Android to save Moto by year end

Troubled vendor Motorola intends to have a portfolio of Android-based devices in stores for the Christmas shopping season, in a last ditch attempt to turn its handset business around.

Speaking at the company’s first quarter results presentation on Thursday, Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola and CEO of Mobile Devices, confirmed that the Google-gadgets were set to make an appearance in the fourth quarter.

Late last year, Moto announced plans to slim down its handset platforms portfolio, from over 20 different combinations of operating system, silicon and user interface (UI), to just three handset platforms—Android, Windows Mobile, and its own proprietary OS, P2K, which is used on devices such as the RAZR.

As a result, Motorola’s portfolio will shift to the higher end of the handset tier, although the company is gambling that over the next few years, the Android and Windows Mobile platforms will filter down through the mid-level so it can still address the mass market.

That’s if the company is still going. For the first quarter of 2009, Motorola reported a net loss of $231m, compared to a loss of $194m in the same period last year. Net sales for the period also fell to $5.3bn, from $7.4bn in the first quarter of 2008.

As expected, the handset segment continued to impact the rest of the firm. Mobile Devices segment sales came in at $1.8bn, down 45 per cent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Operating loss topped $509m, compared to an operating loss of $418m a year ago.

During the quarter, Moto shipped 14.7 million handsets and estimates its share of the global handset market was 6 per cent.

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