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Motorola swings axe at TTPCom

Lays off half the staff

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Motorola is pruning its Cambridgeshire presence by laying off 155 people at TTPCom, the technology firm snapped up by the American phone manufacturer in March 2006.

TTPCom, not to be confused with former sibling The Technology Partnership which is still headquartered nearby, specialised in providing a modular platform for mobile phone handsets and was already working closely with Motorola when they were bought for £100m almost two years ago.

But Motorola never really knew what it had acquired. According to insiders the phone company not only failed to provide specifications of what it wanted, but also split development of the platform between two different ODMs (Original Design Manufacturers - the companies that actually make the handsets before the Motorola logo is stuck on them), therefore managing to fragment the platform in spite of owning it.

TTPCom was already losing key staff, including founder Dr. Tony Milbourn who left last year to start his own consultancy. These cuts will see the scale of the company drastically reduced.

More generally, this looks like more floundering from Motorola, which never appears comfortable with software. Its recent endorsement of both Symbian (through an investment in UIQ) and Google's Android platform demonstrates that while it might be able to make hardware, it really has no strategy when it comes to putting software onto it. ®

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