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Motorola device division beats forecasts

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 8:40am
Brian Santo and Monica Alleven, Wireless Week

That Motorola Mobility's Home segment will be overshadowed by the company's Mobile Devices division is built right into the name of the company. But the Home division is still contributing to the bottom line, with first-quarter revenue of $904 million, up 8 percent from a year ago.

Net revenue was $3 billion in the first quarter, up 22 percent from the first quarter of 2010. The GAAP net loss was $81 million, compared with a loss of $212 million in the first quarter of 2010.

The loss was largely attributable to the Mobile Devices segment. The Home segment actually turned in a gain in operating earnings, of $53 million, up from $20 million in the similar period a year ago.

The company reported that shipments of set-tops were up more than 20 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

Mobile devices
Motorola Mobility fared pretty well in its first full quarter as a stand-alone entity despite the iPhone 4 landing at Verizon Wireless.

Motorola Mobility yesterday said it shipped a total of 9.3 million mobile devices, including 4.1 million smartphones and more than 250,000 Xoom tablets, in the first quarter. Analysts had expected 3.7 million smartphone shipments in the quarter, according to Reuters.

During a conference call with analysts, executives said to expect LTE upgrades from Motorola this summer for both the Xoom and the Droid Bionic. The Bionic, announced with Verizon Wireless at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, was due to launch in the second quarter but that's been pushed back. 

Without releasing specifics, Chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha said that by pushing the launch of the Bionic back, it will be a better device feature-wise. The issue delaying the Bionic is related to software – getting the performance to a place where both Motorola and Verizon are comfortable, he said. When asked about the delays, he said they should be considered an aberration rather than the norm; Motorola has had a good track record for delivering devices on time.

CFO Marc Rothman said expectations are for shipments of 20 million to 23 million mobile devices, including 1.5 to 2 million tablets, for the year.

During the quarter, Motorola launched the Xoom, the first Android 3.0 device, in 3G and Wi-Fi versions; launched the Atrix smartphone along with webtop application and smart accessories to carriers globally; and announced four mobile devices specific for the China market. The company also announced the acquisition of Three Laws Mobility (3LM), a developer of mobile enterprise security and device management software for Android. Motorola plans to integrate 3LM's technology into its smartphones and license the technology to other Android smartphone providers.

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