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If there are any doubts that Google wants to rebuild and re-position Motorola, which it bought in 2011, the company’s actions today should put them to rest.

Google announced today that it is trimming down Motorola’s workforce by another 10%, after a layoff of 20% last year. The Motorola cuts this time around equal 1,200 jobs. The Wall Street Journal got its hands on an internal email that explained the reasoning behind the cuts, which boil down to Motorola’s high costs and the fact that it operates in many markets where it simply isn’t competitive. Motorola has been losing quite a bit of money, and now that the company is part of Google, its poor numbers — a $353 million operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2012 — have a direct impact on Google’s financials.

The job cuts will affect Motorola employees in several countries, including the United States, China and India.

droidAt the time of Google’s Motorola acquisition, it was assumed that the purchase was made because of Motorola’s extensive patent portfolio. With Google taking control of the patents, the company gained weapons to defend itself and its Android mobile operating system against litigation from other smartphone manufacturers and patent holders.

But the purchase could serve another purpose now that Samsung has become almost too powerful in the Android smartphone space. Google pledged to treat Motorola like any other Android partner, but no other manufacturers have equaled the sales and market share of Samsung. If Samsung decides to go rogue, or even put its own Tizen OS on its phones, no other Android partner has the brand recognition and power to carry the torch.

A revamped, Google-backed Motorola could be the answer. The company recently brought in former Apple marketing guru Guy Kawasaki to advise Motorola on design, user interface and marketing, which could be a good first step in a makeover. Google is also said to be working with Motorola on a “Google X” smartphone that Google would market heavily. If Google really wants to turn Motorola around, though, it’ll need to start putting out stellar products. Motorola hasn’t had a big hit since the first Droid smartphones started arriving in 2009.

What do you think of the Motorola cuts? Do you believe that the future of Android runs through Motorola? Share your thoughts below.

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