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Motorola cellphone sales tumble 38 percent

updated 08:15 am EST, Wed January 23, 2008

Moto Q4 Results

Motorola's mobile device business took one of its most serious drops in recent memory, the company announced today as part of its quarterly results. The group, which primarily covers cellphones, saw its sales drop in the fiscal fourth quarter by 38 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The shortfall resulted in a $388 million loss versus a $341 million profit at the same point in 2006 and saw shipments of 40.9 million cellphones over the three-month span. Although additional segments such as set-top boxes and business devices fared well, the impact of the cellular business contributed to reduced earnings of 5 cents per share, or $100 million.

The drop came despite introducing phones such as the MOTO U9 (pictured), a premium version of the RAZR2, and multiple phones in the company's W-series "world" handsets, the company says. No explanation is given for the drop itself, though chief executive Greg Brown states that returning the cellphone business to health will be difficult and has already required some unspecified "cost actions" to complete.

"The recovery in Mobile Devices will take longer than expected and there is a lot more work to be done," he says. "Our primary focus is on improving profitability and enhancing our product portfolio in this business."

The company expects a loss of between 5 and 7 cents per share in the first quarter of 2008.

Motorola has increasingly struggled to compete in both feature-limited phones and smartphones in recent months, trading share to companies such as Samsung for simpler devices. The company has often been one of the most popular for such phones in the US but is more frequently being considered a smaller player in the country's smartphone business, ranking significantly behind RIM and Apple in recent marketshare statistics.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. flashpunk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Motorola Phones Suck

    Maybe the consumer population is starting to figure out that the Moto interface is S*****, slow, and low quality.. Perhaps they should spend some time creating a better interface for their phones.

  1. _Rick_V_

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003


    re: suck

    I couldn't agree more, motorola's interface truly does suck.

    A few years back I switch from a Nokia (the phone was dying) to the ever popular RAZR. The phone looked cool, but the interface was unusable. I was embarrassed for motorola. I was wondering when they'd eventually loose their shirts to better phones, when people finally picked function over style.

  1. tindrum

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004



    Why does Apple do this kind of thing? Why ever change anything to make a better product, at the expense of compatibility? Why isn't OS X a windowing environment that sits on top of Windows, instead of being a completely incompatible operating system of it's own? ADB mice, ADC monitor connections, and now THIS! This kind of innovation just alienates customers!

  1. koolkid1976

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003


    re: why?

    Wrong thread. I think you meant to respond to the story about the MacBook Air external drive limited only to use with MacBook Air. I don't really see your point in comparing it to ADB mice and ADC connector. The port doesn't prevent you from connecting standard USB devices. And if the whole point of making the Air wireless, I can see them wanting to eliminate a power cord. The only people I see having a problem would be those buying Apple's Air external drive, and wanting to use it on another computer. How many people do you expect to fall in that category? All other apple computers come with built-in optical drive. I guess it's more fun to complain.

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