Google Cuts 1,200 Motorola Employees

In today’s mobile news roundup: Google cuts more than 10% of Motorola workforce; BlackBerry Z10 arriving at AT&T on March 22; Snapchat controversy; and FTC fights against phine spam.

Google cuts more than 10% of Motorola workforce

In an effort to cut costs and losses, Google has started to layoff more than 10 percent or about 1,200 employees of Motorola Mobility.  The search giant stated in a company e-mail that though it remains positive about its products, it’s still facing challenges and needs to reduce operating expenses.

“These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It’s obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition,” a Motorola spokesman said.

This is the second massive layoff in Motorola’s unit after it was acquired by Google.  Last August, 20 percent or about 4,000 Motorola employees were cut worldwide.

BlackBerry Z10 arriving at AT&T on March 22

The BlackBerry Z10 is said to be arriving in AT&T stores on March 22, but the news came from unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel declined to comment on the reports.

“BlackBerry has not announced official launch dates for the BlackBerry Z10 in the U.S. and we are not able to confirm any rumored launch dates on behalf of our carrier partners,” the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

As for other carriers, Verizon stated that it expects the device to come by the end of March while Sprint already announced that it will not be offering the Z10 but will offer the Q10 when it becomes available in the US market.

Snapchat controversy

Snapchat, the widely used app that generates self-destructing messages, has fallen in the middle of a Facebook-like controversy.

Reggie Brown filed a lawsuit against Snapchat stating that he is entitled to one-third ownership stake along with co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.  An unnamed source claimed that the idea of Snapchat originally came from Brown while hanging out with their Kappa Sigma brothers sans Spiegel and Murphy, and Brown immediately came to Spiegel because he knew he would take his idea seriously.

And it seems the evidence was clear in Spiegel’s first interview where he stated that the idea came to him when one of his friends said, “I wish these photos I am sending this girl would disappear.”  The unnamed friend could be Brown.

Another unnamed source sided with Spiegel and Murphy stating that though it was Brown’s idea, he never put any work on the app and was constantly partying while Murphy worked on the code and Spiegel worked on the design.

An argument ensued which resulted in Murphy and Spiegel outing Brown from the development of Snapchat.

FTC fights against phone spam

The Federal Trade Commission has filed eight lawsuits in federal courts across the US against companies allegedly responsible for ordering or engineering the sending of spam messages to mobile phone users.

The spam messages usually contain promises of gift cards to popular stores or huge prizes won by the consumer without even entering any contest.  It’s rare for consumers to actually receive any reward, but when they actually do, the reward comes at a price.

The lawsuit named 29 defendants, including 18 individuals, most of whom worked for companies that were hired to send the text messages.  Some of the companies named are Superior Affiliate Management, Rentbro, Appidemic, Verma Holdings, AdvertMarketing, Seaside Building Marketing and SubscriberBASE Holdings.

The said companies are in violation under the civil law and are further in violation if spam messages are sent to numbers under the federal “Do Not Call” registry.

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