Motorola’s Mobile Devices Unit Still Losing Less Per Quarter Thanks to Android


Even if Motorola’s still trying to bounce back from a long period of slow sales and lack of innovation, they’re still turning that big ship around with Android and is headed safely for shore without worry of deadly icebergs. They announced their second quarter financial results this morning, and while they don’t sound all too impressive compared to – say – HTC’s numbers, they are definitely a sign that Motorola’s headed back in the right direction.

The mobile devices unit generated revenue of $1.7 billion last quarter – which is quite impressive – but they are still down 6% from the same quarter a year ago. A lot of their income came from legal settlements that Motorola was able to put into the books this past month (namely the lawsuits Motorola filed against several technology companies – including RIM of Blackberry fame – over patent disputes). Still, their resurgence into the mobile handset market thanks to the advent of Android has helped them cut their overall operating loss by more than half (around 54%) compared to just a year ago ($239 million in Q2 2009 compared to $109 million in Q2 2010).


Motorola pegs their latest Android handset – the Motorola Droid X – as a key factor in strengthening their market position. They also didn’t forget to thank all of their other Android handsets – around 12 so far – which include the Motorola Charm, Motorola Flipout, the Motorola i1 push-to-talk phone, and more. Of the 8.3 million handsets shipped in the second quarter, 2.7 million of those run the Android operating system. According to Reuters, Motorola surpassed Wall Street’s expectations for the quarter (even if only by a small amount) meaning they continue to remain on the right track.

Under co-CEO and mobile devices president Sanjay Jha’s direction, Motorola’s adopted Android as their exclusive operating system for all their smartphone offerings and the payoff has been quite tremendous, to say the least. It’s a trend that continues not only with Motorola, but with all of their competitors as well. It’s one of the main reasons Android’s gotten so much support from hardware manufacturers to date: show people that you can change the entire scope and direction of your business, and they will proudly wave your green flag without fear. Click over to Motorola’s site for the full financial results.

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. And still they’re screwing over their Android customers with encrypted bootloaders and false advertising.

    I’ve returned my Milestone and would advise all other Motorola Android device owners to do the same. Awesome hardware is not reason enough to support a company that doesn’t have its consumers’ best interests at heart.

  2. The overwhelming majority of consumers don’t really care about bootloaders. It’s time to let it go and move one with the negative Motorola comments.

  3. Except, the Droid X and the Droid 1 have easily been rooted. I mean, other than that, I guess yeah you could be upset with them.

  4. The clowns that are still crying about the bootloader should go climb under a rock. I have a rooted Droid, but apparently there are a lot of users who don’t know how to follow directions very well and they take these phones back to the store and lie about having rooted it. They get their replacement and MOTOROLA get’s their ROOTED brick… This is expensive for Motorola and their Carriers… and as Aeires mentioned, MOST consumers don’t care.

  5. Todd, you don’t understand what he said, right ? Rooting gives you options like tethering, ability to buy from market in countries where it is not possible etc etc.

    But look at Milestone now. Motorola is not even sure they will bring Froyo for this phone, thus we are stuck with 2.1 forever. And with forever, i really mean forever. Due signed bootloader, no one can put a new ROM with Froyo on it. And we are still ~9 months after launch of the device with 2 year warranty. I would understand technical reasons, like if the specs of the phone are not enough – which can be case with Android 3.0. I understand that. What i don’t understand is why does Motorola screws over their customers with every iteration of phones (ask DEXT owners, they are still stuck at 1.6), because they can’t be bothered to deliver a newer version of phone OS, yet they prohibit others from doing so.

  6. %99 of their customers just don’t care about bootloaders. They are happy that their phones work well and do the job they want. Besides just read a bit and learn. Even the locked down Droid X was rooted. So relax and enjoy.

  7. Everything I have read suggests Verizon will be putting Froyo on this phone.

  8. @F. Augusztin – I wouldn’t really be complaining about 9 months without a software update, this takes time, even with crapple, they only have one version of software to update and crapple still only releases a version once a year. 2 other thing for you, which Milestone do you have, because the droid does have custom roms and moto is bringing froyo to it, what many of you dont get is that froyo is not like 2.1, it does NOT require a powerful phone or lots of memory… it actually makes phones like the mytouch as powerful as the N1, and the N1 as powerful as the President.

  9. @Droidum, how about learning about the issues before you comment? Motorola have locked the MILESTONE bootloader so custom roms can’t be loaded even after rooting. Now they are wavering about 2.2 support on the MILESTONE after advertising the phone as having a Flash capable browser since Dec 2009.

