Motorola is considering reducing the workforce in its mobile devices group by as much as 50 per cent.

The company is reportedly set to start major layoffs this week that would reduce staff levels by half and is said to be dramatically scaling back its phone development as a whole.

Nearly all development for smartphones is already believed to be switching exclusively to Android while Motorola’s own phone introductions may scale back to as few as 12 devices per year.

The company is also reportedly shelving plans to have a booth at the CTIA show in April despite its being the premier cellphone event in the US, according to Phone Scoop.

The cutbacks if accurate suggest increasingly desperate attempts to revive the company’s fortunes.

In the last quarter, Motorola had a USD $397 million loss and phone sales by the American cellphone producer dropped by a third in just 12 months.

Much of the blame for this has been put on substantial drops in high-end phones as well as the lack of a compelling low-end product.

The company’s popular RAZR recently lost its top ranking in the US to the iPhone and BlackBerries.

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