Contact: Brenon Daly
In what could be its last financial report before it is formally acquired by Google, Motorola Mobility said after the closing bell Thursday that mobile device revenue in the third quarter rose 20% over the same period last year to $2.4bn. That was nearly twice the overall rate of growth at the company in the quarter, although it was a slower rate than the mobile device division had grown in earlier quarters this year.
The main drag on the unprofitable division was anemic sales of its Xoom tablet, with the company indicating that it shipped just 100,000 units in the quarter. That’s just half the number it shipped in Q1 and one-quarter the number it shipped in Q2. But Motorola Mobility did manage to ship more smartphones in the just-completed quarter (4.8 million) than it did in either of the two previous quarters.
And once Google does assume ownership of the company, it may well see a slight bump in demand for those devices, at least according to a finding by our ChangeWave Research division. In late September, ChangeWave asked more than 4,100 consumers what impact Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility would have on their plans to buy a smartphone from the combined company. The vast majority said Google’s ownership wouldn’t have any impact. However, of the respondents that indicated a preference, four times the number said they were ‘more likely’ (13%) than said they were ‘less likely’ (3%) to buy a smartphone from the combined company in the future.
The planned $12.5bn sale of Motorola Mobility stands as the second-largest tech acquisition announced so far this year. (The purchase doubled Google’s aggregate M&A spending.) Shareholders in the Libertyville, Illinois-based company are slated to vote on the proposed deal November 17, although it will still need to be cleared by regulators. Assuming that all goes to plan, Google should close its acquisition of Motorola Mobility by the end of the year or early next year.