Motorola’s first-quarter numbers are out, and they aren’t exactly pretty. In the initial summary, the word “loss” was used six times. The word “gain” wasn’t used at all. This is not really a large surprise, as Motorola didn’t manage to break into the black for all four quarters last year, and is currently incurring extra costs associated with being purchased by Google.
On the positive side of things, Motorola still has $3.5 billion in cash, and it’s home division—cable boxes, anyone?—did manage to turn a profit, though it’s revenue is down 2% from Q1 2011. Other bright notes include the relative success of the RAZR MAXX, MOTOLUXE, Motorola DEFY MINI, and MOTOACTV, all of which were mentioned by name in the report, as if to remind us that Motorola is still relevant if not yet profitable. A 2% net increase in total revenues from Q1 2011 was posted, and 5.1 million smartphones were shipped, with a total of 8.9 million mobile devices world-wide.
Frankly, considering the drain that the sale is providing—including all the market-affected intangibles—I would say Motorola’s ability to hang in there as well as it has is impressive. Once the merger is approved by China—what the heck is taking so long, anyway?—I think Google has a strong chance of turning things around and continuing Motorola’s competitiveness.
How this will happen, I’m not entirely sure. But considering Motorola’s patents and Motorola and Google’s combined capital, I think something good will come—eventually. That or everything will fall to heck, Google will absorb the patents, and Motorola as we know it will cease to exist. I give it two more years of limbo.