Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) is an American, multinational, Fortune 100, telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois. It is a manufacturer of wireless telephone handsets, and also designs and sells wireless network infrastructure equipment such as cellular transmission base stations and signal amplifiers. Motorola's home and broadcast network products include set-top boxes, digital video recorders, and network equipment used to enable video broadcasting, computer telephony, and high-definition television. Its business and government customers consist mainly of wireless voice and broadband systems used to build private networks and public safety communications systems like Astro and Dimetra. Motorola's handset division is now focusing on smartphones using Google's open-source Android mobile operating system. The first phone to use the newest version of Google's open source OS, Android 2.0, was released on November 2, 2009 as the Motorola Droid (the GSM version launched a month later, in Europe, as the Motorola Milestone).
Motorola started in Chicago, Illinois as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (at 847 West Harrison Street) in 1928, with its first product being a battery eliminator. The name Motorola was adopted in 1930, and the word has been used as a trademark since the 1930s. Founders Paul Galvin and Joseph Galvin came up with the nameMotorola when the company started manufacturing car radios in 1930; the name is a combination of "motor" and the suffix "ola" that was used at the time in various product names, including "Victrola."
Many of Motorola's Products have been radio-related, starting with a battery eliminator for radios, through the first walkie-talkie in the world in 1940, defenseelectronics, cellular infrastructure equipment, and mobile phone manufacturing. In the same year, the company built its research and development program with Dan Noble, a pioneer in FM radio and semiconductor technologies joined the company as director of research.
In 1943, Motorola went public and in 1947, the name changed to its present name. The present logo was introduced in 1955, it was designed by Zeke Ziner in late 1954. At this time, Motorola's main business was producing and selling televisions and radios.
In 1952, Motorola opened its first international subsidiary in Toronto, Canada to produce radios and televisions. In 1953, Motorola established the Motorola Foundationto support leading universities in the United States.
In 1955, years after Motorola started its research and development laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona to research new solid-state technology, Motorola introduced the world's first commercial high-power germanium-based transistor.
Beginning in 1958 with Explorer 1, Motorola provided radio equipment for most NASA space-flights for decades including during the 1969 moon landing. A year later, it established a subsidiary to conduct licensing and manufacturing for international markets.
In 1960, Motorola introduced the world's first "large-screen" (19-inch), transistorized, cordless portable television.
In 1963, Motorola, which had very successfully begun making televisions in 1947 introduced the world's first truly rectangular color TV picture tube which quickly became the industry standard.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong spoke the famous words "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" from the Moon on a Motorola Radio.
In 1974, Motorola sold its television business to the Japan-based parent company of Panasonic.
In 1976, Motorola moved to its present headquarters in Schaumburg.
In September 1983, the firm made history when the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the DynaTAC 8000X telephone, the world's first-only commercial cellular device. By 1998, cellphones accounted for two-third's of Motorola's gross revenue. The company was also strong in semiconductor technology, including integrated circuits used in computers. In particular, it is well known for the 68000 family of microprocessors used in Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Color Computer, and Apple Macintosh personal computers. The PowerPC family was developed with IBM and in a partnership with Apple (known as the AIM alliance). Motorola also has a diverse line of communication products, including satellite systems, digital cable boxes and modems.
In 1986, Motorola invented the Six Sigma quality improvement process. This became a global standard. In 1990, General Instrument Corporation, which was later acquired by Motorola, proposed the first all-digital HDTV standard. In the same year, the company introduced the Bravo numeric pager which became the world's best-selling pager.
In 1991, Motorola demonstrated the world's first working-prototype digital cellular system and phones using GSM standard in Hanover, Germany. In 1994, Motorola introduced the world's first commercial digital radio system that combined paging, data and cellular communications and voice dispatch in a single radio network and handset. In 1995] Motorola introduced the world's first two-way pager which allowed users to receive text messages and e-mail and reply with a standard response.
In 1998, Motorola was overtaken by Nokia as the world's biggest seller of mobile phone handsets.
On September 15, 1999, Motorola announced it would buy General Instrument in an $11 billion stock swap. General Instrument had long been the No. 1 cable TV equipment provider, supplying cable operators with end-to-end hybrid fiber coax cable solutions. This meant that GI offers all cable TV transmission network components from the head-end to the fiber optic transmission nodes to the cable set-top boxes, now at the availability of Motorola.
In June 2000, Motorola and Cisco supplied the world's first commercial GPRS cellular network to BT Cellnet in the United Kingdom. The world's first GPRS cell phone was also developed by Motorola.
In 2002 Motorola introduced the world's first wireless cable modem gateway which combined a high-speed cable modem router with an ethernet switch and wireless home gateway.
In 2003, Motorola introduced the world's first handset to combine a Linux operating system and Java technology with "full PDA functionality".
In June 2006, Motorola acquired the world-class software platform (AJAR) developed by the British company TTP Communications plc.
In 2007 Motorola acquired Symbol Technologies, Inc. to provide products and systems for enterprise mobility solutions, including rugged mobile computing, advanced data capture and radio frequency identification (RFID).