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LG killed its phones and propelled Motorola to the top of the US market

Its sales grew 131% in the last year!
By
March 29, 2022
Motorola Edge Plus 2022 right edge profile
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Motorola just entered the top three smartphone brands list in the US.
  • Its success is attributed to the death of LG’s smartphone business.
  • The Lenovo-owned company is also the number two smartphone OEM in the $400 and below price bracket.

The US market has a brand new leader in the smartphone space. Motorola has emerged as the third-largest smartphone OEM in the country, according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Pulse Service.

The Lenovo-owned company gained the top spot by more than doubling its growth in the US over the last year. Counterpoint reports that Motorola sales in the US skyrocketed 131% in 2021 compared to the year before.

Related reading: The best Motorola phones you can buy right now.

Moto was the largest handset OEM in the US in 2008 when feature phones ruled the roost. However, this is the first time the brand has made it to the top three in the standalone smartphone market.

As per Counterpoint, Motorola also claimed the number two spot in the US smartphone space for handsets priced at $400 and below.

The LG effect

One of the biggest contributing factors to Motorola’s newfound success in the US is LG’s withdrawal from the smartphone market.

“A common question is how Motorola has grown to over 10% of the US market. Motorola has been a key OEM filling the void left by LG’s exit. The OEM has all the key characteristics major carriers look for — a full portfolio, the ability to ramp volumes, and low return rates,” Counterpoint Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack, noted in the report.

Motorola’s sub-$300 portfolio — including the Moto G Stylus, Moto G Power, and Moto G Pure — has driven its success in the US.

As per Counterpoint, Motorola has been a critical free ‘switch’ device — a device carriers use to move subscribers from shut down networks or as a device mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) use when changing network partners.

Meanwhile, Apple and Samsung enjoyed the highest market share in the US over the last year. Their respective 58% and 22% stronghold on the market makes Motorola’s 10% share look tiny in comparison. However, Moto could see more growth in the future as the US subscriber base transitions to 5G and cheaper foldable phones.