updated 04:50 pm EDT, Thu July 28, 2011
Motorola spring 2011 recovers but takes tablet hit
Motorola Mobility had a bittersweet second quarter as an independent company with improving results but a sign that Android tablets weren't faring as well. It improved its losses and only shed $56 million versus $81 million in the winter. Its phone shipments were also bouncing back, with 11 million cellphones trading hands and 4.4 million of those being Android smartphones. Both phone numbers were improvements from the winter and from a year ago.
A modest smartphone increase of the sort will still see Motorola's smartphone share drop.
The quarter was a disappointment for the Xoom and suggested little traction. Motorola expanded the reach of the Android tablet to numerous other countries in the spring but moved just 440,000 of them worldwide. While living up to a promise of shipping a higher number, a rush of iPad 2 sales means Motorola's share of the tablet market has gone down, even excluding other competitors besides Apple.
Hopes for the summer are being buoyed by the official release of the Droid 3, Photon 4G, and more models in China. The company's hope at regaining a better position in Verizon may be hurt in the summer as the new Droid Bionic may not ship until September, just as the iPhone 5 reaches shelves and likely overshadows the introduction.
Motorola's outlook was still optimistic. It saw itself finally turning a profit by the end of the summer and being in the black for the whole year. The company has hinted it might have a seven-inch Android tablet for home users in the second half of the year to help buoy its performance. To date, though, leaks have only emerged of a rugged Android 2.3 tablet that would likely be reserved for a small number of pro users.