Motorola pitches new smartphone for its affordability
Googles Motorola Mobility unit unveiled a lower-cost smartphone Wednesday, seeking to jump-start sales by targeting consumers who cant afford higher-end devices from bigger rivals.
The Moto G will cost $179 in the U.S. without a wireless contract, compared with more than $600 for some other premium devices. The phone will be sold in more than 30 countries and aims to pack enough power, screen resolution and features to make it a real alternative at an affordable price, said Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Officer Dennis Woodside.
When we looked at the smartphone market, we actually think the industry has really failed 5 billion people, Woodside said. With Moto G, youre going to have consumers who have not had a smartphone before.
Motorola is seeking to win back market share lost as buyers opted for sleek, heavily marketed handsets from Apple and Samsung Electronics. Motorolas third-quarter revenue fell 34 percent, even as the company began selling Moto X, the first smartphone introduced since its acquisition by Google last year. It accounted for just 1.7 percent of global smartphone shipments in that period.
The mobile-phone industry is projected to expand 5.2 percent in 2014 after 3.7 percent growth in 2013, according to the research firm Gartner. The opportunity for high-average-selling-price smartphones is ending, Gartner said. Growth is expected to come from mid-tier smartphones in mature markets and low-end Android smartphones in emerging markets.
Motorola has broadened the geographic rollout for Moto G after selling the Moto X in less than 10 markets at its introduction in August. The new device went on sale in Brazil and parts of Europe on Wednesday and will become available over the coming weeks and months in other countries, including the U.S. in early January.
The new device sports a 4.5-inch high-resolution screen, slightly smaller than some of its higher-end rivals. It runs on a Qualcomm chip that is less powerful yet can still run multiple applications at the same time, Woodside said. The Moto G comes with 8 gigabytes of memory included, or 16 gigabytes at a higher cost. Pricier smartphones typically start at 16 gigabytes.
Brian Womack is a Bloomberg reporter. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org