Hello (again) Moto

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After 18 months of dwindling market share, tumbling profits and diminishing brand strength, Motorola appears to have pulled itself out of a black hole with a clear handset strategy for 2010.

Its efforts to regain credibility after a lack of any major handset releases in almost a year have been welcomed by industry watchers. Analysts have approved Motorola’s decision to deliver an Android-based portfolio in the New Year.

Doubts over its ability to differentiate its Android variations have been quietened somewhat by the development of the MotoBlur social network integration technology. Orange is the first major market operator to take on Motorola’s new range.

So far it appears to be paying off, with strong marketing for Dext and MotoBlur reopening consumers’ eyes to Motorola’s very existence.

But it will take a sustained catalogue of decent device launches through 2010, real points of differentiation and strong marketing to reverse its decline to the extent it regains ground lost to the likes of Samsung and LG in recent times.

For its part, Motorola reckons its extended reconnaissance period, to put a positive spin on it, was neccessary to re-assess its strategy.

Android approach
The company’s mobile devices business director of marketing Tom Satchwell offers a case in defence: “From the time that Sanjay (Jha, co-chief executive) stood up and said we would focus on Android, to the time we delivered a social networking solution that stands head-and-shoulders above the competition, was about a year. You need time to develop something like that.”

He suggests that for it to have whacked a “ready-made software” from Android into a device casing would have been “wrong”, and one supposes insufficient for a company that had fallen so far.

What was right then, was to develop a platform that would stamp Motorola’s brand over how its users received their communication feeds, from their own emails and text messages, to websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, in a constant stream over the handset’s homescreen. Upgrades to MotoBlur’s capabilities will be seen as new handsets are brought to market over the next year.

Full article in Mobile News issue 453 (November 30, 2009)

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