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Motorola back on top
Christopher Null, Tue Aug 3, 4:44 am ET

Print Story: Motorola back on top - Yahoo! News

Remember when the Motorola RAZR was all the rage? With its simple, ultra-slim flip phone, Motorola was the “It” company in the cell phone business, imitated by everyone but unstoppable in the marketplace.

Motorola ultimately sold more than 110 million of the phones in the four years after it was released, making it one of the best-selling phones of all time.

But by the time the RAZR went off the market in 2007, the mobile industry had left Motorola far behind, with the iPhone arriving just in time to quash the company’s aspirations. No one has thought much of Motorola since, and the company fell on such hard times that the company announced earlier this year it would have to split itself into two pieces in order to stay competitive.

But now, things are turning around for Motorola, all thanks to another cell phone: The Droid.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Moto pushed 2.7 million phones last quarter, up from 2.3 million in the first quarter, and the future outlook continues to look rosy. Those aren’t RAZR numbers, but they’re above expectations, and Motorola’s Droid successor, the Droid X, has been so strong that stock has run out more than once. Profits are up, and revenue is at least “stabilizing” from its long-running decline.

The only one not to notice Motorola’s surging fortunes seems to be Wall Street. The stock is still trading around where it was in 1992, though at $7.49 a share, it’s way up from its 2009 low, when the stock flirted with $3.

With Android continuing to surge as a strong competitor to the iPhone, and no other credible competition on the market, the game once again is Motorola’s to lose. Now it just needs to learn the lesson that nearly killed the company during the RAZR era: Resting on one’s laurels is deadly in this fast-moving business, and the only way to stay relevant — and to keep the company coffers filled — is to innovate, innovate, innovate.

Oh, and don’t release a cell phone that drops calls if you touch it in the wrong place.

— Christopher Null is a technology writer for Yahoo! News.