Why Motorola is open to Windows Phone 7: Cutthroat Android competition

Motorola Mobility's chief is open to Windows Phone 7 and that's a good idea. Here's why.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor
Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha indicated that he was open to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system and there are a bevy of good reasons why such a move may make sense.

Fierce Wireless reported that Jha was "completely open" to Microsoft as a platform. Jha has to be open to Microsoft. Why? Motorola Mobility will have to diversify at some point because the Android device market is hyper competitive. Think you can sell an Android device for $299? You can, but the window is pretty short. Motorola's Atrix is in AT&T's bargain bin now for $99.

Every day Jha is in a dogfight with HTC and Samsung for Android market share. This Nielsen graphic tells the tale.

Now Jha barely thinks three smartphone operating systems will survive, but if Windows Phone 7 proves viable Motorola Mobility will see it as an option. Here's why:

  • Android devices can't hold pricing and that will kill Motorola Mobility margins over the long run.
  • The challenge to come up with differentiating features for Android devices will be tricky. Motorola Mobility has been playing to the enterprise.
  • Motorola Mobility will need to diversify at some point.
  • Intellectual property issues could also hurt the Android cost structure. Motorola Mobility's patent portfolio is strong so it's unlikely to be targeted like HTC, but there may be some unknown costs ahead for Android device manufacturers. With Microsoft, you'd at least have your patent ducks in a row.

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