Motorola will focus more on profits, CEO says

Motorola is putting its quest to recapture the title of world's biggest cell-phone maker on hold, an Associated Press report, quoting the company's top executive said.

The Associated Press report said the firm's chairman and CEO Ed Zander told analysts that 'it's not about market share any more' as the company works to recover from a badly missed profit forecast that analysts said showed its strategy was in need of overhaul.

Zander was further quoted as saying that he has been working closely with the interim leaders of the company's handset unit to reinforce that profitability is the top priority even if that means turning down low-profit deals with carriers it would have accepted in the past, as with a deal it rejected in Africa recently.

The company was on a two-year hot streak thanks to the popularity of its Razr phones last fall when it aggressively cut prices of Razrs and other high-end phones, especially in emerging markets, to boost market share, the Associated Press report said.

The result was a steep drop in profitability in the handset business in the fourth quarter, which was its least profitable since 2004, the report added.

Motorola's global market share rose to about 22% in 2006 from 14% in 2003 and the company has had a secret, internal target date for overtaking Nokia. Its Finnish rival surpassed it in the late 1990s and now has roughly 35% of the market, the report further said.