Moto Isn't Biting Into Apple's Smartphone Share

Motorola Mobility LLC 's smartphone performance slightly improved in the fourth quarter but was dwarfed by the sheer number of iPhones that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) shifted in the last three months of 2011.

The company revealed Thursday afternoon that it shipped 10.5 million mobile devices in the fourth quarter. That number includes 5.3 million smartphones and 200,000 tablets.

This is a small step up measured against the company's recent performance, at least in terms of smartphones shipped rather than feature phones. In the third quarter, Motorola Mobility shipped 11 million devices, which included 4.8 million of the higher-value smartphones and 100,000 Xoom tablets. (See Moto Ships 4.8M Smartphones Amid Q3 Losses.)

"In the fourth quarter, we received very positive consumer response to Motorola RAZR, which combined an iconic brand with ultra-thin in an innovative smartphone," said Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha, in a statement.(See Photos: Moto Gets Skinny With 4G RAZR.) These numbers are, however, simply dwarfed by the sheer amount of devices that Apple moved in the quarter. The company shipped 37 million smartphones, including the 4S, and 15.4 million iPads during the period. (See Apple Reports Q1 Revenue of $46B.)

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) said in August that it is buying Motorola Mobility in order to "supercharge" the Android operating system and boost mobile competition with Apple and others. The $12.5 billion deal hasn't closed yet, though Motorola now says it is expected to be complete by "early 2012." (See Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B .)

The numbers
Certainly, the fourth-quarter numbers show no indication of a turbo-charge kicking in at Motorola yet. Motorola said in early January that its earnings would be lower than expected, thanks in part to legal costs. (See Moto Posts $80M Q4 Loss.) The company reported a GAAP net loss of $80 million, or 27 cents a share, for the quarter, on revenue of 3.44 billion. This compares to a GAAP net income of $80 million, or 27 cents a share, for the same quarter last year, with revenue staying flat year-on-year.

Excluding special items, net income for the fourth quarter was $61 million, or 20 cents a share, compared to $108 million, or 37 cents per share, in the same quarter in 2010. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the company to earn 6 cents per share on revenue of $3.4 billion.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:44:14 PM
re: Moto Isn't Biting Into Apple's Smartphone Share

Moto must be under some pressure to actually deliver a POPULAR Google-based tablet. It barely seems worth them being in the market right now.

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