Motorola, Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, which was eventually divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011.
Motorola designed and sold wireless network infrastructure equipment such as cellular transmission base stations and signal amplifiers. Its business and government customers consisted mainly of wireless voice and broadband systems used to build private networks and public safety communications systems like Astro and Dimetra. These businesses are now part of Motorola Solutions.
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.
Motorola's wireless telephone handset division was a pioneer in cellular phones. Known as the Personal Communication Section (PCS) prior to 2004, it pioneered the flip phone with the StarTAC in the mid-1990s, and it enjoyed resurgence with the RAZR in the mid-2000s before losing significant market share. Lately it has focused on smart phones 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). The handset division, (along with cable set-top boxes and cable modems) has since then been spun off into the independent Motorola Mobility.
Motorola developed the first truly global communication network using a set of 66 satellites. In 1974, Motorola divested itself of its television and radio-manufacturing division, which included the popular Quasar brand of electronics. This division was acquired by Matsushita, already well-known under its Panasonic brand in North America, where it was looking to expand.
The Six Sigma quality system was developed at Motorola even though it became best known through its use by General Electric. It was created by engineer Bill Smith, under the direction of Bob Galvin when he was running the company. Motorola University is one of many places that provide Six Sigma training.