Motorola ditches Symbian, announces 3,000 layoffs

In future Motorola plans concentrate only on the Android, Windows Mobile and P2K platforms for handsets, a spokesperson has confirmed

Motorola has confirmed it is to lay off around 3,000 workers in the wake of its latest financial losses.

The communications company has also confirmed it is dropping the Symbian-based UIQ platform in favour of a focus on just three platforms: Android, Windows Mobile and the homegrown P2K platform that Motorola puts into very low-end handsets.

On Thursday, Motorola announced a third-quarter net loss of £245m along with a drop in handset shipments of around 32 percent. The company also said it was delaying the anticipated spin-off of its handset division, which is headed up by ex-Qualcomm executive Sanjay Jha.

On Monday, a spokesperson for the company told ZDNet UK that "approximately 3,000" employees would be let go. The spokesperson declined to specify which business divisions or geographical areas would be affected by the layoffs, or the precise number of redundancies.

According to Motorola's spokesperson, the job cuts will help the company make around $800m (£503m) in savings during 2009.

Regarding the jettisoning of UIQ, the Motorola spokesperson said: "The plan is on consolidating platforms and simplifying products. We have no further investment plans for Symbian UIQ. The UIQ code is being folded into the wider Symbian platform, as Symbian — soon to be entirely owned by Nokia — prepares to go open source.  

Although Motorola has explicitly stated its ongoing support only for Android, Windows Mobile and P2K, the company's spokesperson was not able to confirm whether it will also abandon its Motomagx mobile Linux platform.