Up until 2011, Motorola, Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois. However, after losing $4.3 billion in between 2007 and 2009, the company was divided into two independent public companies: Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. Motorola Solutions is generally regarded as being the direct successor to Motorola, Inc., with Motorola Mobility being spun off.
Motorola designed and sold wireless network infrastructure equipment such as cellular transmission base stations and signal amplifiers. Motorola's home and broadcast network products included set-top boxes, digital video recorders, and network equipment used to enable video broadcasting, computer telephony, and high-definition television. Its business and government customers consisted mainly of wireless voice and broadband systems (used to build private networks), and, public safety communications systems like Astro and Dimetra. These businesses (except for set-top boxes and cable modems) are now part of Motorola Solutions.
Motorola's wireless telephone handset division was a pioneer in the history of the cell / mobile phone. Known as the Personal Communication Sector (PCS) prior to 2004, the division pioneered the "flip phone" with the MicroTAC - and, the "clam phone" with the StarTAC - in the mid-1990s. It had staged an enormously successful resurgence by the mid-2000s with the RAZR, but lost significant market share in the second half of that decade. Lately, it has focused on smartphones using Google's open-source Android mobile operating system. Motorola's first phone to use Android 2.0, was released in November 2009 as the Motorola Droid (the GSM version launched a month later, in Europe, as the Motorola Milestone). The handset division (along with cable set-top boxes and cable modems) has since been spun off into the independent Motorola Mobility.
Motorola began life in Chicago, Illinois as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (at 847 West Harrison Street) in 1928, with its first product being a battery eliminator. In 1930 Galvin Manufacturing Corporation introduced the Motorola radio, one of the first commercially successful car radios. Company founder Paul V. Galvin created the brand name Motorola for the car radio -- linking "motor" (for motorcar) with "ola" (which implied sound). Thus the Motorola brand meant sound in motion. The name Motorola was adopted in 1930, and the word has been used as a trademark since the 1930s.
Many of Motorola's products have been radio-related, beginning with a battery eliminator for radios, through the first walkie-talkie in the world in 1940, defense electronics, cellular infrastructure equipment, and mobile phone manufacturing. In the same year, the company built its research and development program with Daniel Earl Noble, a pioneer in FM radio and semiconductor technologies who joined the company as director of research.
In 1943, Motorola went public and in 1947, the name changed to its present name. At this time, Motorola's main business was producing and selling televisions and radios. Motorola produced the hand-held AM SCR-536 radio during World War II which was vital to allied communication.
In October 1946, the first "car phone" was introduced. Motorola communications equipment carried the first calls on Illinois Bell Telephone Company's new car radiotelephone service in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Motorola continued to expand and develop new products in the electronics field and it was on a Motorola transceiver that, in 1969, Neil Armstrong spoke the famous words "one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" from the Moon. But it was in 1973 that Motorola made history in the field of mobile communications when Martin Cooper made the first public demonstration of a phone call over the cellular network. This was a very significant date in the history of the cell / mobile phone industry.
In September 1983, Motorola made history when the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the world's first commercial cellular device, the DynaTAC 8000X telephone. By 1998, cellphones accounted for two thirds of Motorola's gross revenue. The company was also strong in semiconductor technology, including integrated circuits used in computers. In particular, it is well known for the 6800 family and 68000 family of microprocessors used in Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Color Computer, and Apple Macintosh personal computers. The PowerPC family was developed with IBM and in a partnership with Apple (known as the AIM alliance). Motorola also has a diverse line of communication products, including satellite systems, digital cable boxes and modems.
In 1991, Motorola demonstrated the world's first working-prototype digital cellular system and phones using GSM standard in Hanover, Germany. In 1994, Motorola introduced the world's first commercial digital radio system that combined paging, data and cellular communications and voice dispatch in a single radio network and handset. In 1995 Motorola introduced the world's first two-way pager which allowed users to receive text messages and e-mail and reply with a standard response.
In 1998, however, Motorola was overtaken by Nokia as the world's biggest seller of mobile phone handsets.
In June 2000, Motorola and Cisco supplied the world's first commercial GPRS cellular network to BT Cellnet in the United Kingdom. The world's first GPRS cell phone was also developed by Motorola.
The world's first wireless cable modem gateway, which combined a high-speed cable modem router with an ethernet switch and wireless home gateway, was introduced by Motorola in 2002.
The world's first handset to combine a Linux operating system and Java technology with "full PDA functionality" was introduced by Motorola in 2003.
In January 2011, Motorola split into two different companies. Motorola Solutions, based in Schaumburg Illinois and would concentrate on police technologies, radios, and commercial needs. Motorola Mobility, based in Libertyville would be the mobile handset producer.
In August 2011, Google announced that it would purchase Motorola Mobility for about $12.5 billion. On November 17, 2011, Motorola Mobility stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with Google Inc..
August 2012: Motorola Announces Job Cuts
Motorola Mobility, which was bought by Google in 2011, announced that it plans to cut 4,000 staff worldwide in an attempt to return to profitability. This job losses represent 20% of its workforce.
You can find out more about Motorola and its history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola.