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Motorola warns fall sales below expectations, blames Apple

updated 05:50 pm EST, Fri January 6, 2012

Motorola says Q4 lower than expected

Motorola sent out a warning late Friday that its fall performance wouldn't meet. It would still see "modest profitability" based on revenue of $3.4 billion, but it would see just 10.5 million phones shipped, 5.3 million of which would be smartphones. The number would be a sharp contraction from the 11.6 million shipped in the summer, when it moved 4.8 million smartphones.

No immediate tablet forecasts were given for tablets, although Motorola has seen the devices' numbers dwindle. Most Wall Street analysts had been expecting $3.9 billion in revenue, showing a steep gap between initial views and results.

The company made thinly veiled references to Apple as being largely responsible for the fiscal and unit drops. Its downfall was due to the "the increased competitive environment in the Mobile Device business and higher legal costs associated with ongoing Intellectual Property... litigations," Motorola said.

The iPhone 4S is known to have kept the Droid RAZR down in sales at Verizon, while the iPad has largely gone without serious opposition from any Motorola tablet to date. Apple has been suing Motorola in multiple courts in what's considered a proxy war over Android. Amazon and Samsung are also known to be cannibalizing Android tablet and smartphone sales from their competitors.

Google's $12.5 billion takeover of Motorola was still on track for an expected early 2012 close, although Motorola cautioned that there was no guarantee that possible regulatory blocks and other factors might delay or shutter the deal.

The news is likely to see Motorola further lose market share. Holiday sales normally see an upswing, and while smartphones were up overall, the preliminary look suggests they weren't growing quickly enough to make up for its withering basic feature phone sales. Tablets may also be dark given that the Xyboard arrived late and already received a price cut, usually a sign of poor sales.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Are we surprised?

    NO DUH!

  1. Koda

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2003


    Blames Apple?

    How about they blame themselves for producing sub-standard devices that few people really want to use?

  1. ASathin8R

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010


    Um, what about Samesung?

    The real issue here for Motorola and the other Android players including HTC is that Samesung is gobbling up their market at the moment. Apple are holding their own and then some, but that is not necessarily at Motorola's expense - that is just a trendy excuse to trot out when they know that Apple is not really their problem.

  1. bigmig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004




  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    What a low class move

    blaming someone else for their low sales.

  1. chefpastry

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2005


    Legal costs

    The legal costs aren't going to lessen anytime soon. Maybe they should try to rectify it by not using an OS that copies Apple

  1. ruel24

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009


    Bad marketing...

    They introduce a phone they don't ship until 7 months later with completely different specs, they release a tablet with substandard screen and full of bugs with a poor launch complete with ridiculous wonder they're doing poorly! Samsung is doing fine. HTC and Motorola, not so much... Seems they need to step up to the plate of get out of the game.

  1. thinkman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005


    What a joke

    After Motorola screwed Apple while they were using Motorola PowerPC chips by ignoring their commitment to stay ahead of Intel, I can only wish them the slow painful death they were purposefully trying to inflict on Apple (which I believe was in part retribution for Apple shutting down the clone market, a market Motorola was becoming a big part of).

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Android in 2012

    Handsets: Samsung cannibalizes Motoroogle and HTC. Only Samsung will be successful at selling Android-based smartphones. And Apple will continue to score patent-infringement wins against them in court.

    Tablets: Kindle Fire will continue to be the only successful Android xPad. Amazon completely owns the bottom end of the xPad market, and there is no room at the top for anyone other than Apple. And if Apple keeps selling the iPad 2 for $100 less, they will lock up the mid-range of the pad market as well.

  1. glideslope

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Mar 2002



    Bunch of dishonest Google Butt Suckers.

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