Motorola remains firm on spinning off handset division

Motorola remains committed to its plan to eventually separate its mobile devices division from the rest of the company, according to co-CEO Greg Brown. The company is exploring the implications for both its intellectual property and the Motorola brand after the split occurs, he said.

Brown, who heads up Motorola's home and networks business as well as its enterprise mobility segment, said the separation remains the "strategy of record." Brown's comments, made at an analyst conference, come a few weeks after rumors first began circulating that the company was considering selling its home and networks business for about $4.5 billion. He did not address the speculation directly, but said the prospects for the company's home and networks division looked strong.

"The brand is very important to both," Brown said, referring to the mobile devices and home and networks divisions.

Analysts were perplexed on speculation that Motorola might be shopping its home and networks business, noting that it might be too soon to consider such a move since Motorola's mobile devices business, which has bet heavily on Google's Android platform, has not yet recovered its footing.

Motorola for more than a year has voiced the possibility of spinning off its handset business. Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha, who runs the handset division, said a spin off would be timed on the business' performance and the overall economic environment.

Motorola has two Android phones on the market--the Droid from Verizon Wireless and the Cliq from T-Mobile USA--but plans to release at least 20 smartphones next year, most running on Android.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article

Related Articles:
Sale of Motorola unit could have implications for handset division
Motorola makes strides in Q3, posts $12M profit
Verizon launches first Android phone, Motorola Droid
Motorola's first Android phone, Cliq, headed for T-Mobile USA
Motorola's Jha not betting financial fate on Android blockbusters