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Motorola Building a Google-Only Phone

The fourth quarter marked the first full quarter of Motorola's revamped mobile phone strategy built around the Google Android.

Motorola has been slashing costs in an effort to respond to lower sales levels and the steep drop in phone sales. For the year, Motorola says it cut 11,000 employees.

Motorola's fourth quarter performance showed that the company continues to lose ground in mobile phones, which was partially offset by Android phone sales. The results contrast with surprisingly strong sales and market share gains at Nokia in the fourth quarter.

"Christmas quarters tend to be strong for Nokia," says MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen. "I don't believe this changes the Nokia outlook for 2010, though. Nokia's new models are facing a very challenging competitive outlook."

A strong Nokia showing, and record iPhone sales at Apple point to a hotly competitive market in the fourth quarter. These reports will raise concerns about how well BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) fared and how Palm (PALM) may have done under the pressure.

Motorola shares fell 4% in premarket trading Thursday.

-- Reported by Scott Moritz in New York.
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