Motorola postpones handset division

Motorola is postponing the spin-off of its handset division after poor third quarter results. The handset maker posted revenue losses of 15% to $7.48bn (£4.56bn) for the quarter ending September 30 2008.

The company blamed the economic environment, stresses in the financial markets and changes in the unit itself for the delay. It says the spin-off will happen “some time after” the planned target of the third quarter of 2009.

It has also warned that its fourth quarter earnings will miss expectations, though its cost-cutting plans will generate $800m (£488) of annual savings.

Motorola co-chief executive Sanjay Jha says weaker handset sales will make the first half of 2009 “challenging” and that there is no “quick fix”.

It shipped 25.4 million phones in the quarter, compared with 37.2 million phones a year earlier. The division’s revenue fell by 31% to $3.1bn £1.89m.

Motorola, which is the third-largest handset maker, has been facing growing competition from rivals Samsung and Nokia, as well as from Apple’s iPhone.

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