Moto G sees largest sales in the history of Motorola

by: Robert TriggsMarch 28, 2014

Moto G Outdoor Portrait AA 1600px

We were pretty impressed when we reviewed the Moto G back in December last year. Although it’s not the best performing handset on the market, in terms of value for money the Moto G can’t be beaten, and it seems that consumers also agree. The Moto G has now become Motorola’s biggest selling smartphone in the company’s entire history.

In an interview with dnaindia, Motorola Vice President Magnus Ahlqvist revealed that India has been the driving force behind the Moto G’s success. Although the company can’t comment on the actual sales figures at this time, the handset has “far exceeded” Motorola’s initial expectations. For a company that was looking down and out not too long ago, Motorola seems to have turned itself around very quickly. I’m sure Lenovo is feeling pretty happy with its purchase right now.

But there are quite a few budget handsets on the market too, so what made the Moto G particularly successful?

How did Motorola accomplish this feat?

For starters, the Moto G is a product pretty well suited to the Indian market, where consumers are interested in a premium experience at an affordable price point. As we all know, the Moto G offers an excellent balance of price and performance, giving it a strong start in the Indian market.

But perhaps equally as important to the handset’s success was the sales strategy. Rather than releasing the handset to multiple carriers and multiple stores, Motorola decided to pursue an online-only sales strategy, pairing up exclusively with the Indian e-commerce supermarket, Flipkart.

it is safe to say the sales of Moto G have far exceeded Motorola’s, as well as Flipkart’s wildest expectations. In fact, Moto G has seen the largest sales ever in the history of Motorola

This strategy allowed Motorola not only to get the device into consumers hands cheaper than it would have done by distributing handsets out to multiple parties, but by working with such a larger partner in an online environment, the company still manage to reach a wide number of consumers.

As part of Motorloa’s India strategy, the company also set up 100 walk-in service centres in the months leading up to the launch, eliminating consumer worries about ordering products from the internet, where customer service can often be a difficult and frustrating process.

the Motorola brand in India is amongst the strongest in the world.

Looking to the future, in India Motorola will be continuing its relationship with Flipkart for the next two quarters, and is investing a lot in its own service network for the longer term. The smartphone developer is also on the lookout for other partners, and is already in talks with telcos for some sort of deal in the next 6-18 months. So would a similar strategy work out so well in other markets, such as Europe and the US?

Nexus and Google Edition devices are sold in a similar way, but they’re not really targeted at the mass consumer in the same way that the Moto G was. Whilst we all consider ourselves clued up on the ins-and-outs of the smartphone industry, the same can’t be said for the average consumer in the same way that it canould be about the Indian market. For that reason more than any other, perhaps the Moto G’s success can’t be so easily replicated over here.

Motorola Moto G aa 1

We’ll probably see similar ideas in the future, but it’s doubtful that online-only sales partnerships will ever become the norm. Would you like to see more exclusive, cheaper, online-only offers in your home countries, or does the current setup work best for you?

  • It was certainly expected from Moto G. This phone is priced at the best price point. Only thing I didn’t liked about is that there is no way to expand memory. Though 16GB is good enough.

    • sggodsell

      If people are worried about expandable storage on the the moto g, then they should look at either USB otg (use regular USB flash drives on the moto g), or WiFi storage like the Sandisk Connect. I got my Sandisk Connect for $50, and you can wirelessly install and listen to music, movies, videos, data, docs, and more. Not to mention this WiFi storage device is so small and can be left in your pocket or on your keychain. You can even change the microsd cards, and it supports multiple users and platforms. Well worth the $50 that I paid for it, and its also future proof.

      • No, I think people are not that worried about phone storage. But if they are, then they can use Dropbox or any other cloud storage for it. Isn’t that better from your solution? BTW, what are you trying to convey by your phrase “Future Proof”? Future is only cloud storage.

        • Martin

          If your Internet is slow or unreliable it is better to get USB storage. Waiting hours for photos which are forgotten when they are on the cloud if your Internet is slow

  • Abdullah Abdulaziz

    I live in India and I have never seen any one using this phone anywhere in my city
    Its a good phone though but I have never seen a Indian using it

    • dogulas

      Is there a predominately common smartphone where you live? Even if feature phones may be more prevalent.

      • Anonymousfella

        In India you’ll see mostly Samsung…even in the midrange and budget range where their offerings are clearly inferior to Moto G

      • Abdullah Abdulaziz

        Yes in my city every one uses Samsung because it has a really good resell value and its accessories are easily available everywhere you don’t have to search the whole market to find its accessories

    • Saketh Balaji

      Which city do you live in ? Very popular here in chennai though.

      • Abdullah Abdulaziz

        I live in hyderabad

  • Flavinho Gomes

    In Brazil Moto G is popular too. It is the one of the best seller.

  • dogulas

    If Verizon would significantly drop their rates if you purchase your phone without a subsidy, this online purchase model would do great.

  • Bone

    Well deserved. But what about profits?

