Friday's Wall Street Journal ran an article Dropped Call: How Motorola Fell A Giant Step Behind detailing Motorola's difficulty finding a successor to the highly popular Razr phone. The story will be familiar to anyone who has read The Innovator's Dilemma or followed the spectacular rise and fall of the StarTAC which, according to the article, was such a success as an analog phone that it blinded the company to the shift to digital. Similarly, the Razr was so popular that it delayed Motorola's move to the 3G phones that are now driving the market. An additional complication was that when it spun off Freescale Semiconductor in 2003 it promised to purchase all of its cellphone chips from them for three years, but those chips were too large to fit in the slim phones that were becoming popular.
Now that the Razr has been widely imitated and sells for commodity prices, the lack of a 3G successor is hurting the bottom line.
For serious Motorola watchers, the article details much of the internal politics of the company, some of it gleaned from a recently settled lawsuit on an "unrealted matter."