New evidence by Counterpoint Research has suggested Motorola is now the third-largest smartphone brand in the United States, competing alongside industry giants like Apple and Samsung.
In 2021, while Apple and Samsung continued to dominate the premium price market, Motorola became the number two smartphone provider in the $400 and below-price bracket, with sales growing a whopping 131% year-over-year (YoY).
Why, though? What led to Motorola’s impressive rise in the ranks? Research suggests several reasons are behind this transition, but one of the most notable is LG’s exit from the smartphone market. In July 2021, Korean company LG decided to stop being an Android OEM, which meant the OEM market had a void to fill and Motorola swooped in.
Yet, claiming the number one spot in the OEM market was not enough. Motorola had to prove itself and provide users with the features they were looking for. The company did just that, including offering low return rates and the capacity to ramp volumes.
Motorola’s Growth In 2021
In addition to decreased competition, Motorola’s recent smartphones have also catered to industry changes and mobile trends, which has contributed to the company’s newfound success and ability to maintain its competitive edge.
Over the last five years, we have seen the different ways people use their phones, from banking and grocery shopping to connecting with friends and family across the globe.
These changes are due to larger screens and improved internet connectivity via 5G technology, which has decreased latency.
For example, the Motorola Edge Plus hit the market in May 2020, and its best features include 5G support and a fingerprint sensor. This sensor accommodates another trend in the smartphone market, and that is the support of biometrics. Biometrics technology helps improve user safety and is one of the three factors that compose multi-factor authentication (MFA).
While the Motorola Edge Plus has a premium price, there are devices in the company’s sub-$300 portfolio that have also contributed to its recent success in the United States.
The Moto G Stylus is a great example, as it offers a 90Hz display with an FHD+ resolution. Large display screens are crucial in the smartphone market, as many users use their phones to stream shows, movies, and even live sports. For instance, in 2021, Netflix’s MAUs, or monthly active users, of the app on iPad and iPhone combined grew from 108.9 million to around 115 million.
Likewise, DAZN, a sports subscription video streaming service, saw 26% of its viewing in 2019 come from mobile devices. For perspective, 21% of viewing came from smart TVs, and 17% came from desktops.
Large screens have also contributed to the increase in sports betting on mobile phones. Wagering via mobile apps has become the preferred betting method for sports, such as soccer, basketball, football, and cricket.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, in October 2021, 84% of sports bets occurred on mobile devices compared to 16% on retail platforms.
This is perhaps no surprise when considering the competitive promotions and bonuses widely available on online sports betting markets.
For instance, according to this bet365 review, players in multiple regions get access to different markets and flexible odds through mobile apps. This access is in addition to live streaming features. These features would not be as appealing to punters without large OLED screens.
Previously, large screens and improved internet connections have been marketed mainly to social media users. However, industry changes and new mobile trends have started to indicate these features have other roles, such as streaming movies and watching and betting on live sports.
It is for these reasons Motorola has become another attractive option in the smartphone market, in addition to $400 and below price offerings.