Motorola Inc posted a small quarterly profit versus a year-earlier loss but revenue missed Wall Street estimates for its first quarter selling phones based on Google Inc's Android software.

Motorola, which has lost market share for years to rivals such as Nokia and Apple Inc , posted a fourth-quarter profit of $142 million, or 6 cents per share, compared with a loss of $3.66 billion, or $1.61 per share, a year earlier when it took big non-cash charges.

Revenue fell about 20 percent to $5.7 billion, compared with average analyst expectations for $5.94 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company sold 12 million phones in the quarter compared with average expectations for 14.8 million from analysts polled by Reuters. It had warned that shipments would be down from 13.6 million in the third quarter of 2008.

The first of Motorola's phones based on Google Inc Android software went on sale in the fourth quarter. Last year Motorola canceled a lot of phones as its co-chief executive Sanjay Jha made a bold bet that Android smartphones would be the key to turning around the company.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Derek Caney)