Moto Ships 250K Xooms But Waits on LTE
Counting Xooms shipped to retailers is not the same as counting those sold to end consumers, but as the Xoom is Moto's first foray into the tablet space, as well as the first tablet to run Android 3.0, the number is still notable. CFO Marc Rothman said the sell through for the Xoom was good and that the company is pleased with the levels in stock and in channel at the end of the quarter. Moto introduced the LTE-upgradable tablet with Verizon Wireless in late February followed by a Wi-Fi-only version at seven retailers in North America. It had promised to upgrade the tablet to LTE within 90 days, but that may be delayed owing to issues with Verizon's LTE network. (See Verizon Lets Users Xoom for $600 and Motorola Mobility Launches Wi-Fi Xoom.)
Moto has also confirmed that its first LTE smartphone for Verizon, the Droid Bionic 4G, has been delayed from a second-quarter launch to this summer. The company originally cited a need to make enhancements to the device as the reason, but Rothman said the delay has to do with LTE. The Xoom will get the LTE upgrade at the same time the LTE Bionic is launched, he said.
"It was really a software issue of getting the performance to a place that both ourselves and our partner, Verizon Wireless, were comfortable launching the device," Mobility Chairman and CEO Sanjay said about the Bionic on the call. "There is a great deal of complexity with launching any new technology like this, but that was probably the main matter at heart here."
Moto also confirmed Thursday that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) would begin selling a Wi-Fi-only version of the Xoom on May 8, and Verizon's support site suggests the device will soon be getting a software upgrade to fix some bugs in the system.
Overall, revenue for Moto's mobile devices business was US$2.1 billion, up 30 percent from the previous year. The company brought in $3 billion in revenues, but reported a GAAP net loss of $81 million, or 27 cents per share.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile