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Featured: Motorola Continues to Sink, How Long before Google Turns Them Around?

October 18, 2012 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Well it’s not that we are surprised that Motorola is still sinking, but we were hoping that Google could turn them around a little bit by now. We know that Google is completely turning around Motorola, and their current CEO of Motorola is Dennis Woodside, a former Google employee. Although I guess you could argue he still is a Google employee. Motorola just posted a loss of $527 million, and the most of that coming from their handset division. A year ago that number was just $41 million. Revenue also fell 14% to $2.58 billion, which was mostly due to the handset division, not so surprisingly. These results were released today as part of Google’s quarterly earnings report, which was released prematurely as CNET notes.

Lately we’ve heard so much about HTC struggling financially, especially with them releasing a minor updated device like the HTC One X+ and the HTC One S SE. Sometimes we forget how much trouble Motorola is having, even with Google backing the company now. Motorola hasn’t launched to many devices this year, unlike 2011. So far they’ve launched the Atrix HD (AT&T), Photon Q 4G LTE (Sprint), Razr i (International), Droid Razr M (Verizon), Droid Razr HD (Verizon), and the Droid Razr Maxx HD (Verizon). That’s about 25% less devices than what they launched in the previous year. I’m still expecting the Droid Razr Maxx HD to be a big seller, which just became available on Verizon today. It would do even better if it wasn’t just on Verizon, if Motorola had put the device on all carriers it would sell like crazy. And possibly compete with the Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2 by Samsung.

Google has been working to restructure the manufacturer, they’ve hired 1,807 workers for Google, and eliminated 2,865 jobs from Motorola. The search giant has also recorded over $349 million in charges for the restructuring and job cuts from recent months since the buy out became official.

Ever since the original Droid hit Verizon back in 2009, Verizon has been in a very close relationship with Motorola and have produced almost all of the devices in Verizon’s Droid lineup. With the exception of a few devices from Samsung and HTC. But it’s really starting to show Motorola that having just one lineup on one carrier isn’t enough to compete with the likes of Samsung, and Apple. Who have their flagship devices on at least three of the major carriers in the US.

Not to mention that Motorola came out this week saying they wanted to make stock Android devices, but Verizon won’t allow it. If you’ve seen any of Motorola’s more recent devices that launched with Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich on it, you’ll notice that Motorola’s skin is been pulled back and it’s almost completely stock. Just a few cool new features, like the swipe up on the phone and messages icon. That clock widget they have now is one of my favorites in the new Motorola user interface. If we can just get it through Motorola’s head that there are other carriers that want the Droid Razr HD and Droid Razr Maxx HD, and even the Droid Razr M, we would probably see some stock Android devices from them.

For many of us, especially former Verizon customers, there’s a special place in our heart for Motorola. For me, the Motorola Droid was my first smartphone and my introduction into Android. I’d love to see Motorola succeed and HTC as well as all the other great Android manufacturers. We can’t have Samsung stealing the show all the time. So I’m still hopeful that Google can help Motorola turn around and in the next few years, if not sooner, compete with the top manufacturers of Samsung and Apple.

So is anyone surprised at the major loss that Motorola has reported for this past quarter? Anything you would do to change that from being a loss to a gain? Hit up the comments with your suggestions, who knows Motorola executives might see them.