updated 08:55 am EDT, Thu October 28, 2010
Motorola Q3 sees smartphones, basic phones jump
Motorola this morning reported a rare increase in the total number of phones it sells and not just smartphones. It shipped 9.1 million phones overall, an increase over the spring's 8.3 million. Most of the models were still basic phones, but its sales of 3.8 million smartphones was a nearly 41 percent jump from spring's 2.7 million.
The company owed almost all of the gains to Android and singled out the Droid X as the impetus. The large-screened Verizon phone continued to sell "extremely well," company co-chief Sanjay Jha said. Its sibling the Droid 2 and the Asia-oriented Ming series were also faring well.
The success led the Mobile Devices group, which handles all of Motorola's cellular business, to turn its first profit in more than three years, coinciding roughly with the launch of the iPhone. Although it still had a $43 million loss by GAAP accounting rules, it posted a $3 million profit outside of those terms. Its official results were still a major reversal of results from a year ago, when it had lost $214 million.
Motorola still hopes to split off its mobile group in early 2011 but is now likely to become profitable by the time it runs independently. Its results remain well behind North American competitors like Apple and RIM but should be buoyed by the Droid Pro and mid-range phones as well as other flagship models.