Google's Motorola burden gets bigger as loss widens

Google's experiment with the smartphone business continues to be a costly one.

(Credit: Motorola)

Motorola Mobility, which Google acquired a little more than a year ago, posted a loss of US$342 million — 75 per cent wider than its hit a year earlier. Revenue, meanwhile, rose 18 per cent year over year to US$998 million.

The loss, of course, is a drop in the bucket for a company that posted a second-quarter profit of US$3.23 billion.

Motorola is in the midst of changing its direction and turning itself around. The company is widely expected to debut a new family of Droid Ultra smartphones at a Verizon event next week.

The loss, however, may be more directly tied into the investment that Motorola is making in a US-based manufacturing facility intended to build and ship customisable phones. The device, dubbed Moto X, has already made a few public appearances. The Fort Worth, Texas, facility will employ more than 2,000 people, and represents a major bet by Google.

Google will reportedly back the effort with a massive campaign worth half a billion US dollars.

Google has already trimmed the headcount at Motorola Mobility. The unit employed 4,599 workers as of the end of the second quarter, compared with 9,982 employees in the first quarter.


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