updated 08:20 am EDT, Thu July 30, 2009
Motorola Q2 2009
Motorola this morning touted rare positive news with its first profit in several quarters. The company generated a net income of $26 million, or just a single cent per share, and owed much of the return to health due to major cost cuts, including 7,000 job cuts as well as selling Good Technology. Recent quarters have seen losses, and the company had broken even just the past spring.
However, the return to form comes at the expense of substantial losses across all its divisions, but particularly in its phone unit. The company's phone shipments were almost cut in half year-to-year, falling 47.3 percent from 28.1 million last spring to just 14.8 million this year. Its actual income also dropped 45 percent to $1.8 billion. It now expects its market share to have fallen to 5.5 percent from a previous drop to 6 percent.
The company didn't directly explain the shortfall but has reiterated its plans to launch "differentiated" smartphones before the end of 2009 and is looking forward to its 2010 lineup. Much of Motorola's continued drop in influence has been blamed on a weak smartphone lineup characterized by at best mid-range devices like the Q9c. It only just this spring entered modern touchscreen phones with the QA4 Evoke.
Motorola also clarified its 2009 smartphone plans during a conference call for the results and confirmed that it will have two Android devices released before the end of the year on two major US carriers. It didn't provide details itself but is known to be developing the Morrison, a touchscreen QWERTY slider for T-Mobile, and the Calgary (pictured), a similarly shaped device for Verizon. These will get the company "back in the game" for smartphones and will focus heavily on Internet access and messaging, company chief Sanjay Jha said. More details are anticipated in September.
The executive added that the company will now have "several" Android phones due in 2010 and that most of the devices it launches that year will be smartphones; it expects many customers to switch to smartphones in the next year as costs get lower. Motorola's own Android phones should cover a much wider price range at that point and should include categories which have previously been limited to feature-locked phones. Jha also outlined that Motorola was developing a service for a shareable "end-to-end experience" that, among other aspects, would integrate contacts and messaging as well as improve collaboration.
Windows Mobile was conspicuously absent during the conference call; Jha had previously said that it considered Android superior this year and had only expected to return to Microsoft's platform in 2010 with Windows Mobile 7, but it's now implied Android will play a more important role in the coming year.