Google bought Motorola’s Mobility unit last year and set off a storm of controversy and intrigue–about antitrust issues and questions of possible preferential Android treatment. It’s taken a while to integrate it into Google’s operations, and now we’re seeing the next step of this process, where Google’s slashing about 10% of the workforce, or some 1,200 jobs.
Google’s plans for Motorola are still obscure. Last week Google CFO and SVP Patrick Pichette made headlines when he said that none of the products Motorola has lined up to release are “really to the standards that what Google would say is wow–innovative, transformative.” This poor performance is expected to last for at least 18 months yet, he added. Separately Google is said to be nervous about the dominance of Samsung in the Android sphere. Samsung layers many of its own UI features on top of Google’s Android core, and is poised to reveal its next top-shelf phone, the Galaxy S4, next week.