Last August, not long after the devastating school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, officials in Houston—like many others across the state and the country—upped spending on safety measures. The city approved $2.3 million worth of new gear for its dedicated school security division. More than half of that money went to just one company: Motorola Solutions.
Motorola once dominated cell phones, but in the past few years it has become a huge player in public safety—one of the hottest areas in tech. While many big tech companies have struggled recently, Motorola sales and earnings per share both rose by double-digit percentages in 2022, while cash flow from operations increased 40%, and the company rose to No. 418 on the Fortune 500.
None of that business came from cell phones, the revolutionary product that Motorola invented—producing the world’s first working mobile phone in 1973—and that made it a household name. Eclipsed by Apple and other smartphone manufacturers, Motorola shed its money-losing consumer phone unit, including its signature Razr flip phone, along with its cell tower business and others, starting in 2008. (Motorola-branded phones are still for sale, but they’re now made by Chinese computer giant Lenovo.)
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