    • Cao Meo

      certainly not a lot but good for consumers, and Moto can build on it

      • Anonymousfella

        This positive buzz is pretty vital to sell future smartphones especially when your competitors have 10x your marketing budget…

      • James

        Honestly, I’ve read people suggesting that they have nowhere to go after this. But the fact of the matter is that the high end market doesn’t know where to go either. Faster processors, slightly different screens – all of which make little-to-no difference for people who don’t play games. The average user doesn’t need a super powerful processor in their phone. The moto g is a great solution to this and a demonstration that people don’t have to spend tonnes of money on a great android experience. Future versions could follow on from this, I.e. not boost power unnecessarily but focus on perfecting the features that people care do about.

  • SeanPR11

    Mine is useless. Will not read any Sim card, tried everything, resets, ROM’s…everything. Since I unlocked the boot loader, moto won’t even return my emails. oh well I liked it when it worked.

  • buford14

    They probably would have seen many more sales if they had of sold the phone directly in Canada in stead of the bs with only being able to buy the smaller 8gb device from telus and koodo.

  • NateCress

    I find it interesting that this little phone is selling like hotcakes. I remember when the RAZR was such a big deal. I also remember Moto making a phone called the ROKR that never caught on. I always found that interesting too. The ROKR was the first mobile phone running iTunes from Apple and was even presented by Steve Jobs during a Keynote making it more or less the forerunner to the super popular iPhone. The ROKR was released in 2005-2006 a year before the original iPhone. It amazing to see how launching a product the right way with the right appeal for the intended audience can have such a huge impact on sales volume. It’s not the concept of a product but rather the fit of a product that intrigues buyers.

    • sggodsell

      But the rokr had major limits and restrictions. Like 100 songs. The moto g does not have any limits or restrictions.

  • Shark Bait

    Just bought this for my mum. Its a solid device!! The price makes it even better

  • guy with guts

    Motorola deserves its success along with google. Moto G deserves better sales than Nokia X(i know different price brackets) the shamelessly stolen product.

    • MasterMuffin

      Shamelessly stolen?

    • Shark Bait

      What have they stole??? Freely available open source code ? Know you facts

      • sggodsell

        Yes he should have said. Nokia X is shamelessly using the Android name to generate sales and revenue, but when people buy one they are not getting regular Google apps and services. They are only getting Microsoft’s apps and services. So yes Microsoft is using Android to push their apps and services. Microsoft should be ashamed.

        • Van Helsing

          okay its a way old article, but I just want to ask you about the SanDisk Connect, how long does it take to transfer a 100mb file across? And does it need internet?

  • guy with guts

    I bought two 16gb units one for my mum and one for my dad. Both are working solidly with KitKat. Though i admit it get slow when too many apps are opened at once(my mum always forgets to kill recent apps). They should have used two krait cores instead of four cortex a7s.

  • Vinay

    Many of my friends here in India have bought Moto G,.. its an awesome device for that price range..! Good display quality, performs fast enough with no/minimal lag,.. almost stock android experience running latest version of android,.. Customizable backs,.. body covered by nano coating,..what more can you expect for that price!! I recently ordered Moto X cant wait to get hands on it!! My expectations about moto x are sky high!! :) Hope motorola doesn’t disappoint..!

  • mustbepbs

    A solid, well made device for ridiculously cheap?

    Who would have thunk it?

    • thartist

      I know a few could have THOUGHT so

      • monkeyking42

        Why would you try to correct this? “Who’d have thunk it” is a common idiom, intentionally nonstandard.

  • wezi427

    Premium experience and an affordable price point is what draws people to the phone. That’s a great strategy that more companies need to adopt.

    • number29

      That’s all very well and good, but by all accounts, Motorola makes very little money on the Moto G so this tactic isn’t sustainable in the long run. They desperately need their products with much larger profit margins to be as popular as the Moto G.

      • wezi427

        I know they don’t have a huge profit margin from this phone. They need to do this for brand recognition and to show the average consumer that not all cheap Android phones are junk.

        • number29

          And then what after that?

          • wezi427

            Continue to make products like this. If they continue to build up they’re there image as a company and people take notice. Hopefully when it’s time to build a high end product, success will follow.

      • Saketh Balaji

        Selling 100,000 units of a phone with a profit margin of $10 trumps selling 10,000 units of a phone with profit margin $50.if moto had increased the price of the phone their sales would’ve dipped considerably as there are some good phones in this price range from domestic companies in India

        • number29

          The problem arises when Motorola needs to design and produce their next model. Customers will want it to be ever better and ever cheaper, and with Motorola already operating on razor thin margins, it won’t be possible for them to do so as they’ve already squeezed all the profit out of the hardware. Tiny profit margins is not a sustainable business model.

          • Saketh Balaji

            It actually is a pretty good business model (as demonstrated by xiaomi in China ). Customers don’t want the next model to be cheaper than this moto g .they just want it to be cheaper than the phone with similar specifications…

          • number29

            I’d say they’d be better off modelling Apple.

