According to the latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to February 2014, Motorola has gone from almost nothing to 6% of British sales in just six months thanks to the success of its Moto G, launched in November 2013.
"It highlights the speed at which a quality budget phone can disrupt a market," said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "The same pattern can be seen in France with Wiko, which has 8.3% share, and Xiaomi in China with 18.5%," he added.
The emergence of low-cost smartphones was a theme running through the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Warc reported. Todd Thiessen, svp/strategy, Razorfish, noted that few people used all the capabilities their handset offered and that some companies were now focused on making the important features available at a price accessible to new markets and audiences.
The data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech further showed that the Moto G has attracted a very specific consumer profile, at least in the UK. Almost half of owners are aged between 16 and 24, 83% are male and generally they come from lower income groups with 40% earning under £20,000.
"With virtually no existing customers to sell to in Britain, the Moto G has stolen significant numbers of low-mid end customers from Samsung and Nokia Lumia," said Sunnebo.
He further observed that the smartphone market was becoming increasingly commoditised, with penetration at 70% in February and 86% of devices sold in the preceding three months being smartphones. Tech-savvy consumers were now basing their choices on a mix of handset cost and online reviews.
"Some 40% of British consumers are heavily influenced by internet reviews when deciding which mobile to buy and 48% of Moto G sales were made online," he noted.
Data sourced from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech; additional content by Warc staff