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Motorola: Left to Its Own Devices

The equipment maker's inability to find a buyer for its beleaguered cell-phone unit revives the urgency of reforming the division from within
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To many the recent announcement that Motorola (MOT) was exploring options for its troubled handset division was seen as a sign the once-legendary business would soon be sold. That seemed a better outcome than, say, a spinoff or internal overhaul for a business mired in losses.

Yet almost a month later, despite rumors of acquisition interest from such heavyweights as Korean electronics maker LG and U.S. PC giant Dell (DELL), bankers, analysts, and industry executives close to Motorola say a sale is neither imminent nor likely. Several Asian handset makers have publicly said they're not interested (, 2/4/08). One banker gives a sale a "50-50" chance, at best.