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Motorola was an American telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Microprocessors from its Semiconductor Products Sector, such as the Motorola 68000 series, were used in early Macintosh computers.

After losing US$4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009, the company was split into two independent companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011.[1] Motorola Solutions is the legal successor that retained Motorola's stock price history, while Motorola Mobility was spun off and sold to Google in 2012, which then sold it to Lenovo in 2014.[2][3]

Motorola and Apple Computer

One of Motorola's early microprocessors, the Motorola 6809E had been considered for Jef Raskin's early Macintosh project, but it was quickly replaced by a newer 8MHz Motorola 68000 after Steve Jobs took over the project and supported the integration of a graphical user interface like that of the Apple Lisa, which used a 5MHz version.[4]

Motorola, together with Apple Computer and IBM, formed the AIM alliance in 1991, which developed the PowerPC processor as a competitor to Microsoft and Intel's duopoly over the PC platform.[5][6] PowerPC processors were used in Apple's Power Macintosh line and newer PowerBook and Performa models (typically with 4-digit model numbers). Motorola licensed Mac OS from Apple to begin producing its own StarMax brand of Macintosh clones in September 1997. The StarMax line was discontinued in December 1997 after Apple had ended the licensing program with the release of Mac OS 8.[7][8] In 2004, Motorola's semiconductor division was spun off into Freescale Semiconductor.[9]

At the 2005 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Steve Jobs made a surprise announcement that Apple would be transitioning from PowerPC to Intel processors.[10] Freescale CEO Michel Mayer stated that Freescale (and Motorola) had known of of Jobs' intention to move to Intel processors for 5 years.[11] In 2015, Freescale was merged into NXP Semiconductors.[9]


  1. Ante, Spencer E.. "Motorola Is Split Into Two", The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2011. 
  2. Motorola Solutions Inc: NYSE:MSI quotes & news – Google Finance.
  3. It's official: Motorola Mobility now belongs to Lenovo by Roger Cheng, CNET. 2014-10-30. Archived 2014-11-01.
  4. Andy Hertzfeld. Five different Macintoshes. Retrieved on April 24, 2006.
  5. Lewis, Peter H.. "The Executive Computer; What's in I.B.M.'s and Apple's Gunsights? Microsoft", July 14, 1991. Retrieved on February 17, 2019. 
  6. "Rivals IBM, Apple team up for open platform", July 8, 1991. Retrieved on February 18, 2019. 
  7. Motorola Mac Clones, EveryMac. Accessed 2020-02-22.
  8. Today in Apple history: Apple outwits clone-makers with Mac OS 8 by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac. 2018-03-08.
  9. 9.0 9.1 NXP Semiconductors And Freescale Semiconductor Close Merger RTTNews. Retrieved on December 13, 2015.
  10. “This Is Not a Product”: The Apple Developer Transition Kit by Stephen Hackett, MacStories. 2019-01-16.
  11. Freescale CEO: Jobs wanted to move to Intel 5 years ago by Kasper Jade, AppleInsider. 2005-12-07.

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