By combining mobile devices and home entertainment equipment, such as TV set-top boxes, Motorola hopes to provide "multiscreen" experiences in which users consume content on phones, other mobile devices, and home entertainment equipment, Jha said. They can even have similar user interfaces across these platforms, he said. Motorola has already adapted its MotoBlur social media interface from handsets to set-top boxes, Jha said. At the International Consumer Electronics Show last month, the company demonstrated a device it called the Mover, which shifted digital content from a set-top box to mobile devices.
"Consumers will enjoy uniform experiences for discovery, consumption, creation and sharing of content, as well as social collaboration and connectivity, anywhere, anytime," Jha said.
The Enterprise Mobility Solutions and Networks business will include Motorola's carrier infrastructure products along with public-safety communications gear and enterprise infrastructure, such as combined mobility and wireless LAN systems, Brown said. Separating the mobile carrier equipment business from handsets makes sense because, among other things, all the carrier and enterprise products are sold on a long lead time and involve complex integration work, he said.
North America will be the biggest market for both new businesses, as it is today, while Motorola also has a strong position in Latin America and sees growing opportunities in China and Europe, the company said.
Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal had reported that Motorola was considering selling its wireless network equipment business while combining the handset and set-top-box units.
Motorola announced the upcoming split far in advance to give customers, employees and investors time to prepare for the realignment, the executives said. The company said it was not changing its financial forecast, which calls for a loss in the first quarter of this year. But it still expects to turn a profit in its handset business by the end of the year, with 20 new models coming out this year, according to Jha.
Jha dismissed a question about what might derail the company's plans between now and next year, though the company's news release notes the move is subject to a number of conditions, including confirmation that the transaction can be made tax-free. In addition, Motorola has not yet determined which part of the company technically will be spun off and which will be formed out of today's Motorola.
"We're fully committed to making this separation," Jha said.