          • Saketh Balaji

            The iPhone has a profit margin of over $200 .the moto g meanwhile sells at $199 (in the USA ) . having a bigger margin on a low end phone will make the phone outdated and a flop .
            And apples model depends on brand loyalty a lot . something that moto need to build

          • number29

            Well Motorola did have a more reputable brand. They just lost it by not responding credibly to the iPhone. I think the Moto G will be a one hit wonder as I don’t think Motorola can sustain a business model on those razor thin margins.

          • Saketh Balaji

            No,its a perfectly fine business model. A lot of companies around the world have succeeded using this same business model . moto is back …

  • Luka Mlinar

    If they put a Snapdragon 800 in the moto x instead of that talking gimmick, put a price tag of 400/450$ than that company would be worth twice as much as what Lenovo payed for it.

    • Mur

      The price was dropped to $350 and a S800 wouldn’t allow for the same battery life.

      • Luka Mlinar

        Yea now. OPPO Find 5 cost’s less than 300€… now.
        Ill give you the battery life thing. That’s a good point.

  • Ricardo Barato Pazini

    IMHO Motorola had a spot on with the Android running on this phone. We see a lot of mid-end phones aroun within the same price range and overall configuration but when it comes to the system it’s loaded with bloatware and so many stuff that OEMs put inside it that ruins the experience. As someone else said, here in Brazil it’s a best seller as well, due to its cost/benefit. Motorola did it right and I truly hope it continues to.

  • someone

    I’m not surprised. The Moto G is a great device, especially at such a low price point.

  • arrow2010

    As usual no hard numbers = fake.

  • symbolset

    The Moto G is a pretty bold departure from typical Android hardware. The low energy companion processor is critical. Good to see it doing well.

  • Heisenberg

    I’d love to know the sales figures…

  • Bobby Wright

    Wish Google would have held on to Motorola..

    • They’ll still have each other’s numbers (and an excellent working relationship) when the sale goes through. And it looks like the Moto crew has really bought enthusiastically into the Google aesthetic and design ethos – as is shown in the new 360 design and my much-liked Moto X — all without excessive, high-overhead skinning.

      Meanwhile, selling to Lenovo was in part (sez me, who’s no one but…) to blunt Samsung’s move to fork Android and push Tizen in a way they couldn’t if they were going head-to-head with their own phones… …but this way can definitely counterbalance Sammy with Lenovo/Moto phones that will likely hew much closer to GOOG’s vision of Android going forward.

      Meanwhile, Lenovo’s a company who’s shown they know a thing or two about a) managing acquisitions, b) moving product, and c) haven’t decided they want to rule the OS roost too (yet).

  • thartist

    Well deserved. Companies don’t achieve such success only because of greed, but every exception is a success. Success in fact is very easy to achieve, in fact all of us know what would take to make an instant hit, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen.

  • Nid

    India.. Nuff said..

  • Vipin Meshram

    in my family two of them already brought Moto G on the same day it launch in india on Flipkart and i so impressed by the phone it’s the best phone in that price range it’s fantastic phone and that make me buy Moto X …. happy ending :-)

  • Brendon Brown

    Bring Motorola to Africa … Trust me.. It’ll sell like crazy!

  • cheesesteakwit

    I bought the Moto G and kept the packaging thinking I would be returning it cause at $100 (for Verizon pre-paid version) I thought that the phone would be a piece of crap like most $100 phones, but I was mistaken! This phone is really fast, has the latest version of Android KitKat, a 4.5″ 720p HD screen and really good battery life! This phone is worth every penny! I had the HTC Evo 4G LTE from Sprint and had it flashed over to Verizon pre-paid and my Moto G is faster loading apps and got better benchmarks when tested. I would recommend this phone to anyone who wants a good phone at a great price! Now don’t get me wrong I would love to have the LG G2 or the LG Nexus 5 but I already have a Nexus 7 2013 for when I’m home but the Moto G does the job when I’m out and need a phone

  • Sanjana Thakur

    I’m using the phone since 2 weeks now. I’ve had a very pleasant experience. Quality and price balance seems to be the motto of this phone. In love with it :)

  • Shashank Bhardwaj

    Android needed a “Lumia 520” equivalent. and the Moto G is on its way to becoming just that ->

    • Bobby Wright

      Except the moto g has a better screen and performance.

  • flipp0

    It is a great phone for a great price. However, I would say that Huawei 3C gives you even more value for the money. I played with both of devices for a couple of weeks. In the end, I liked the screen size and feel of 3C a bit more.

  • Damon Adrian

    razr > moto

  • Kumar

    Why don’t they put up some numbers?

  • Jesus

    I’ve gotta say, the phone is rather UGLY… .Super plain, cheap looking.

    But performance wise, super.

    ANd with the price… You can’t complain.

    (I have one, if you think i’m a hater)

  • Buddy

    Its an awesome phone…typing from my Moto G :)

  • b00leanB1iss

    Wait till next quarter when Windows Phone 8.1 devices launch…. It’ll brutally kill all others at “economy” price points. WP is catching up – simplistic theme, low spec requirement, standard hardware prescribed directly by MS, great battery life, amazing performance even in low spec’d devices, notification center, cortana etc…. It’s going to be one epic battle this year for sure!