Is Motorola Doing Worse Than Research In Motion?

Even though Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI  ) is about to be swallowed whole by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) , it will keep reporting for itself until the pending acquisition is finalized.

Last night, the company reported third-quarter results, with revenue rising 11% to $3.3 billion, and a GAAP loss per share of $0.11. The company shipped a total of 11.6 million mobile devices, including 4.8 million smartphones. Shipments posted a healthy sequential gain compared to the second quarter, when Motorola shipped 11 million mobile devices, of which 4.4 million were smartphones. Mobile-devices revenue jumped 20% to $2.4 billion, but it still wasn't good enough to turn a profit.

Tablets were a different story, though, as Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPad continues to steal that show. XOOM shipments fell through the floor, from 440,000 tablets last quarter to a bleak 100,000 tablets this quarter. Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) even topped that figure last quarter with 200,000 PlayBooks shipped.

During the quarter, Motorola attempted to relive its glory days with the Droid Razr and ripped off Apple's iPod nano with the MOTOACTV. Parent-to-be Google made good on its proclamation that it wouldn't play favorites with Motorola and unveiled the Galaxy Nexus with Samsung.

Overall, I'd say Motorola has been upping its game with its smartphone designs like the Droid Bionic and Atrix, but the XOOM can now officially be considered a failure. The company has already had to cut the price and is still having trouble moving units. It's a sad day when you're doing worse than a tablet that doesn't even have built-in email. Just wait until Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) Kindle Fire starts finding its way into people's hands. Motorola's tablet dreams are going up in smoke.

Google has a much better chance of making Motorola work as an investment than you do. This is one that you and I should leave alone.

Add Motorola Mobility to your Watchlist to see if Google can seal the deal. Get access to this free report on near-field communications, which is finding its way into progressively more smartphones and is set to change the industry.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Apple, and Amazon.com and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On October 28, 2011, at 5:37 PM, joshpritchard wrote:

    RAZR and MotoActv were announced in the current quarter (Q4) -- not in Q3. Also, MotoActv isn't quite a Nano clone -- it has GPS and a new type of heart rate sensor that's integrated in the headphones. Other fitness-focused devices with GPS and heart rate monitors cost $500+ and don't come with touchscreens and Android.

    Regarding Xoom -- note that they do have 2 new models that have been leaked and are expected to launch in Q4. Sanja Jha claimed they would be more competitive on price... we'll see.

    RAZR's went on pre-sale at Verizon yesterday.

  • Report this Comment On October 28, 2011, at 7:35 PM, tamilfan2004 wrote:

    Not sure what the author is trying to tell wrt to Xoom sales.

    Last quarter - Moto shipped 440K units vs RIMM that shipped 200K units. - Moto did better than RIMM.

    This quarter - Moto shipped 100K units. RIMM is still yet to release its results on how many playbooks it shipped.

    What does "even topped that figure last quarter with 200,000 PlayBooks shipped" mean ? The author doesnt seem to be making apples to apples comparison here.

  • Report this Comment On October 29, 2011, at 12:26 AM, andyrew510 wrote:

    To "tamilfan2004" - Blackberry didn't "ship" 200,000 playbooks last quarter. It sold them. The first quarter they shipped 500k and didn't disclose the sales figures, but second quarter they disclosed the sales figures but not the ship.

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