Moto-Rolling Again


Getting your luck to turn around is one thing many smartphone makers have tried, but have failed miserably. Ask Blackberry or Nokia if you want. But there was one fighter, who did that and did it in some style too.

Yes, I am talking about the Chicago based company, that was down and out earlier but has now become one of the leading companies in the smartphone market: Motorola


In this article we will talk about Motorola’s rise to fame again and the causes of its resurrection.


  • Google’s Tactics

Google bought Motorola Mobility in August, 2011 for $12.5 billion. The move was seen to enhance the hardware and technical expertise of Google to manufacture its own devices and strengthen its patent portfolio. Not that it was weak earlier.



(A Google company then)


What Google did to Motorola was trim down the vast product line to just 2 products; notably the Moto X and the Moto G. The latter became its most successful device beating the ‘Moto Droid’ and allowed Moto to acquire more than 6% of the UK market.

The Moto E was launched afterwards.



(The Kickstarter: Moto G)


Google wanted to be more self-reliant when it came to handsets. Its major driver of sales was Samsung who did not use the stock android but a slighter tweaked version of it. This stamped Google’s tag onto the OS on Samsung’s devices but did not lead to revenue via advertisement and user data as it went to the latter.

So, purchasing Motorola meant more of an insurance policy should its existing users: HTC, Samsung etc. switch to a newer OS of their own.

In 2014, Google kept hold of Moto’s patents and sold the rest of it to Lenovo, the Chinese heavyweight and world’s largest PC Company.


m4(A Lenovo company now)


  • The Impact of Lenovo

Buying Moto form Google meant a direct entry into previously untouched US and UK markets. The hardware and technical expertise of Motorola, its well established brand name and close linkage with Google all add to the benefits the Chinese company will gain from this purchase.

With this capture, Lenovo became world’s 3rd largest smartphone manufacturing company beating local rivals Xiaomi who managed to stay at that position for merely a day.


Lenovo had access to raw materials, components and the emerging markets of Asia. Together with Motorola, it can not only manufacture cheaper and better smartphones but also sell or market them into diversified markets.

Motorola, under Lenovo, was also responsible in developing Google’s flagship device, The Nexus 6 that has often been regarded as the best Android smartphone in terms of hardware and software.




On January 26, 2015, owing to its new ownership, Motorola Mobility re-launched its product line in China with the local release of the second generation Moto X, and an upcoming release of the Moto G LTE and Moto X Pro (a re-branded Nexus 6).


  • Impact in Indian Market

India is Asia’s fastest growing smartphone market.Google chose leading Indian E-commerce site Flipkart to sell the models Moto G and X in Indian markets.

This unconventional approach allowed Google to retain Motorola’s premium brand image and lower down the costs due to elimination of middlemen.




The future looks bright for both Lenovo and Motorola. Their partnership means availability of cheap, affordable and quality smartphones in every corner of the world. Lenovo would enter newer markets and challenge the undisputed reign of Apple and Samsung at the top. Well, only time will tell!


By Yash Jain




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