Motorola Rises From Ashes, Takes Aim at Rivals

Lenovo relaunched the Motorola brand at an event in Beijing last week, and it looks like the company is taking aim at high-end competitors, according to a Wall Street Journal article by Eva Dou. This relaunch comes in the wake of Lenovo’s purchase of Motorola late last year.
At that time, Motorola had operating losses of about a billion dollars, but Lenovo is now hoping to leverage the Motorola brand to take aim at high-end rivals Apple and Samsung. As Dou notes, Lenovo is pricing Motorola phones above its own, starting them above $400. But it’s also going to meet fierce competition from Xiaomi, the Chinese maker of low-end smartphones that has been chipping away at the bigger players’ market share. The Beijing launch event took a shot at Xiaomi by borrowing from that company’s playbook and marketing the event to the average user, going so far as to fly in fans from around China.
Motorola’s dive back into the smartphone market is likely unwelcome news for all of its rivals, as the market has been flooded in recent years largely due to decreasing costs in advanced technology, and increasing demand from users. Samsung, a giant in the field, seems to have been pushed into a kind of existential crisis by the increased competition, while Apple continues to look for ways to innovate as it strives to maintain and increase market share. But Lenovo is hungry. Speaking to Dou, a Barclays executive noted that growth in the PC market – where Lenovo has been active – is decreasing, and Lenovo is going to be pushed to rely more on revenue from smartphones. So it has put its chips behind the reanimated Motorola, and whatever the result, it’s sure to shake things up.