After it was split in two, Google bought phone maker Motorola Mobility in May this year, leaving the profitable equipment biz Motorola Solutions to live on.Then the ad giant decided to lay off 20 per cent of the Moto Mobility workforce.Although this was all relatively sudden, the fall of the company - an outfit that opened its doors nearly a century ago - can be traced back to the late 1990s.
Collect 50 and you get a gold badge with your name on it.) How did Motorola grow to become one of the biggest companies in the world, and at one point hold a dominant market share? And how did Motorola lose it, and end up with the major part of the company bought by Google? Motorola’s background is radio: it was founded in 1928 as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation by brothers Paul and Joseph Galvin.
It was run by members of the family until 2004 when the board ousted Paul's grandson Chris.
The name change came in 1947 when the company's car and two-way radios sold under the Motorola brand were well established.
Sales of equipment to the military were substantial: Motorola produced the first FM radios usable in the field, although the kit was the size of a rucksack.
The company followed technology trends with television – including the world’s first rectangular TV tube - and, off the back of this, an early use of transistors. Motorola's understanding of consumer and two-way radios in the 1960s meant it was well placed to work on emerging cellular communications.
Motorola vice-president Marty Cooper demonstrated the first handheld phone in 1973 and it was a chunky beast.
He said: "Battery lifetime was 20 minutes, but that wasn't really a big problem because you couldn't hold that phone up for that long." The first infrastructure to support calls from handhelds was sold in 1982, and in 1983 the Dyna TAC phone was launched. Most of the heroes of the company worked in hardware.
Google was also keen to get its hands on Moto's incredible library of intellectual property, which included many great innovations in radio technology, mechanical engineering, electronics and production engineering.
Yet many of the people who made this happen are busy updating their profiles on Linked In.
It seems that Google isn’t looking to Motorola to be a source of future intellectual property.
(The top designers at Moto are not hard to spot, by the way - just look at the staff passes; get a patent awarded and it goes on your company record.