Thursday, January 31, 2008

Timing Motorola's Turnaround

As usual, the key questions for Motorola all center on their handset division. The utterly dismal post-RAZR performance has even brought speculation that Motorola would eventually sell the handset division. I see that as a woefully short sighted type of, of course, I cant discount the possibilty that Motorola's management will go down that path.

However, as an investor I see an opportunity. Motorola still has the brand, distribution and manufacturing prowess to be competitive in handsets. The problem is one of design. They dont need a RAZR, but they do need something along the lines of the Triplet handsets (V300/V500/V800) which spurred the turn around after the Startec had faded. The current buzz has centered around the following leaked pictures which are supposed to represent a portion of Motorola's 2008 lineup.

Unfortunately, this picture first showed up last October and there has been no further word on the possible timing of the introduction of these handsets. However, I believe that Eastman Kodak shed some light on the schedule during their earnings call, saying that they expect their CMOS image sensors to be in commercial products within six months. If confirmed, this timetable would put to rest some of the worst concerns about Motorola's fall handset lineup. It could be the light at the end of the long post-RAZR tunnel that investors have been looking for....stay tuned to 3GSM for more rumors and even the possibility of an announcement.

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