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Motorola Sees Rapid Market Growth in U.K.

by Todd Haselton | March 31, 2014March 31, 2014 12:30 pm PST

Moto G, Rear, Wide, Hand

Motorola is gaining market share in the United Kingdom at a rapid pace, and it’s all thanks to a rather unsuspecting smartphone: the Moto G. It not only shows the power of an affordable unlocked handset, but that there’s clearly room for growth in the lower-end market that so many manufacturers are trying to tap into.

According to a new report from Kantar Worldpanel, which says the Moto G is entirely responsible for getting Motorola “back in the game,” the phone maker saw its market share in the U.K. jump from “almost nothing” to six percent in just six months. The effects are also helping Android as a platform. “Its success has helped Android remain the top OS across Europe with 68.9 percent share,” Kantar Worldpanel said. “Apple holds second position with 19 percent share and Windows Phone is third with 9.7 percent.”

“[The Moto G] highlights the speed at which a quality budget phone can disrupt a market,” Kantar’s strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo remarked on Monday. “The same pattern can be seen in France with Wiko, which has 8.3 percent share, and Xiamoi in China with 18.5 percent.” Motorola’s Moto G has been a hit with the younger group, perhaps due to more constrained budgets (a majority of sales were to consumers with an income less than  £20,000), but also perhaps because the Moto G offers a range of colorful accessories – more than half of the consumers who purchased the Moto G were aged between 16 and 24, Kantar said, while most are male.

Kantar said Moto G buyers were likely largely influenced by positive online reviews and its cost. The market share Motorola took was largely from Nokia’s Lumia handsets and from lower end Samsung handsets, the research firm explained. There’s still plenty of room for growth in the U.K., too, with smartphone penetration at just 70 percent.

If OEMs are paying attention, we’ll likely see this market continue to grow. There are of course trade-offs with the lower-end handsets like the Moto G. It doesn’t support LTE networks, for example, and its software isn’t as powerful as what’s offered on the Moto X. Even still, Motorola’s focus on design and software definitely paid off.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...