updated 09:40 am EDT, Thu April 30, 2009
Motorola Q1 2009 Results
Motorola today warned that the company's cellphone business has continued to drag on its performance over the first quarter of 2009 ended in March. The company said its shipments of phones plunged from 27.4 million in early 2008 to 14.7 million a year later, a drop of 46.4 percent. The Mobile Devices group itself lost $509 million and was the primary factor behind a $231 million total loss for the company versus $194 million the year before.
Such a shrink was also enough to represent a 23.4 percent drop in cellphone numbers from 19.2 million in the fall and, although worldwide phone shipments were themselves down year-over-year, resulted in Motorola shedding another half-point of market share and landing at an estimated 6 percent.
While it doesn't explain the mounting losses, the company has been hit by both the poor world economy as well as a relatively poor selection of devices at the high end, with just a few similar Windows Mobile devices as well as now-old media-centric phones. In March, the company took a partial step towards addressing the issue with the QA4 Evoke, its first capacitive touchscreen media phone.
Motorola nonetheless promises that recent job cuts and other steps to reorganize its business should have a dramatic impact on its performance in the future. The Illinois-based firm expects its losses to shrink by as much as 4 times compared to this quarter in the spring and also plans a revival of its smartphones with multiple, unique Android devices due by the fall. Two of these have just recently been leaked and include the Calgary, a Sidekick-like touchscreen slider, and the Ironman, a vertical slider that may use a touchscreen for its own QWERTY keyboard.
In discussing its latest results, Motorola said during a conference call that it intends to "consolidate" much of its phone line on a single platform, like Android. The flexibility of Google's open-source platform should let the company scale its features up or down, the company says. Windows Mobile isn't expected to return until 2010, when Windows Mobile 7 is expected to ship.