Motorola Q1 2013 revenue analysis

Infotech Lead India: Motorola Solutions will continue to grow its Government unit due to the essential nature of its products, while Enterprise lags during a transitional phase

In 1Q13, Motorola Solutions continued growing revenues in its Government segment, albeit more slowly than recent quarters, while its Enterprise segment fell 4.3 percent due to declines in its iDEN business, which the company is winding down, and sluggish performance in WLAN, where the company competes with industry heavyweights Cisco and Juniper that have greater scale. The company’s iDEN revenues will deteriorate throughout 2013 and deal activity in the mobile computing business will remain slow as customers delay purchasing decisions due to the shift to newer operating systems, like Windows Embedded 8.

After growing by double-digits for five consecutive quarters, Motorola’s public sector business grew just 3.5 percent in 1Q13 as spending cuts in the United States begin to make an impact. Despite sequestration, revenues in the Government segment will continue to see single-digit growth in 2013 as government spend on new communications technology for emergency personnel and public safety LTE is top priority.

Motorola Solutions will release a tablet-style Windows Embedded 8 device to combat consumer device entry in the enterprise

Motorola Solutions faces a growing threat in its Enterprise business due to the emergence of consumer devices that run tasks previously designated to enterprise-specific devices. The emergence of the iPad in the workplace and its ability to run enterprise applications is the most prominent example.

Motorola began to combat this trend with its Android-powered ET1 tablet in 2011 and has been relatively successful, considering its niche product status. In January 2013 Best Buy Canada and Future Shop, another Canadian retailer, selected the ET1 as their mobile point-of-sale solution.

Motorola’s enterprise tablet ambitions are likely to receive a boost when the company releases a ruggedized tablet-style device running Microsoft’s Windows Embedded 8 Handheld platform.

Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown stated that the company plans to release multiple Windows Embedded 8 devices, with the tablet-style device becoming available in 2H13 or early 2014. The ruggedized nature of these devices is one of the two key selling points, with the other being that Microsoft applications such as Word and Excel can be ported to Windows Embedded 8. Motorola has been building products running Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 for years, but Windows 8 applications compatibility will enable users to run enterprise-specific applications like Dynamics and Lync. While there is a market for a ruggedized Windows Embedded 8 tablet, cautious optimism is necessary, considering Windows 8 was unable to reverse negative growth in the PC market and Windows 8 consumer tablets have seen a lackluster reception.

Motorola is taking steps to ensure its continued leadership of the public safety LTE market with a newfound focus on services

Public safety LTE remains a focus of Motorola’s Government segment. The United States government will spend roughly $7 billion and allocated the D-block spectrum in the 700Mhz band for an LTE network for first responders and other personnel.

Motorola has had first-mover advantage in public safety LTE, reaching a partnership agreement with commercial LTE leader Ericsson in 2010 in which Ericsson supplies EPC and RAN equipment, and also bringing to market LTE vehicle and device modems to connect critical personnel to the network.

Motorola recognizes that its longstanding relationship with public safety agencies does not guarantee continued success and the company has taken steps to evolve with the market. Motorola is promoting its services organization as a differentiator in public safety LTE. In addition to equipment and devices, the company can provide design and deployment services, as well as support and monitoring services.

Michael Soper, Networking & Mobility Analyst, Technology Business Research
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