  10. No 2.2 on the MILESTONE and it’s “Goodbye Moto”.

    Poor after sales and customer service is killing great products.

  11. A lot of ignorant people posting here. People may not care about the bootloader being locked now, but they will care in after 5-6 months when their device can not be upgraded to new versions of Android because Motorola chooses not to support the devices, and you can’t load 3rd party ROMs onto the devices with updated Android OS.

  12. Unhappy with Motorola? HTC makes some great phones. Just sayin’.

  13. @zac:
    1) all Motorola needs to do is say “Android 2.2 will come to Milestone”. Instead, they say “it’s under consideration”.
    2) there is just one Motorla Milestone – the one with signed/locked bootloader. Droid is not Milestone, droid is Google Experience phone. Milestone IS NOT a Google Experience phone, even if it does come with the standard Android UI.
    3) i know Froyo doesn’t need powerfull phone, what i said that i would understand if Moto says “no 3.0 for you, because your phone is lower than minimal specs”. What i don’t understand is why is Froyo “under consideration” for a 9 month old phone, which is still their top phone in Europe ?
    @Sam I Am: HTC doesn’t have a 800×480 (or higher) resolution Android phone with physical keyboard. Physical keyboard was the reason i bought Motorola Milestone instead of Nexus One/HTC Desire.

  14. @Fred, what percentage of phone owners could even tell you what version of Android they were running? 1%? Less? Readers here always think they’re a large percentage of users, if not the majority, but that’s because the people who are interested hang out in the same places they do, and the discontented are always the most vocal. For most users, new features means new phones, not OS upgrades. As Android gains mainstreamed, the early adopter tech-savy will become an ever shrinking percentage of the users. Grandma doesn’t know rooting, and even if you explained it, she wouldn’t give a hoot about the benefits and the risks (security, hacking potential, etc) would scare the bejezus out of her.

  15. well, we are readers here posting to other readers here about the bootloader.

  16. @uprooted: but you wouldn’t like a phone with features like random reboots on calls/SMS/absolute randomness, random starts of music player durring phone call, alarm clock not doing it’s job sometimes… That is the life of Motorola Milestone owner right now.

  17. Motorola hasn’t shipped a decent Android phone outside of America yet. Milestone has been one big cock-up, from the signed bootloader, to delayed/botched 2.1 updates, to doubt about 2.2 coming at all…

    As a resident of the rest of the world, I’m happy to say “screw you, too, Motorola.” I’ll have to see massive change before they ever get another penny out of me.

    P.S. I didn’t buy a Milestone, I bought a Nexus One. Best decision ever. But I did come close.

  18. I think if everyone had some kind of guarantee about getting the latest updates, nobody would be bent out of shape over the bootloader.

  19. @bemymonkey. Yeah, lets try drive them out of business because 0.01% of their customers are upset about encrypted bootloaders. Geez. 99.9% of their customers think a bootloader is someone who packs your car in England. Get over it.

  20. @F. Augusztin, you’re asking for the ability to replace the Android image, but what makes you think that it’s Android causing the problems you describe? What if the problems are with the baseband? Upgrading the Android image wouldn’t do a thing about that. You need your problems fixed, and you have a legitimate complaint. But asking for a solution when you don’t have a clue that the solution, no matter how nice it would be just for the fun of it, that doesn’t actually fix the problems you’re having is just foolish.

  21. I am one of the customers screwed over by Motorola’s double dealing on the Milestone locked bootloader. First of all, the Milestone was tauted as the GSM version of the Droid, but we learn later that they have crippled the Milestone’s ability to run normal stock Android through a locked bootloader. Their offering of upgrades for their customers has been decent, but they are making far more work for themselves by cutting out the open source community. And every moto official update that I get has more bundled crapware than the last one. The big new feature from 2.1.36? A xing icon. The big feature from 2.1 was a facebook icon. I don’t care who is paying you to put their software on my phone, if I’m interested I will download it myself. Don’t bolt it to my OS.

  22. @uprooted: each and every user has these problem, they are relasing a 2.1 fix update durring these weeks. A 2.1 update to fix a problems for a 2.1 update they released in April. They had customers complaining about these issues for 3 months, yet they did nothing. Hell, they got reports of these bugs from French/German/Italian users before UK update was released.

    Motorola has yet to release one bugfree Motorola Milestone firmware. 2.0 had the camera bug from Droid, fixed long time after Droid had the firmware update – the 2.0.1, which introduced the “slow web browser scroll” bug. Then after that we got 2.1 in april (4 months after international launch, 5 months after UK launch), which had the random reboot/music player/alarm clock bug. This is going to be (hopefully) fixed in the late july/august 2.1 update.
    And we have no confirmation about 2.2 update. Are you surprised people have minimal to zero trust in Motorola ?

