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Moto delays handset launch

It looks like beleaguered handset vendor Motorola is having yet more trouble. The company said Friday that it has had to delay the launch of its autumn collection of handsets due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

Moto had been planning to unveil its new range of devices on October 3 at an event in London but something seems to have cropped up and the event has been delayed indefinitely.

The company isn’t saying what’s up but it could be that the chips are down. Earlier this month, Motorola removed US chip vendor Qualcomm from its 3G suppliers list.

In the short term, Moto is believed to be shifting its business to its own chipset spin off, Freescale Semiconductor, but in the long run, it looks like Texas Instruments is set up to get the contract.

Reports suggest that Motorola has already begun to shift resources away from Qualcomm, with handsets designers actively encouraged to shunt Qualcomm kit out of new products. So it might be that the transition period is posing some supply problems.

Moto is in a bit of a pickle at the moment after reporting that net loss for the second quarter plummeted to $28m, down from a profit of $1.4bn in the same period last year. Revenues also dropped from $10.8bn a year ago to $8.7bn, as the company’s mobile handsets unit continued its downward trajectory.

Motorola shipped just 35.5 million units during the second quarter, down from 51.9 million in the same period last year. But perhaps the most telling evidence of weaknesses in the company’s product line comes from the fact that the vendor is still going on about the RAZR. And of concern to some industry watchers is the fact that the only device that Moto has pitched as successor to the RAZR is the unimaginatively titled RAZR 2, which started shipping in the second quarter.


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