Motorola Losses Jump, But Android Phones On the Way

Motorola Inc. lost less money in the first quarter than investors had expected and crept up the ladder to regain its status as the fourth-largest cell phone maker worldwide, but shareholders still weren’t thrilled – Motorola’s stock was down almost 7 percent at noon Eastern on Thursday.

The share price slip came after Motorola reported a $231 million loss, compared to the $194 million loss in the same quarter of 2008. Sales were down as well, hitting $5.4 billion. The Associated Press said analysts were forecasting sales of $5.6 billion.

Still, Motorola managed to outpace rival Sony Ericsson’s phone sales in the first quarter. The Schaumberg, Ill.-based company moved 14.7 million devices, a little more than half of what it sold in 2008’s first quarter, and reclaimed its position as the fourth-largest mobile device manufacturer.

To that end, Motorola announced it will start shipping smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system to multiple carriers within the year. Motorola is hoping Android will reinvigorate its brands and, consequently, boost earnings.

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