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Motorola Takes on Water Losing $285M Selling Phones in 2011

Discussion in 'Android News' started by cereal killer, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. cereal killer
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    cereal killer Administrator Staff Member

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    Investors already knew that Q4 was going to be a rough quarter, and when Thursdays numbers arrived, they surely lived up to those expectations. Motorola Mobility recorded an operating loss of $285 million for the year, and an operating loss of $70 million in the fourth quarter. To add insult to injury Motorola didn’t make any money selling phones last year either, they actually lost $70 million for the full year. It must be said that those totals include sales of regular feature phones, not just smartphones. Feature phones are still a big part of Motorola’s overall business model. They did sell slightly more smartphones over the previous year, coming in at 5.3 million units, up from 4.9 million units a year ago. In all, the company sold 10.5 million mobile devices in the fourth quarter and 42.4 million devices for the year.

    Nokia and HTC find themselves in the same boat in regards to reporting losses and are in the process of shaking things up, we'll have to see what Googorola has ups its sleeves in the coming months.
  2. jerkwad
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    jerkwad New Member

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    Stop encrypting your boot-loader partition, provide timely updates, get rid of the horrible pentile screens, stop releasing 1,000 phones each year (and causing more confusion to consumers), stop pissing off current motorola owners with the "improved version" later on (and just release the product as it SHOULD have been), blah blah blah, get ICS on your phones ASAP...then MAYBE people will start taking you guys serious again and buy your phonez!

    *take breath*

    i'm actually VERY happy to see this for motorola - this MIGHT actually jump start a change in how they operate and how they develop/market/etc. I know I would be looking at every option to chip away at that $285 million loss.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  3. alboboy10
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    alboboy10 New Member

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    I agree. I used to love Motorola but I feel like they took a lot of steps in the wrong direction. Hopefully that'll change now that Google took over.
  4. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    Fascinating. Now we know why both Moto and HTC have said they will slow the release of phones. Clearly a key driver is the short shelf life of the models (partly their own doing) is not enough to recover development costs. Chalk that up to another superior advantage of the Apple model.
  5. jerkwad
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    jerkwad New Member

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    that's an excellent point! slow down, perfect your product, concentrate your efforts on updates/patches/feature updates for fewer devices and "wow" people with quality instead of "omg they have THREE RAZR colors now".
  6. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    Unlock your bootloader and make work with developers to make it incredibly easy to flash roms. Then you've just outsourced - for basically free - support and updates while improving the overall user experience.

    I mean, MS doesn't give upgrade you for free when they roll out a new version of Windows. Yeah, they update patches and fixes, but neither they nor the PC makers actually support or provide OS upgrades.
  7. nic8612
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    nic8612 New Member

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    Ugh, this isn't big news OR a sign of anything bad. Companies plan to operate on losses all the time in order to upgrade infrastructure, new R&D, etc. Since Google now owns Moto, there is no telling what costs Google has allocated to Moto's books. The real reason Netflix came under fire last year was because they tried to split into Netflix and Quikster to offset losses onto the Quikster brand and protect Netflix stocks. This is nothing new to anyone who knows anything about business. Unless you include where the figures come from and where the actual losses are recorded, focus your time on reporting something that matters please.
  8. xsylus
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    xsylus Active Member

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    Maybe if they stopped locking the boot loader and stopped investing (wasting) time and money on MotoBlur they wouldn't be losing money. Hey Motorola how about giving the smartphone consumers what they want then maybe they'll actually buy your products. DUH! :wacko:
  9. syndicate0017
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    syndicate0017 Well-Known Member

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    The locked bootloader has very little to do with their losses. Even if they did change their stance and unlock the bootloader, that *might* recoup about 5% of the losses they've experienced. They definitely do need to slow the release of their phones though. They've been pissing off the consumer for a long time and now that they see that they're really hurting themselves even more so, they'll finally slow production.
  10. pinoy_92
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    pinoy_92 New Member

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    i blame in on their marketing strategy. releasing almost the same phone on a short amount of time is definitely not a good marketing strategy. motorola should have known better.
  11. RUSHgsxr
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    RUSHgsxr New Member

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    How a company can sell 42 million units, and still lose 70 million baffles me.

    Sent from my ADR6300 using DroidForums
  12. jerkwad
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    jerkwad New Member

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    If you don't want that 5%, I'll take it ;-)

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using DroidForums
  13. pc747
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    pc747 Administrator Staff Member

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    Problem is that 5% is the loudest 5% who hype the device. When the og droid was out yeah it got sells and when rooting and roms came maybe 5-7% jumped on it but they were the people showing off their phones and hyping up android. Basically oems like motorola got free advertisement by word of mouth. Its the same wit the nexus. You know why they didnt have a lot of commercials, it was because they didnt need it. They had people blowing up twitter, facebook, and talking about it all over the net hyping it. People knew the release dates before vzw workers did. When you get to a point where you really dont need a bunch of commercials and advertisement and the product sells itself (ie iphone) then you have reached the pinnacle.
  14. jerkwad
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    jerkwad New Member

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    ^ exactly - well said!
  15. tjk629
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    tjk629 New Member

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    I'm not surprised.

    Moto didn't really release anything huge phone wise till around the end of Q3. Sure you had the ATRIX, but after that I believe their next big phone was the Bionic. ATRIX came out like in Feb. and Bionic in September. Then you had the RAZR in like Nov.

    XOOM didn't exactly live up to expectations either.

    When you compare last year to this year with Moto, it was kind of blah.
  16. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    ^^^Moto mobility lost money last year, too. There's a reason they are being sold - typically struggling companies don't sell-off their best divisions.

    The dumb phones and tablet flops are probably big drivers of the losses. And, like I said, they are probably not realizing nearly the return on smartphones they could because with all the models they aren't getting scale on neither components nor R&D.
  17. Snow02
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    Snow02 New Member

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    Really? I've personally steered 3 sales away from motorola specifically because of their bootloaders. This is in the last couple months. I wonder how many others have done the same. You're pulling that percentage out of thin air.
  18. kptphalkon
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    kptphalkon New Member

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    Its kind of harsh to try and convince the sale based on an element which 99% of people have no interest in. I'm more concerned with where motorola is spending the billions in revenue these 40+ million devices have generated.
  19. rubiksc00p
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    rubiksc00p Well-Known Member

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    I think it's due to poor release dates. I _don't_ think it's due to having locked BL at ALL. Only a small percentage of people know or even care about that.

    I think it's because they thought that they could say they were going to release a major phone in February, only to release it what in September? Then released another phone on top of it, and yet another on top of that? o.0 You can't always outsmart your customers.


    Sent from the best phone on Verizon!
  20. syndicate0017
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    syndicate0017 Well-Known Member

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    No...I'm not. In fact, I believe 5% is generous. The modding community is small. Your 3 sales don't even make a dent.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk