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Motorola's "5G for all" strategy is already starting to pay off


Instead of continuing to beat the modular Moto Z dead horse that arguably lived a much longer life than it deserved, Motorola shifted its focus almost entirely on two things in 2020. The brand expanded its successful mid-range Moto G line with more new models last year than one human can count on the fingers of both their hands while also releasing a whole bunch of 5G-enabled phones, most of which came with very reasonable prices.

This so-called “5G for all” approach made it essentially impossible for the Lenovo-owned company to challenge the likes of Apple and Samsung in the high-end market segment, but apparently, a strong mid-end global presence is all you need nowadays to make money in the incredibly competitive mobile industry (cough, LG, cough).
As you can imagine, Lenovo didn’t exactly make tons of money off Motorola’s smartphones during the aforementioned year-end three months, but the $10 million pre-tax gain was still its highest profitability score since it acquired the US-based handset industry veteran back in 2014.

 

Both that encouraging number and the division’s 10 percent revenue increase compared to the final calendar quarter of 2019 came from the “continued expansion” of the Moto-branded product portfolio and a “significant boost of average selling prices on strong product launches.”

That latter part seems to suggest devices like the Motorola Edge and Edge+, as well as the Motorola One 5G and Moto G 5G Plus, also performed decently enough rather than just low-cost models like the Moto G9 or E7 Plus. Interestingly, Latin and North America were highlighted as two of the MBG’s strongest regions despite a recent US sales report compiled by Counterpoint Research estimating Motorola’s local Q4 decline at a whopping 69 percent.

Going forward, Lenovo expects its mobile business to “continue to leverage 5G innovation to drive future profitable growth.” Speaking of, 5G sales are already contributing a solid 14 percent to the total MBG revenue, which is a number that’s pretty much guaranteed to go up in the next few quarters.

Elsewhere, Lenovo unsurprisingly derived the bulk of its revenue and profit from the market-leading PC division, wrapping up the quarter with record-breaking overall figures.

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