Motorola (MOT) Takes On Water From Samsung And Qualcomm

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Motorola (MOT) is a first class example of what Ivy League business school professors do not want their students to know. It might frighten the horses. At some companies, there is no bottom. Every time things reach the point where they could not possibly deteriorate, they do.

Word came yesterday that the one place where Motorola still had the No.1 spot in handset market-share had fallen. That would be its home market, the US.

Samsung took the trophy, and the last thing Motorola had to brag about other than layoffs is gone.

According to The Wall Street Journal, "The South Korean company reached the milestone — with 22.4% of the market compared with Motorola’s 21.1% — by offering carriers a full portfolio of devices, from high-end products such as the touch-screen Instinct to lower-end phones given free to customers who sign up with a particular carrier."

Whatever capacity Motorola had to appeal to handset buyers in any market in the world is now officially departed.

That news was not enough for one day. The world’s leading provider of cell phone chips, Qualcomm (QCOM), issued a forecast that would make some believe that handset sales around the world could actually drop next year. People may even have to resort to using tin cans and string.

Qualcomm made a astonishing observation. People are no longer replacing their phones quickly. They cycle of upgrading is now averaging about two years.

Motorola does not have that long.

Douglas A. McIntyre