Home Mobility Moto is Motorolara’ing along – new strategy sees this brand’s revival

Moto was the trendy new name moving forward after Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google in late 2014. Fast forward and it is about to change – enter Motorola again.

Moto Danny AdamopoulosiTWire interviewed Danny Adamopoulos, general manager, Sales APAC Mature Markets, and Diana Jones, ANZ marketing manager for Motorola Australia. The far-ranging interview covered Motorola branding, where it is heading, what its aspirations are, some industry trends and has largely been paraphrased to include comments from both.

The big news is that Motorola is returning as the overall brand for Moto (C, E, G, and Z series). Adamopoulos hinted that this might occur in an iTWire interview in February.

The Motorola brand and tagline “Different is better” will cover all of Lenovo’s mobile portfolio and while strengthening the link between the brand and Lenovo. 

What has been the uptake of dual SIM phones in Australia?

The carriers prefer to include single SIM models on their plans to lock users in, so dual sim phones tend to be sold to the outright or pre-paid purchase. Amazingly the uptake is very high – dual sim accounts for sales of about 70% across all our models shipping in the ANZ region with the value G series at an astonishing 95%.

Why is that?

We are seeing four distinct dual SIM uses.

  1. One mobile number for work and one for personal use.
  2. One for data [a prepaid or lower cost data pack] and one for voice.
  3. Different carriers for different coverage areas.
  4. One for local and one for other country use (e.g. NZ, India, Singapore, China etc.).

In terms of carrier mix — there is no fixed rule but it reflects carrier market share — Telstra leads, Optus is next, then comes Vodafone and the remainder are mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). In the end, it is about two things – cost and convenience.

Interestingly dual SIM take-up declines as you spend more on a handset and are happy to go with a major carrier.

Are there limitations to the second SIM?

Both have different IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) and one SIM will usually support 4G and the other 2G or 3G – all Moto G series either have or will have a firmware upgrade so the second SIM at least supports 3G. The phone software treats each SIM as a separate line.

You mentioned that Motorola would be the only brand moving forward. Why?

The facts are that market research as shown that in the mobility space the brand Motorola resonates far higher than Lenovo, Zuk, Vibe, A, K … It makes sense for Lenovo to build on what has been a successful brand and its sub-brands may become marketed under Motorola. In Australia, it has been a simple message to communicate as we have never shipped with the Lenovo brand, so it is an easy brand building exercise.

Research also showed that Motorola is a trusted, premium, U.S. designed brand – not unlike Apple’s heritage. That same research showed Moto was a millennial, fun brand so we don’t want to lose that appeal either. So “Different is better” was born.

We think “Different is better” gives us the positioning to offer different performance levels, different innovations a.k.a. Motorola Mods (stay tuned) and attack different markets ranging from the flagship to the value market.

Moto different

We have four brand strategies

  1. What we believe: that curiosity and diversity builds a better world.
  2. Our motivation: We dare to make the breakthroughs that defy conventions.
  3. What we promise: We break the limits of technology, delivering innovations which consumers can depend on.
  4. Our attitude: We are fearless, intuitively intelligent, lively and bold.

That is Motorola’s DNA.

What do you think makes Motorola stand out in the crowded mobile space?

First, the extreme value that Motorola can now provide as it designs, manufactures and distributes its products – it owns the factories and it has both Lenovo and Motorola in-country support.

Second, quality. We cannot make a shoddy, near enough, product as it would hurt the brand With Motorola, you will always get the quality, very low return rates, and technology pedigree.

Third, innovation. With Motorola’s massive R&D and Lenovo’s overall buying power, we will have supply chain access to the best technology backed by and amazing patent bank. We can challenge the best.

Fourth, distribution. We have the arrangements with carriers, retailers, online and more to ensure Motorola is a choice from day one. We recently reinvigorated the New Zealand business and have sold thousands of phones since. The brand proposition is not hard to sell.

And the future?

Look, the smartphone — a glass slab as you often call it — has limitations placed on it by current levels of technology, display size, speeds, camera, battery etc. We cannot rise above these constraints unless we innovate outside them. We will design products to break those limitations. There will be advances in smartphone intelligence, our Mods, and something we simply call the Motorola life – peace of mind.

MotorolaWe want to be challenging, taking risks, lively, bold, modern and do unexpected things.

For us, part of that is about innovating via the Motorola Mods and it is just a little too soon to talk about that.

But I can say that already third-party items are appearing including a HAT Adapter Board that enables you to attach a wide variety of Raspberry Pi HATs to your Moto Mods Development Kit. We are seeing different docking options, gaming controllers, picture printers, an intelligent nightstand, home automation, and at the recent Mobile World Congress, we saw some more future tech. (iTWire has an article here.)  You will see at least 12 new Mods this year – it is a fabulous point of difference!

From a brand perspective, you will see Android “O” for both the Z and the G5 series – that is unheard of in a value phone. We launched the E and C series product on Android 7.0

You will see more above-the-line awareness and we think it will help drive a demand for the brand.

And globally we understand you must be in major markets so you will see factories, local customisation and support in markets including Indonesia, India, China, Brazil…

We are excited.

Moto New 2017 


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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!


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