It is a period that those under the age of 20 will not know. In the late 1990s, Motorola, along with Nokia, dominated the mobile phone world. The symbolic firm of Chicago (United States of America) held 15-20% of the world market share (PDM) in its constellation. Huge. Today, the company, which was bought by Google in 2011 and then sold to China’s Lenovo in 2014 for a paltry price of $2.91 billion, has lost its excellence when Google paid $12.5 billion three years ago. Almost to the point of extinction in Europe.
“We had our ups and downs, that’s true. But on a global scale, we have never completely collapsed,” says Fabio Capocci, Motorola’s general manager for the Old Continent and the Middle East. It is easy to recall that the firm still plays a leading role in North America and especially in Latin America, where it recently benefited from LG’s retreat. “We are a big brand, we have a strong heritage, this is one of our greatest assets. tell the crowd Hello Motorcycleeveryone will immediately know what we’re talking about,” he insists, making sure Motorola’s famous tagline hasn’t been forgotten.
Still modest results
But this return, which started 3-4 years ago in Europe, is still conditional. Especially in France, where market shares barely fluctuate between 2-3% (4% for the continent, 10% in peak Poland and 8% in Italy). Or about ten times less than the behemoths that monopolize the French podium: Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi. It is not enough to rank among the pack of suitors like Realme, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus or Honor. However, Motorola has a full range of mobile phones led by the more entry-level G series and the higher-end Edge. Mobile phones are available almost everywhere in our country, Leclerc, Boulanger, Fnac/Darty, Orange, Free, etc. distributed by about 20 distributors.
“We are moving forward step by step without skipping steps,” said Camille Castinel, director of marketing at Motorola France. Unlike some of its competitors, the company does not launch aggressive marketing campaigns. And it does not saturate the market with new products. The tricolor division, located in Rueil-Malmaison (Hauts-de-Seine), is far from being a giant liner, moreover, with only fifteen employees.
“In Europe and especially in France, user expectations are very high,” says Fabio Capocchi. We have to be extremely careful about quality when we release products here. Therefore, without a doubt, this cautious approach. To entice this elusive audience, Motorola isn’t just relying on its former glory: innovation is at the heart of its recapture strategy. As evidenced by its latest flagship, the Edge 30 Ultra (€899), it was the first smartphone to feature a 200-megapixel photo sensor when it launched last September. It comes courtesy of Xiaomi and its Mi 11T Pro, launched a few weeks later. Always aiming to stand out, Motorola recently launched the Edge 30 Neo in a unique color to the market: Very Peri. The blue/purple color of 2022 has been chosen by the famous company Pantone, with which it has entered into a partnership.
BtoB as a driving force
More surprisingly, Samsung’s latest foray into the still-embryonic segment of folding phones has been reserved in Europe, with the Razr 2022 (€1,199) on sale in several countries, including France. An updated version of the flip phone with almost invisible wrinkles and a large external display. The device wants to embody the industrial knowledge and ambitions of the manufacturer. “We want to bring innovation and we are exactly in the technological race, which is important in such a competitive market,” confirms Camille Castinel.
In reality, Motorola’s success in France is not so visible, because the brand is above all… BtoB (business to business, i.e. the business market). It supplies phones to a number of French companies such as Decathlon or SNCF, aided by the strike force of parent company Lenovo, the world’s leading PC maker. “BtoB is an important sector for us and we are well positioned,” confirms Camille Castinel.
What to expect before, perhaps to deceive the general public en masse. In any case, the ambition is clearly demonstrated by Fabio Capocci: “Our goal, in the medium or long term, however long it takes, is to be in the top 3 of the best smartphone brands in the minds of consumers. The slogan “Hello Moto” may come up again…