Motorola: Deep Hurting (3/13/01)
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Frankly, we're a little tired of Motorola getting smacked around so often over these past few months, but the company just keeps taking a beating. At first the woes were entertaining, on some sick level; we were sorry for the people who lost their jobs, of course, but at the same time, there was a certain soap opera thrill that accompanied those 2500 pink slips in January. And when Motorola axed another 4000 jobs last month, that, too, was a source of drama. But mix in the forced vacations, the possibility of the company's first quarterly loss in fifteen years, and an imminent multibillion-dollar lawsuit, and that's about all the hard-luck drama we can stand. When Moe pokes Curly in the eyes, that's arguably funny to a certain sensibility; if Moe grabbed a tire iron and beat Curly well beyond death and then dismembered the body with a hacksaw, well, that's a whole different story altogether.

But guess what? We are now officially in tire-iron-and-hacksaw territory. As faithful viewer Johnny pointed out, the beleaguered PowerPC-maker is chopping yet another 7000 jobs. (In the old days, we'd say that if Motorola could crank out G4s as quickly as it can hand out pink slips, we'd be golden; now that G4 availability is officially "greater than anticipated," though, we got nothin'.) According to CNNfn, like the January layoffs, these new cuts are localized to the company's "mobile phone manufacturing business," so there shouldn't be any direct effect on the supply of processors for Macs. Still, though, Motorola is clearly hurting in a big way, and that probably doesn't bode well for future PowerPC R & D funding.

Quarterly losses, looming lawsuits, three rounds of layoffs in as many months-- what's next for the Job of the semiconductor and cell phone industries? Weeping sores? Plagues of locusts? Perhaps Motorola made a deal with the netherworld to get its chips past the 500 MHz mark, and its recent woes are the holy and terrible vengeance of an offended deity. All we know is, we sure won't be visiting Motorola headquarters anytime soon. We've got a thing about being struck by lightning or smitten with boils.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 3/13/01 episode:

March 13, 2001: Brace yourselves, because the age-old "thin client Mac" rumor has risen anew, albeit with an x86 twist. Meanwhile, Motorola continues to hack away at its headcount to keep costs down, and Sony hires IBM to create the processor for the next PlayStation...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2919: You Can Never Be Too Rich... (3/13/01)   Evidently nostalgia is big right now, because we're smack in the middle of a hot and heavy old-school rumor revival. First there was our playful resurrection of the old Disney-Apple buyout story-- a classic for the ages...

  • 2921: It's All Just Fun And Games (3/13/01)   If you're one of those poor souls who is still having a tough time finding a PlayStation 2, our advice is to relax and wait a couple of years-- they'll be all over the place once the PlayStation 3 ships...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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