The news that Google is cutting more staff from its Motorola subsidiary has raised further questions over the future of the handset maker after Google swallowed up the former Motorola Mobility division in a $12.5bn deal in 2011.
That move was quickly followed up with 4,000 job cuts, and concerns over Google's future intentions for the long-established phone handset maker.
Many industry observers questioned whether the acquisition would lead to other Android licensees such as Samsung and HTC switch to other mobile platforms - particularly if Google was seen to be giving privileged treatment to its own subsidiary.
However, Google seems to have gone out of its way to be even handed, perplexing many by refusing to give any special treatment to Motorola. The firm has yet to use Motorola to deliver one of its Nexus branded devices, for example.
With the latest move, Motorola has lost another 1,200 staff, or 10 percent of its remaining workforce, as the firm's share of the mobile phone market declines.
But things may not be as black as they seem. The company said that the cutbacks were part of an effort to scale back activity in areas that were not proving profitable, and make more high-value smartphones rather than low-end handsets.
To this end, rumours abound regarding a possible next-generation X-Phone and maybe even an X-Tablet from Motorola, which Google is said to be planning to use as the launch vehicle for Android 5 Key Lime Pie.
So while the shedding of jobs in the US, China and India is bad news for the employees involved, the move could presage a comeback for the battered Motorola brand.
Motorola has proven it can deliver excellent smartphones, like the Intel-based Razr I, but it needs a bit more in the way of support from its Google parent if it is to avoid the death spiral that is so often the fate of companies that get swallowed up by a much bigger industry giant.
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