Most of Motorola's competitors either ruled themselves out the last time or, like Nokia, would likely be ruled out due to antitrust considerations. But there's one company that I think should be ruled in: Cisco. Yes, Cisco and Motorola are fierce competitors in many aspects of the cable and IPTV businesses, but Cisco only has an IP phone business right now.
Adding Motorola's mobile handset business would dramatically increase Cisco's telco business, but it would accomplish two more important things:
- It would make Cisco one of the largest players in a business that's far more important than PCs and set-top boxes combined to getting IP-based content and services into the hands of consumers. Last year, according to Strategy Analytics, 1.12 billion mobile handsets were sold, vs. 267.7 million PCs shipped worldwide, according to IDC.
- It would turn Cisco into a consumer brand, an objective long cherished by Cisco management. Last year, Motorola shipped 159 million mobile handsets. Imagine the consumer impact if those handsets carried the Cisco logo instead of Motorola's.
"Hello, Cisco" has a nice sound to it. Let's see if it sounds good to Motorola as well.