Archive for October, 2009

Motorola Recovery, Samsung Record Profit

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Motorola’s unexpected return to profitability in the third quarter may hide continuing troubles at its mobile devices division, but the company is confident the unit is on the road to recovery now that it has begun to unveil its new line up of Android-based smartphones. Overall, the US group reported Q3 earnings of US$12 million despite a 27 percent fall in total revenue to US$5.45 billion. However, it shipped only 13.6 million devices in the three months to the end of September, down 46 percent from the year before, taking its global handset market share to a low of 4.7 percent. The operating loss in Motorola’s handset business was trimmed to US$183 million, from US$840 million a year before, as it cut costs and scrapped some of its most unprofitable handsets. Co-CEO Sanjay Jha noted in a statement that his company has “delivered on our commitment to improve the financial performance of Mobile Devices and to commercially launch two smartphones in time for the fourth-quarter holiday season.” He described the launch of the company’s two new Android-powered handsets – Cliq and Droid – as “important milestones” as Motorola attempts to “begin to address the mobilisation of the Internet and the growing demand for modern smartphones.” Jha added that next year will see the vendor continue to expand its smartphone portfolio and deliver improved financial results. Yesterday Motorola’s stock rose US$0.87, or 11 percent, to US$8.83 in early afternoon trading in New York.

Meanwhile, Motorola’s rival Samsung – the world’s second-largest handset vendor – today said third-quarter profit for the whole South Korean group tripled to a quarterly record as the global economic recovery spurred a rebound in prices. Q3 net income jumped to KRW3.72 trillion (US$3.1 billion) from KRW1.22 trillion a year earlier. Sales rose 29 percent to KRW24.86 trillion. It said it sold 60.2 million handsets in the third quarter, up 16 percent from the year-ago quarter.

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Delay For Nokia N900

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Nokia’s flagship N900 phone will start selling in November, a month later than originally scheduled, as the company awaits feedback from developers. The N900 – seen as key for Nokia’s future in the high-end of the market – is the company’s first phone running its Linux-based Maemo software. It will come with a touchscreen and a slide-out keyboard, and will retail for around EUR500, excluding subsidies and taxes.

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Nokia Signs Tanla For Phone Payments

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Mobile payments software provider Tanla Solutions says that it has signed a 5 year agreement with Nokia covering license management, mobile payments and related professional services.

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Motorola Shares Rise On US Android Growth

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Shares in Motorola rose 8.3 percent yesterday – to US$8.50 – off the back of major US operator support for its new Android-based handsets, reports Reuters. Over the weekend, Verizon Wireless launched an aggressive ad campaign to promote a new device dubbed ‘Droid.’ Details were scant, but it appears to be a Motorola device running Google’s Android software, to be launched in November. Verizon has long been seen as the US vendor of Motorola’s second Android device although neither company has confirmed an agreement. Popular technology blog boygeniusreport.com also praised the upcoming device, describing it as the best phone it had used since Apple’s iPhone.

Yesterday T-Mobile USA began selling Motorola’s first Android handset, Cliq. Motorola is pinning its hopes on Google’s Android platform as it attempts to revive company fortunes and turn around flagging sales. In mid-September, Motorola shares hit a 52-week high of US$9.45. The shares were at US$2.98 as recently as March.

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Google Mobile Search Up To $500M By 2011

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New York-based financial analyst firm Jefferies & Co, reports that Google’s Android platform will help the company’s mobile search revenue cross the US$500 million mark in 2011, up from roughly US$180 million in FY 2009.

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