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Motorola Mobility ships 250,000 tablets, beats estimates

Motorola Mobility beats estimates for both tablet shipments and results in the first quarter. Its loss narrowed to $81 million for the quarter.

The Motorola Xoom tablet was released in February. Josh P. Miller/CNET

Motorola Mobility beat analyst estimates, saying it shipped over 250,000 tablets since the Xoom went on sale in February, as the company reported better-than-expected results today.

The Libertyville, Ill., company reported a first-quarter net loss of $81 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $212 million, or 72 cents a share, during the same period last year. Revenue grew 22 percent to $3.03 billion.

The company reported an adjusted net income loss of 8 cents a share. The analysts' consensus was for a loss of 11 cents a share on revenue of $2.84 billion.

Overall, the company shipped 9.3 million mobile devices, including 4.1 million smartphones and more than 250,000 Xoom tablets. That tablet number is being closely watched and beat analyst estimates that topped out at about 220,000 units.

That number, however, is far lower than market leader Apple, which sold about 1 million iPad 2 tablets in the first weekend of sales. But Motorola recognizes the challenge. "Consumers want more apps for Android tablets," said Sanjay Jha, chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola Mobility, in an earnings conference call this afternoon.

An analyst during the earnings conference call questioned Motorola about the sell through (the actual number of units sold) of the Xoom. A Motorola executive said he was "pleased" with the sell through and inventory levels.

Motorola expects to ship between 1.5 million and 2 million tablets for the full year, said Marc Rothman, Motorola's chief financial officer. In total, the company expects to ship 20 million to 23 million mobile devices for the full year.

Jha also commented on delays of the Droid Bionic smartphone and LTE (4G) capability for the Xoom. "It has to do with the timing of 4G for us. That was the issue that delayed us. We believe we will launch both devices with 4G capability in the summer," said Jha, in response to an analyst's question. The Droid Bionic has been "re-featured" as a "higher-featured device," Jha added.

Motorola split into two companies in January, with Motorola Mobility focusing on mobile devices and set-top boxes, and Motorola Solutions focusing on enterprise and network business products.

Update 5:35 p.m. PT: Added comment about delays of the Droid Bionic and LTE capability for the Xoom.