Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., maker of the Droid smartphone, “is completely open” to using Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows software as an operating system even as it’s focused on Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android.
“We’re not leading the charge on Windows 8 but as we become comfortable that there’s a viable ecosystem and quality of innovation and quality of services being there, we’ll certainly be open to it,” Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Jha told investors today at a conference hosted by Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. “Clearly all of our focus today is on Android.”
Jha is trying to harness the surging popularity of Android while still making Motorola smartphones distinctive enough that they outshine devices made by larger rivals Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. (2498) that also use Android. At the same time, he’s focusing on competing with Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone, which became the world’s most popular smartphone last quarter.
Apple climbed to a 19 percent share of the global smartphone market in the second quarter, up from 13 percent a year earlier, according to Framingham, Massachusetts-based researcher IDC. Samsung almost tripled its share to 16 percent from 5.6 percent a year earlier. Motorola wasn’t among the top five.
Nokia Oyj’s share fell by more than half to 16 percent from 37 percent a year earlier. The Finnish company is rebuilding its business around Windows, the only major smartphone maker focused on Windows at present, to try and regain market share.
“I would have to consider” Windows, if the operating system became a credible option on favorable terms to Motorola Mobility, Jha said.
Motorola’s biggest priority is consolidating its base of customers in the U.S., Jha said. The second focus is to expand in Europe and get a broader range of phones into key markets such as Germany, France and the U.K., he said.
The company last month forecast profit for this quarter and the full year that trailed analysts’ estimates after it delayed the release of its new Bionic phone and cut the price on its Xoom tablet.
Motorola Mobility, based in Libertyville, Illinois, rose $1.59 or 7.4 percent, to $23.12 at 4:02 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has declined 21 percent this year.
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