Motorola Inc. has reached a deal with Verizon Wireless to ensure some of its upcoming smartphones will be heavily promoted by the largest U.S. carrier, a big boost as Motorola tries to turn around its struggling handset business.
The new phones are a key test for Motorola co-Chief Executive Sanjay Jha, who needs to demonstrate he can deliver a string of winners and reverse losses as he tries to prove his mobile devices division can be a stand-alone business.
Motorola benefited from Verizon Wireless’s push at the end of last year for the original Droid phone. But with the launch of the Incredible from HTC Corp. ( 2498.TW), Motorola’s flagship device has been pushed aside, bringing up the issue of how the company remains competitive with so many other players in the market.
Verizon Wireless, which plans to add two Motorola smartphones in July, spent $100 million marketing the original Droid, helping to boost Motorola’s sales in the first quarter.