Motorola Loses The Number Two Spot To Samsung, Has Clearly Lost Its Mojo - InformationWeek

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11/28/2007
09:43 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Motorola Loses The Number Two Spot To Samsung, Has Clearly Lost Its Mojo

More bad news for Motorola. Plagued by a tough year all around, Motorola slipped from the world's second-largest supplier of mobile phones to the third, according to third quarter figures released yesterday. In comparison, Nokia increased its lead and sold nearly three times as many devices as Motorola. Can Moto turn it around and get its moj

More bad news for Motorola. Plagued by a tough year all around, Motorola slipped from the world's second-largest supplier of mobile phones to the third, according to third quarter figures released yesterday. In comparison, Nokia increased its lead and sold nearly three times as many devices as Motorola. Can Moto turn it around and get its mojo back?This latest round of numbers paints a bleak picture. The cold, hard facts are these. Motorola's global market share plunged by one-third from 20.7 percent to 13.1 percent year over year. Its third quarter numbers also fell compared to second quarter numbers, when it still held onto 14.6 percent of the worldwide market.

Considering that the successor to its smash hit RAZR phone, the RAZR2, became available in the middle of the third quarter and didn't boost sales accordingly is troubling. The RAZR2 did perform well, selling some 900,000 units, but this wasn't enough to prevent Motorola's numbers from dipping. Motorola has two new versions of the Q9 smartphone that should perform well, but they weren't both wasn't available for sale until too late in the third quarter to make a difference. The Q9h was released for sale just several weeks ago.

While Motorola has been losing sales, Korean giant Samsung has been gaining ground. Enough so to bump Motorola from the number two spot. In the third quarter, its worldwide numbers increased to 14.5 percent, up from 13.4 percent in the second quarter. Samsung has released an onslaught of phones that span from entry-level phones to higher-end multimedia and smartphones. Its more diversified product lineup is what is helped it build, in part, its lead against Motorola.

Nokia continues to beat up on everyone else, though. Its 38.1 percent market share bests Samsung and Motorola's sales put together by a wide margin.

Motorola's CEO Ed Zander stated recently that the companies ailing handset division is focusing on returning to profitability, and not volume sales. In order to do that, it needs to offer better phones across its entire range, from entry-level to high-end. Motorola definitely has a long road ahead of it. Grumpy shareholders want to see results. How quickly Motorola can attain them--if it can at all--is anyone's guess.

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