Motorola Takes Big Losses in Q3

Since Google purchased Motorola Mobility in 2011, its subsidiary has been a pretty significant drain on the search company’s profits. With the release of the Moto X, its latest flagship phone, the company is hoping to bring in a few more bucks. Even so, Q3 losses sit at $248 million – significantly better than its second quarter, which ran $342 million behind, but also $56 million more than last year’s third-quarter.

That said the new iPhone lines and the rapidly advancing Samsung are both giving Motorola stiff competition in the smart phone arena. Google is far from the red though, despite the consistent, heavy losses from its own smart phone division. 

Only time will tell if its new US-based factories will be kept busy with new Moto X's and Droids, but Google certainly seems to know what its doing -- at least when it comes to business.

  • Pallimud
    This article is pretty confusing. Is it talking about Motorola Mobility (which Google owns) or Motorola the independent company? It goes from one to the other, not making it clear who is losing money.

    It would be understandable that Motorola Mobility is losing Google money right now since they just finally released their first phone. You can't make money if you have no products.
  • wemakeourfuture
    Motorola, Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, RIM, HTC, Nokia all are decaying as companies.
    This has been evident since the touch-smartphone revolution happened and they have found no penetration in the market. These are like the names of electronic companies in the 70s that faded away. They're fresh in our minds so we think of them as the giants they once were, but they are all turning into footnotes into history.

    Sony has the best chance to stay afloat. They are a shadow of themselves but can still be somewhat of a player in the space.
  • JD88
    A large portion of this is likely due to the transition from the crappy pre-Google product line to the new product line.

    Also, getting that factory up and running in Texas probably didn't help either. The Moto X is one of the best phones on the market right now and the refreshed Droid lineup much better as well. Sales should start to reflect that once those products are accounted for and there is a more worldwide release.

  • spartanmk2
    I miss my old Droid X2 :(, dropped that thing quite a few times and it still worked like a champ, who doesnt like a phone wrapped in kevlar? On the other hand... I'm scared of dropping my plastic samsung just once...
  • spentshells
    Moto razr hd is an amazing phone. even just the regular version is pretty nice.
  • m32
    I'll be glad when Google let Motorola start making it's products. That has to be one of the reasons they brought the company (besides the patents;)
  • JD88
    Regardless of what they claim, the Moto X is definitely a Google phone all the way. The technology and design make that very clear.

    The big difference is mainly that Motorola doesn't fit with Google's usual tactic of making money off services not hardware, therefore the price isn't rock bottom like Nexus devices. That's a big reason why I think Motorola will be kept separate for the time being. I don't expect to see a full line of "Google" branded stuff anytime soon.

    Google products are designed to innovate the market and promote its services, not make profit directly. Motorola products need to make profit in order to keep the company alive.

    Google really doesn't want to be an Apple competitor in the sense of being a device company because it would likely distance it from it's OEM partners in the same way Microsoft is doing with Surface. The Nexus line doesn't apply because it is made by those same OEM partners.

    In that spirit, I think the only advantage Motorola gives them is a fallback plan in case Samsung decides to further distance it's product line in a way similar to Amazon, or perhaps abandon Google altogether with Tizen.

    Everything Google does, it does for a reason. Sometimes that reason just isn't immediately clear. I don't believe purchasing Motorola was quite the mistake it was made out to be because of the vulnerability mentioned earlier.
  • hotice
    I think it's a stretch to say Apple is giving Android, or Windows Phone for that matter, any real competition. It's more like Samsung is giving Moto great competition. Apple doesn't have a clue but people just buy anything they put out (the iPad Mini and iPod Shuffle are two great examples) and people just aren't buying the HTC One enough to make a big difference even though it's a great device. It's too bad Google didn't release the Maxx as the Moto X. It would have done much better. The battery in the Moto X is ok but it needs to be better than ok these days. It also wouldn't hurt if Google would realize how bad an idea the on-screen buttons are on a phone and just move them off screen like they should be so they don't waste room in games, books, web pages, slide shows, or anything else other than some/most full screen video which can actually use that space.