Assuming the Google/Motorola merger goes through, Google might want to rethink that whole hands-off approach to managing its new hardware company. According to Motorola's press release, the company saw a net loss of about $80 million, after $3.4 billion in revenue. It's not the worst loss in the world, but shareholders are never happy when they see red.
The tablet sales figures are bad, though. Motorola says in Q4 of 2011, it shipped 200,000 tablets. That is not a typo. Two hundred thousand tablets shipped. "Shipped," by the way, is corporate-speak for "sold to stores." This doesn't necessarily mean that customers bought all of those tablets. For comparison, the original ASUS Transformer tablet sold 400,000 units per month during its initial run. Motorola, with multiple versions of the Xoom and Xyboard tablets on the market, has only managed to conjure half that number in three months.
Here's a look at some of the other key stats straight from Motorola's Motomouth:
- Net revenues of $3.4 billion
- Non-GAAP net earnings of $0.20 per share compared to net earnings of $0.37 per share in fourth quarter 2010; GAAP net loss of $0.27 per share compared to net earnings of $0.27 per share in fourth quarter 2010
- Mobile Devices net revenues of $2.5 billion, up 5 percent from fourth quarter 2010; Non-GAAP operating loss of $19 million; GAAP operating loss of $70 million
- Shipped 10.5 million mobile devices, including 5.3 million smartphones
- Home net revenues of $897 million, down 11 percent from fourth quarter 2010; Non-GAAP operating earnings of $84 million; GAAP operating earnings of $57 million
While the picture the press release is painting is pretty pathetic, Motorola isn't exactly in danger of running into the ground - it's still selling millions of smartphones per quarter. It's not breaking any records, but it's also not faring as badly as, say, RIM. However, Motorola seriously needs to step up the tablet game. The Xoom launch was awful, the tablet was priced into oblivion, and it shipped without several key features. The promised LTE upgrade didn't come for six months and by that time Samsung had already managed to ship an LTE tablet on the same network.
The Google/Motorola merger still hasn't finalized and there's quite a lot of red tape left to get through. Google has said that once the deal is done that they will run Motorola with a very hands-off approach, largely to avoid anti-trust scrutiny. Still, if this is how Motorola is going to run its tablet business, with an average smartphone division keeping their nose above water, Google might want to consider getting its hands dirty before it finds itself owning a $12.5 billion dud.
Source: Press Release