updated 06:15 pm EST, Wed January 26, 2011
Motorola warns Verizon iPhone already damaging
Motorola chief Sanjay Jha during the company's fiscal results call acknowledged that the Verizon iPhone was already damaging his company's smartphone performance. Shipments were not only down both in the wake of the January 11 Apple news but even in the weeks before it was made official. The CEO wouldn't quantify numbers but admitted that anticipation for the iPhone had led some to hold off on buying a Droid.
"We have seen a little slowdown in our sellthrough of our devices," Jha said. "We have seen that effect even prior to the iPhone."
He was still optimistic that Motorola could succeed but was counting primarily on diversifying its high-end Android mix in the US beyond Verizon, such as with the Atrix 4G at AT&T. Motorola also still had a "meaningful relationship" with Verizon. He didn't assume that Motorola would necessarily hold its leading position at the CDMA carrier and said "time will tell" as to whether the iPhone or Droid lineups would be more popular in stores.
The phone designer added that mid-tier smartphones were a problem in the US. Even after US carriers like AT&T and Verizon imposed bandwidth caps or offered lower tiers, which Motorola assumed would drive users to cheaper phones, customers kept buying high-end phones like the Droid 2 and Droid X. That worked against Motorola as it misjudged sales and had to compete more in the same space as rivals like Apple.