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Googorola yoinks Android mobes off German shelves

Apple, Microsoft patent warfare forces European retreat

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Motorola Mobility's global smartphone market share shrank faster than usual yesterday when the mobe maker pulled all but one of its products from Germany.

Patent infringement lawsuits launched by Apple and Microsoft against Moto have demanded a sales ban on the Google-owned handset biz's Android tablets and smartphones in Germany.

Motorola Mobility's attempts to overturn the rulings have failed, forcing the Illinois-headquartered manufacturer to beat an ignominious retreat from the biggest market in Europe.

Now Moto's German portal offers only one product for sale: the bargain-basement clam-shell Gleam phone running a proprietary OS.

In comparison, there are 18 products on the Motorola Mobility UK and US sites: 14 phones and 4 Xoom tablets.

Moto announced a change of strategy in August towards making fewer phones and selling them in a smaller number of select countries. It also announced a 20 per cent cut in staff and the closure of a third of its offices. The change in direction came three months after Moto was bought by Google in May 2012.

However Moto and its new Googly masters would not have desired this week's dramatic withdrawal. ®

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