Freescale Looks To Sell Cellular Handset Business

Austin-based Freescale Semiconductor said late Thursday that it is looking to "explore strategic options" for the firm's cellular handset chipset products business, and intends to sell the unit or enter a joint venture in the coming months. According to the company, the move is part of a plan to "sharpen" the company's strategic focus. Freescale's cellular handset business develops baseband processors, RF transceivers, power management/audio, software and platforms used in cell phones. Freescale said the move is a result of semiconductor market consolidation. Freescale Chairman and CEO Rich Beyer said it felt that in order for its cellular handset business to be successful, it needs "considerably greater scale."