Google has just reported its Q4 2012 earnings, which means that we’re also getting a peek at how the phone-makers at Motorola Mobility are faring as well. This time around, Motorola generated revenues of $1.51 billion, or 11% of Google’s total consolidated revenues for the quarter.
To put that in a bit of perspective, the Motorola business unit was responsible for bringing in $2.58 billion in revenue last quarter, but there’s a reason for that sizable dip. Just a few weeks ago, Google announced that it had sold its home broadband business to Arris in exchange for $2.35 billion. That transaction has helped to throw this particular earnings release into a bit of disarray, and prompted the search giant to issue a rare accounting notice on its investor relations site advising one and all to be aware of how they’re handling the deal.
As if to preemptively answer our burning questions, Google’s earnings release notes almost immediately that the company would have been able to record overall revenues of $15.24 billion had they included the Motorola Home segment. That dip in recorded revenue isn’t just due to the accounting practices at play here — Motorola’s mobile segment alone was responsible for generating $1.78 billion in revenues last quarter, still more than what we’re seeing here. What’s more, Google also reported a GAAP operating loss of $353 million, which equates to a -23% revenue drop.
We can at least partially peg this downturn to a shift in the amount of hardware that Motorola Mobility has been putting out as of late — after pushing out the Droid RAZR HD and the Droid RAZR Maxx HD late last year, there was a distinct lack of hardware announcements coming out of the popular phone manufacturer. That could all change very soon though, as persistent rumors of a Motorola “X Phone” point to the existence of a high-end smartphone that may well end up on all four of the country’s major wireless carriers. Granted, some of those rumors are more outlandish than others, but the traction they’ve received in the press means that Google and Motorola have something of a rapt audience waiting to dissect and devour any impressive new hardware announcements they can throw into the wild.