Motorola is an American company with many “firsts” in the field of science and technology. It started in Chicago in 1928. Company founders Paul V. Galvin and Joseph Galvin created the brand name Motorola for the car radio – linking “motor” (for motorcar) with “ola” (which implied sound)
1928 Founding of Company Paul V. Galvin and his brother, Joseph Galvin, incorporated the Galvin Manufacturing Company in Chicago on Sept. 25, 1928. Galvin Manufacturing would later become Motorola
1928 Battery Eliminator Shortly after incorporation, the Galvin Manufacturing Company released its first product, a battery eliminator, in 1928. The device let battery-powered radios run on a standard household electric current
1930 First Motorola Public Safety Radio Sales After releasing several more products, including a car radio in 1930, a police cruiser radio receiver in 1936 and a Handie-Talkie two-way radio in 1940, Galvin Manufacturing Company went public, and selling its first public stock in 1943 for $8.50 per share
1947 Company Name Change In 1947, the brothers Galvin ditched the Galvin Manufacturing Company moniker, changing the company name to Motorola Inc.
1969 First Words From the Moon In July 1969, Motorola helped transmit the first words from the moon to the Earth. A Motorola radio transponder aboard the Apollo 11 lunar module transmitted telemetry, tracking, voice communications and television signals between Earth and the moon.
1983 World’s First Commercial Portable Cellular Phone In 1983, Motorola’s DynaTAC phone, the world’s first handheld commercial cellular phone, was approved by the FCC. The 28ounce monster of a device was made available to consumers the following year.
1991 World’s First GSM Cellular System In Hanover, Germany in 1991, Motorola demonstrated the world’s first working-prototype digital cellular system and phones using Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM).
1995 World’s First Two-Way Pager The world’s first two-way messaging pager, the Tango, was introduced by Motorola in 1995. The device let users receive text messages and emails and reply with a standard response. The device could also be connected to a computer to download long messages
1999 iDEN i1000plus Handset Before everyone and their brother was glued to a BlackBerry, Motorola released the iDEN i1000plus Handset. The 1999 device combined a digital phone, a two-way radio, an alphanumeric pager, Internet microsbrowser, email, fax and two-way messaging.
2002 World’s First Wireless Cable Modem Gateway While most of us were still dealing with dial-up in 2002, Motorola released the SURFboardAE SBG 1000 cable modem gateway. The gateway was the first to combine a high-speed cable modem router with an Ethernet switch and wireless home gateway. Basically, the box let cable TV subscribers use their cable connection to share Internet access and to network multiple computers wirelessly.
2004 MOTORAZR V3 Cellular Phone Motorola introduced the RAZR V3 cellular phone in 2004. The ultraslim, metal-clad, quad-band flip phone caused quite a stir. The phone was 13.9 mm thin and used aircraft-grade aluminum to achieve several design and engineering innovations, including a nickel-plated keypad. The RAZR quickly became the country’s No. 1 selling phone, hitting 750,000 units sold in its first 90 days and as recently as late last year, still held 16 percent of the crowded mobile device market.
2005 MOTOROLA COO ZAFIROVSKI RESIGNS Mike Zafirovski resigned as Motorola’s chief operating officer on January 15, 2005. Zafirovski joined Motorola in June 2000 as executive vice president and president of the personal communications sector, a post he held for two years. In 2002, Zafirovski was passed over for the promotion to COO for Edward Breen. Later that year, however, Breen quit and Zafirovski took over. Zafirovski resigned just a week after he was passed over for the CEO spot, a title which went to Edward Zander. Zafirovski now helms Nortel Networks as president and CEO.
2005 THE Q IS INTRODUCED Billing itself as the “thinnest, lightest and coolest” smartphone featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, Motorola unveiled the Q on July 25, 2005. Building off the popularity of the consumer-focused RAZR, the Q was designed for executives and enterprises users looking for a stylish yet highly functional device. The first wave of the Q sold briskly, but later iterations failed to recapture the same magic.
2007 MOTOROLA BUYS GOOD In January 2007, Motorola acquired Good Technology and formed the Motorola Good Technology Group. Good Mobile Messaging and Good Mobile Intranet solutions extend enterprise applications, like Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Domino, intranets and other web-enabled corporate applications to mobile employees using AES encrypted, FIPS 140-2 certified security and cradle-free, real-time twoway wireless synchronization.
2007 Symbol Technologies, Inc In 2007 Motorola and Symbol Technologies merged to provide products and systems for enterprise mobility solutions, including rugged mobile computing, advanced data capture and radio frequency identification (RFID)
2007 World’s First WiMAX 802.16e Mobile Handoffs Motorola demonstrated the world’s first WiMAX 802.16e mobile handoffs in downtown Chicago on September 26, 2007. Users experienced live Web browsing and video streaming sessions on wireless computers while traveling in the city.
2008 Gregory Q. Brown, CEO and Co-CEO In the wake of Zander’s resignation, Motorola announced the appointment of Greg Brown as CEO on January 1, 2008. Brown had run Motorola’s enterprise mobility efforts as president and chief operating officer.
2011 MOTOROLA SPLITS IN TWO Motorola splits into two separate companies, each still using the word Motorola as part of their name. One company, Motorola Solutions (using a blue version of the Motorola logo), is based in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois and concentrates on police technologies, radios, and commercial needs. The other company, Motorola Mobility (using a red logo), is based in the Chicago suburb of Libertyville, Illinois and is the mobile handset producer.
The belief that innovative technology would eventually attract customers, in fact, was deeply ingrained in Motorola’s culture.
Motorola’s history was replete with examples of spectacular innovations that had brought the company success and notoriety. Motorola had experienced over 60 years of success in bringing often startling new technology to consumers around the world.