Motorola's device segment continues to keep its focus on Android, a mobility strategy that rewarded the company with increased smartphone sales during the second quarter, despite overall sales falling 6 percent.
Motorola continues to align its smartphone business with Google's Android
operating system, and while the strategy is one that analysts, and the market,
have encouraged, Motorola has yet to fully reap the results.
In a July 29 announcement on its second-quarter earnings, Motorola showed a
sixfold increase in profits-up to $162 million-though sales in its mobile
device segment slipped 6 percent from a year ago, to $1.7 billion.
Still, it managed to increase the number of smartphones it shipped worldwide.
While in the first quarter Motorola launched six handsets running the Android
operating system and saw shipment totals of 2.3 million smartphones and 8.5
million total handsets, during the second quarter its smartphone tally jumped
to 2.7 million units, though total handset sales fell to 8.3 million units.
Most notable among its second-quarter launches was the Droid X-an
Android-running smartphone with a 1GHz processor and 4.3-inch display that appeared
to be poised to take advantage of several factors.
Namely, that Apple had
been put on the defensive regarding the iPhone 4's antenna design, and HTC
was suffering shortages of its popular Droid Incredible and Evo 4G handsets. In
the end, however, Motorola-and carrier partner Verizon Wireless-likewise felt
the pinch of shortages, as suppliers that had dialed down production during the
worst of 2009's recession raced to increase production again and fill piling-up
"The Droid X launch has been very well received and is seen as one of
the best smartphones in the market today, with a 4.3-inch high-resolution
display, Adobe Flash and an 8-megapixel camera," Motorola Co-CEO
Sanjay Jha said in July 29 statement. "As we continue to execute on our
business strategy, we are in a strong position to continue improving our share
in the rapidly growing smartphone market and improving our operating
The smartphone market enjoyed 21.7 percent growth during the first quarter
of 2010. Tellingly, competitor Research In Motion, with its exclusive focus on
smartphones, rose to tie Sony Ericsson for fourth place, knocking Motorola out
of the top-five list of worldwide phone makers, according to an April 29 report
Commenting on the current shortage of Droid X smartphones, Jha emphasized
the widespread nature of the problem, later telling the Wall Street Journal,
missing from the marketplace, but demand is slightly higher than we
anticipated. We have managed it as well as anyone else."
In addition to the Droid X, during the second quarter Motorola launched the
Flipout and the Charm-both running Android-as well as the world's first Android
push-to-talk phone, the more enterprise-geared
on the Sprint Nextel network. In Argentina,
Brazil and Mexico,
it also increased the number of Android applications in its mobile application
Jha said during the earnings conference call with analysts and media that he
expects supplies to catch up with demand during this new quarter. "Our
supplies are still relatively healthy," he insisted, "it's just that
demand is outstripping those supplies."