updated 08:45 am EDT, Thu October 25, 2007
Motorla Cell Biz Tumble
Motorola today revealed that sales in its Mobile Devices group for the summer quarter had fallen by 36 percent year over year and contributed to a large drop in the company's overall earnings. Despite an "improvement" in the company's sales, according to company chief Ed Zander, the division fell from over $848 million in profit during summer 2006 to a $138 million loss for the company. No explanation was provided for the drop, though the period included the expense of multiple high-profile phone launches, including the first public availability of the RAZR2 as well as the U9 and multiple versions of the ROKR Z6.
The loss came in spite of an apparent upside to actual shipments, which beat estimates to reach 37.2 million phones and a worldwide marketshare of 13 percent, which placed it behind leader Nokia and second-place Samsung in overall control of the market. Of the total shipments, 900,000 were for the RAZR2, which began shipping first in Korea during July and reached the US by late August.
Motorola's world shipment figure for the new clamshell phone represents a struggle to match sales of the iPhone, which topped 1.12 million shipments despite its limitation to US customers and its status as Apple's first cellphone. The number does not include the 270,000 iPhones solde in late June or the expansion of iPhone sales to Europe in November. The latter is expected to increase the handset's overall growth rate and will bring Apple in competition with Motorola devices like the RIZR Z8, which have typically only been sold in Europe.