THE COMEBACK OF MOTOROLA
Motorola isn’t alien to India. Before the iPhone madness, Motorola with its Razr series ruled the market. Even with Android, Motorola smartphones were fairly popular and they did offer some innovative features like BackFlip. When Google acquired this popular brand, Motorola wrapped up its handset business and exited the market. But a team was still based out of the country. Motorola has now made a strong comeback to India, in its unique way.
Back with a Bang
Last year, when Motorola was a Google company, it announced a couple of Android handsets. The Moto G and the Moto X were an instant hit abroad. With Moto X, the company launched the Moto Maker, which made it special. It allowed customers in America to choose the back panel and the storage, which made it specially customised for them.
All this while, we longed for these phones to come to India too. Finally, in February this year, Motorola made a comeback and that too with a bang. The company launched its popular Moto G first. The day it got launched in India, the news of Lenovo acquiring Motorola’s hardware business was also announced. With all the speculation, the Moto G came and sold like hot cakes. Within an hour of going on sale at midnight, 20,000 units were sold out on Flipkart. This success pushed Motorola to get its Moto X into the market. While the company introduced this phone, it only got in a few variants of the back cover and not the Moto Launcher.
With just two smartphones in its Indian portfolio, the third launch was a special one. To announce the launch of Moto E, Motorola had organised press conferences in a few selected countries and the phone was unveiled to the world for the first time in India.
When Motorola re-entered India, the market was dominated by domestic handset manufacturers. Consumers had plenty of options but not many from the global players. Motorola was aggressive with its pricing and it stirred the market. The Moto G was an instant best seller. After the success of the Moto E, all the competition, including global players such as HTC and Sony, rolled out low-cost handsets. Motorola preferred e-commerce site Flipkart over offline retail and the strategy worked. Within five months, Motorola claims to have sold more than a million smartphones in India.
The success story had a downside, too. While the company was doing amazingly well, some shipments of Moto G had some issues. In June, many users complained about receiving units that would not register on the carrier network. Motorola was active enough to replace the units and fix the issues. The company quickly responded to the customers on the Motorola fan page on Facebook. While the company said that the issue was resolved, some customers were still receiving faulty units. But then, that happens with all the companies. At least, Motorola is active enough to respond to the customers.
Google or Lenovo?
While everyone welcomed Motorola’s comeback to the country, a couple of questions come to mind. Is Motorola now a Google company or part of Chinese PC maker Lenovo? Who will take care of after-sales service? Recently, at a meeting with Lenovo, I asked these questions to company officials. The response was simple. At this moment, Motorola is a Google company. After the acquisition is complete, Motorola will be under Lenovo. But as of now, no one knows the timeline for the same.
Moto E: The most affordable of the lot. It has sparked a fire in the low-cost smartphone space. It might not be the best device in its segment but is worth considering.
Moto G: The most popular of them all, though some buyers complained about receiving a dead unit while others faced network issues. Motorola has quickly fixed these problems. This is among the best budget phones available.
Motorola Moto X: It dominates the phone segment priced below ` 25,0000. Some users complained about the dual core processor, but there isn’t any lag in performance. It also features unique features such as Ok and Google Now.