Apple recently surpassed Motorola to become the largest US maker of phones. Motorola yesterday released its earnings for the 1Q of 2010 and reported a total of 8.5 million in phone sales. Apple meanwhile sold 8.8 million phones during the same quarter.
The fall of Motorola just goes to show how quickly things move in tech, and how a failure to maintain a rapid pace of innovation leads to irrelevancy. Not too long ago, Motorola was living large on the success of the Motorola RAZR. In the first quarter of 2006, for example, Motorola sold 46.1 million phones, a number which has since dropped by 81%. In the first quarter of 2009, Motorola sold 14.7 million phones. But even as phone sales for Motorola are trending downward, their overall revenue is trending upwards as the company is now more focused on the high-margin smartphone market than it was before.
Regarding their efforts in the smartphone market, Motorola is currently trying to regain some semblance of relevancy with the Motorola Droid, but with the iPhone still barreling along at full speed, not to mention a slew of competitive Android handsets on the market, Motorola finds itself in a challenging position. On the plus side, the company posted better than expected earnings of $0.03 a share during the past quarter compared to a loss of $.13 a share during the same quarter a year-ago.
When you factor foreign phone manufacturers into the equation, both Apple and Motorola have a lot of catching up to do. During the first quarter of 2010, RIM shipped 10.6 million devices while Nokia and Samsung shipped a whopping 107.8 and 64.3 million devices respectively.