Motorola Surprises with Small Quarterly Profit

Net profit of $12 million

Motorola reported a small quarterly net profit on Oct. 29, a day after unveiling a Google-powered smartphone seen as key to turning around the flagging fortunes of the handset maker.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based company posted a net profit of $12 million in the third quarter compared with a net loss of $397 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue continued to slide, however, falling 27% in the quarter to $5.45 billion.

Motorola's stronger-than-expected earnings came a day after it unveiled a new smartphone with Verizon Wireless called the Droid. The Droid, which will cost $200 and is being touted as a challenger to Apple's iPhone, is powered by Android 2.0 software, Google's next-generation mobile phone operating system.

The Droid features a new GPS navigation system from Google that includes many of the features of a traditional standalone GPS navigation device such as 3D map views and turn-by-turn voice guidance.

Motorola unveiled another Android-powered smartphone, the Cliq, in September.

Sanjay Jha, Motorola's co-chief executive and chief executive of Mobile Devices, underlined the importance of the devices for the company. "The introductions of our new products powered by Android are important milestones as we begin to address the mobilization of the Internet and the growing demand for modern smartphones," Jha said. "Next year, we will continue to expand our smartphone portfolio and deliver improved financial results."

Motorola enjoyed success with its popular Razr phone launched in 2005 but has been losing ground since to Apple and Research in Motion, maker of the Blackberry, as well as other major cell phone manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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