Motorola tries to quarantine handset unit

Motorola's handset unit is a sick patient. The solution: Quarantine it or maybe send it packing.

Motorola's handset unit is a sick patient. The solution: Quarantine it or maybe send it packing.

That's the big takeaway of Motorola's disclosure that it is "is exploring the structural and strategic realignment of its businesses to better equip its Mobile Devices business to recapture global market leadership and to enhance shareholder value."

In English, Motorola is saying it wouldn't mind spinning off or selling its handset unit, which has been nothing but a headache for the company aside from a few quarters where the Razr was a hot product.

In a statement, CEO Greg Brown said the goal is to accelerate the handset unit's recovery and attract talent. Motorola needs to do both. Who would buy Motorola's handset division? Any player with scale that's looking to snare about 10 percent of smartphone market share.

Just because Motorola can't operate the handset group effectively doesn't mean someone else can't.

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