Motorola’s decision to split itself into a wireless handset company and broadband infrastructure company (after being warned) may be the right move for investors looking to tailor their portfolio, but the timing could not be worse in terms of the strategic potential of having home entertainment and mobile lifestyle technology powerhouses under one roof (not that Motorola had executed on that promise particularly well up until now).
Still, the past few years have brought us the Slingbox, which streams home video over a wireless connection, remote TiVo programming, sideloading entertainment content to cell phones, WiMAX, which promises to deliver video to advanced handsets, HotSpot@Home, which uses Wi-Fi networks to provide a fat voice and data pipe in advance of ubiquitous wireless broadband.
Even today, rumors swirled that TimeWarner and Comcast are looking to up their involvement with Sprint to help ensure the success of WiMAX, and I recently posted (and wrote at further length) about further links that Apple is exploring between its portable devices and potential future DVRs. Business models and competitive landscapes are disparate, but Motorola may soon lose a key advantage in delivering consumer’s holistic digital lifestyle solutions. Bats may fly blind, but they still need both wings.