Motorola used to be the darling of the cell phone industry, with its RAZR line of phones at one point redefining the mobile landscape. But the company was never able to follow up on that success, and Motorola’s handset business has been in a steady downward spiral ever since. The company’s latest quarterly financial results just solidify the trend, with handset sales in the first quarter of 2009 down 23 percent from the previous quarter to 14.7 million units. Overall, Motorola is posting a $231 million loss for the quarter, an increase from the $194 million it lost during the previous quarter. Overall sales revenue was down to $5.4 billion from $7.5 billion.
Motorola recently scrapped plans to spin off its money-losing handset business—in all likelihood because the company couldn’t find a suitable buyer. Now, Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha is betting the company’s smartphone future on Google’s Android platform—and says Motorola will be offering them to consumers in time for the end-of-year holiday buying season. “differentiated Android-based devices in stores in time for the fourth-quarter holiday season. “Customer feedback on our smartphone roadmap remains very positive,” Jha said in a statement. “We plan to have differentiated Android-based devices in stores in time for the fourth-quarter holiday season.”
Motorola will be a little late to the Android market, with T-Mobile already having pushed over a million G1 handsets into consumer’s hands over the last several months. Motorola is also working with Microsoft on future mobile devices running Windows Mobile.