Missteps Slow Motorola

Motorola Mobility pulled itself out of a deep dive last year by turning out some of the first real competitors to the iPhone, but missteps have handicapped the company this year amid a growing battle with formidable Asian giants.

When Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. reports its second-quarter results Thursday, all eyes will be on how the U.S. cellphone maker is handling its separation from the more stable network-technology business, which now exists as Motorola Solutions Inc. Since the Jan. 4 split, Mobility’s shares are down 26 percent while Solution’s shares are up 15 percent.

The split-up was made possible by a recovery at the cellphone unit, which came back from years of internal turmoil to sell nearly 14 million smartphones last year — largely thanks to a joint effort with Verizon Wireless and Google Inc. That three-way partnership produced the Droid lineup and captured consumers who were yearning for an iPhone-like device but couldn’t or didn’t want to switch to the Apple Inc. phone’s exclusive U.S. carrier at the time, AT&T Inc.

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