Android Helps Push Motorola Back Into The Running, Rumored To Consider Tablet Devices


Back when Android and the Open Handset Alliance first came to be, Motorola was said to be the movement’s biggest supporter thanks to head of mobile devices Sanjay Jha: they needed a saving grace for their failing mobile handset division. The chronology from Motorola’s trek to thrust itself back into the market as a top mobile competitor since then has truly been a fairy-tale story.

Today, Motorola confirmed that they only lost $192-million from their mobile division in their first fiscal quarter, but this is a good thing compared to what they lost only a year ago: $545-million. This kind of turn-around from the fast-sinking ship they were on a year ago is tremendous in scope, and it’ll be great to see how Motorola continues to do as they’re poised to get even more aggressive in the handset market.


The hugely successful Motorola Droid – with its quirky offsprings, the CLIQ and Backflip, amongst others – were the biggest factors in the turn-around (aside other modest internal moves such as cutting high-level executive salaries by 25%). Motorola expects to bring out 20 new smartphones this year ranging from low-end entry-level offerings to top-of-the-line Nexus-like beasts.

Co-CEO Jha also reportedly spoke about Motorola’s interest in the tablet market:

You are seeing a convergence with PC and mobility. I actually see this convergence as being very very important. Very, very important. We are very engaged with this marketplace. We think that tablet is one form factor, there are other form factors and other solutions that people are engaged in. We are engaged with the development very intimately, and we will announce whatever we need to announce at the appropriate time.

If this quote is true, Sanjay’s outlook is indicative of Motorola’s new mobile strategy and tells a story about how the company feels internally about their future. If 5 handsets alone were Motorola’s saving grace, we can’t imagine what’ll happen when they begin producing phones left and right like we once knew them to do.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Alright, just so everything is clear, the $192 million loss was from their first quarter earnings this year, not a year’s worth of earnings. Also, they only lost $132 million in the quarter prior, so the numbers seem to indicate they’re on a downtrend, not an upswing.

  2. That’s the same price that Tiger Direct has it for, Although it is nice.

  3. Matt, maybe it has something to do with Q4 being Christmas time and Q1 being the slowest consumption period of most years for most companies. Just maybe

  4. Obviously the Droid has been a huge success for Motorola, but that cash cow is about to be put out to pasture, as the Incredible becomes the must-have device on Verizon.

    What’s baffling is that Motorola hasn’t announced or even hinted at a worthy successor since the Droid came out six months ago. They’ve seemingly spent all of 2010 messing with quirky form factors for underpowered hardware running ancient versions of Android with their poorly-received Motoblur skin.

    That’s not a recipe for success. I’m afraid that if they don’t come out with something impressive soon, the next quarters are not going to look so good.

  5. Anyone else surprised there weren’t more Droids sold? There were 4.6 million (2m = 4th/2.3m 3rd qtr) Motorola smartphones (Droid, Backflip, CLIQ, etc) sold the last two quarters. If you look at the latest data from admob you will see that that Droid traffic makes up 17% (Iphone has 40%) of all US smartphone traffic. Based on that data one would think there have been at least 5m Droids sold since release. I’m probably making too many assumptions with data usage in comparison to the Iphone, but I’m still surprised the Droid numbers aren’t much higher.

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