Questions wisdom of Google to sell division to Lenovo
Motorola’s launch of its budget smartphone Moto G has led to a six-fold growth in UK sales, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel. The surprise surge in sales lends credibility to the decision by Chinese electronics manufacturer Lenovo to buy Motorola for a bargain $2.91 billion (£1.74 billion) from search giant Google – vastly less than the $12.5 billion Google paid to buy the business in May 2012 when the smartphone patent battles were at their height. But while Google hasn’t succeeded in making money out of its handset division – it lost $645 million in the first nine months of 2013 – Lenovo looks as though it could be on a firmer ground, if and when the acquisition goes through.
Kantar’s latest figures, though confined to the UK, could point to a wider trend in quality budget phones, potentially shaking the dominance of Apple and Samsung.
The figures show that while Motorola had a mere 0.9 per cent share of UK smartphone sales in September, this has now grown to 6 per cent.
Commenting on Motorola’s dramatic growth, Kantar’s strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo said, “Motorola was nowhere in Europe before the Moto G launched in November last year , but the new model highlights the speed at which a quality budget phone can disrupt a market.”
Kantar’s figures also show that Android continues to dominate the UK smartphone market, though its share has slipped to 54 per cent of smartphone sales from 58.3 per cent a year ago.
Apple’s iOS took 32.1 per cent of the market in the three months to the end of February, compared to 29 per cent for the same period a year ago.