still in use, or if it will even try to do so.




Edited by Brooke Neuman


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