Motorola Mobility is cutting 1200 staff members, in addition to a reduction of 4000 staffers it announced in August, in order to focus on high-end devices.
"These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer," said Motorola spokesperson Katie Dove in an email. "It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition."
Motorola's mobile business has been overwhelmed in the smartphone market by larger players such as Samsung Electronics, Apple, Sony, Huawei Technologies, and ZTE. Samsung, the largest smartphone maker in the fourth quarter, like Motorola makes phones using Google's Android operating system.
The revenue of Motorola's mobile business as a result of knocks in the market was US$1.51 billion, or 11 percent of parent Google's consolidated revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012. It also had an operating loss of $353 million in the quarter. Apple in contrast posted revenue of $54.5 billion and net profit of $13 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 29.
Staff at Motorola were informed by email this week that while the company is optimistic about new products in the pipeline, it still faces challenges, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The company added that its costs are too high, and it is operating in markets where it is not competitive and is losing money. The layoffs will affect workers in the U.S., China, and India, according to the newspaper.
Motorola was acquired by Google in May, and it was thought that the Internet giant was mainly acquiring the company for its patents, and may not be interested in its mobile hardware business in a cut-throat market.
Google said in December that it planned to sell Motorola's TV set-top box business to Arris Group, a broadband device vendor, for $2.35 billion.
Motorola had 11,113 staff in its mobile business and 5204 in its home business at the end of December. The new cuts will hence reduce the staff in its mobility business by over 10 percent.