Moto X isn't helping Motorola yet as losses widen

Google's smartphone unit continues to be a drag on the search giant's overall financial results.


Motorola Mobility has a long way to go before it gets out of the red.

Google's smartphone unit posted a third-quarter operating loss of $248 million, wider than the year-earlier loss of $192 million, but an improvement over the loss of $342 million from the second quarter.

Motorola's revenue fell 33 percent from a year ago to $1.18 billion.

The poor results come even as Google reported a third-quarter profit that rose by a third and topped Wall Street expectations.

It was an active quarter for the struggling business, which has continued to pile on losses for Google since it was acquired more than a year ago. In the past few months, the company released its flagship phone, Moto X, which employs a unique Motomaker gimmick that allows customers to tweak the look of their phones. It also gained some buzz by placing the manufacturing facility for Moto X in the US, unlike other handset vendors.

In addition, the company released the latest family of Droid smartphones for Verizon Wireless, and signed on to become the exclusive provider of Droid devices to the carrier.

The adoption of Moto X has been slow, particularly as the company works to ramp up production. While its Droid phones won favorable reviews, they have been overshadowed by the iPhone 5S and Android products by Samsung.

Motorola, however, appears ready to play the long game, and has a well-funded backer in Google.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.


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