  23. All this Milestone bashing is beyond me, mine works perfectly, the only problem I have is the gold has worn off the camera button. However I do understand random reboots are irritating, my old Moto ZN5 used to do it! Personally I couldn’t give a monkeys about a locked bootloader, I’m happy with stock Android because I know if I tried to root it I’d end up with a cool looking paperweight. It’s down to individual preference, most people won’t care about the encrypted bootloader as long as their phone works.

  24. @Droidum learn the difference between root and an unlocked boot loader kiddo. Then come back and talk.

  25. Pity, the sooner this shower go tits up the better.

  26. @Alan: the worst thing is that sometimes occur when phone is sitting on desk – those reboots bother me, but i can live with them. But i can’t live with reboot occuring when i’m getting called – not only the other side can’t contact me because the call got dropped, but also the phone boots about a minute or two, so it is also a long, long time. Plus of course there is nothing in call log about the caller. Fortunately my phone company sends a SMS everytime i miss a call (it is a standard feature, not a paid service) about the phone number who was unable to contact me.

  27. @F. Augusztin, You say Motorola did nothing to fix the issues in three months. How long do you think it takes to find and fix intermittent bugs? To run through in house testing? To run through network certification? I doubt everyone has been sitting idle sipping sweet tea and someone just noticed it’s late July and “Oh, yeah. Let me change this line of code and push and update tomorrow.” That only happens in the land of imagination. In the real world, fixes take time.

    Should those bugs have escaped in the first place? No. Will unlocking the bootloader and allowing root fix those kinds of problems? No. It’s like saying you’re out of milk so you need a new car. One is a need, one is a want, and they have nothing to do with one another.

  28. Motorola will never bounce back if they dont release 2.2 update for milestone as soon as possible!

  29. @Desmond newsflash: Motorola is a business. If they don’t update he Milestone to 2.2 it’s because they have determined there’s no good business case to do so. Which means that when the importance-o-meter is pointed at people who say things like, “If they don’t updates us soon I’m never buying one of their phones again,” the needle hardly twitches even a little.

  30. Moto seems don’t care much about its customer for the upgrade issues. I am a Motorola Milestone user. I have set up a petition group at Facebook to Motorola:

    Come and join this grop

  31. I bought the phone because it was supposed to be flash ready. Now I have no flash and random reboots. I don’t car if its an update and not 2.2. Just give me a phone that does what its supposed to do

  32. @uprooted, you don’t know what you are talking about. An unsigned bootloader would allow the modding community to fix the problems on milestone, and that would happen much faster than moto can move. It seems to me moto should offer more than a software update to users whose phones reboot on calls. That is just ridiculous. How about a recall.

  33. The only company who do negelect their customers after the product is sold and that is why Motorola always suffer a double loss after making a profit.

    Now people have to cry out loud to get the Froyo which is not a major update.

    Gingerbread is a major update and don’t even think that it will come to Milestone even though they can do it and it is going t reach Milestone after it is burried.

    I’m a moto customer from a decade. I had all the models and the same issues continues. The support professionals are too stupid answering like what is Froyo and what is Gingerbread.

    Poor service!!

  34. The bootloader is a big deal. The whole point of open source is to prevent people from limiting you. Anyone who cares to take the time to modify an open source project should be allowed to do it uninhibited. True, most people don’t care. But if you’re so sure 99% of people don’t care about it why take so much time and effort to block people from doing it? It must be more wide spread than that to cause such a fuss. Also, it’s very easy for Motorola to simply deny any warranty claim on a phone that has been modified (root, bootloader, etc). If you try to get the phone repaired, they can just ship it back with a note saying “sorry, no.” I also can’t get down with them doing to make sure my experience is optimal, and they can only do that with Motorola software. My experience depends on what I want to do with it. Leave off your your stupid UI skins and leave off bootloader locks. I paid for it, it’s my phone, if I want to break or improve it that should be my decision.

  35. All this complaining about bootloaders & upgrades, blah, blah. But you’re not considering LOGIC: motorola is not a non-profit company. How can they profit from new products if they keep ‘boosting’ older products up to new status?! Nobody complains to auto makers about NOT making the vehicle they bought better when the company releases a newer, better model! SAME principle! Its common business sense. ANY company would go under, QUICK if they did due to lack of sells. Stop cryin’ about it!

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