by Tim Ferguson
Motorola smartphones will once again be sold in China under the guidance of the company’s new owner, Lenovo. The three devices are the first to be introduced by the company in China since 2012, after Google withdrew the vendor from the market in 2013.
The return to the world’s largest smartphone market will come in the shape of three models: the Moto X, new Moto X Pro (pictured) and the Moto G, which supports LTE. All three models will go on sale in early 2015.
China-based Lenovo closed its $2.9 billion acquisition of Motorola from Google last October, after the search giant struggled to balance the needs of the company with those of other vendors using Android.
Motorola will face fierce competition on its return to China with homegrown companies Xiaomi, Huawei and ZTE all making progress in recent years.
The Moto X Pro is larger than the standard 5.2 inch Moto X at six inches, while the curved Moto G offers LTE connectivity. A Motorola representative told Re/code that the X Pro has been developed specifically for China.
With the Moto X, the company is looking to get feedback from Chinese consumers about what colours and materials should be offered. People will be able to design their own Moto X in the near future.
In a post on its official blog, Motorola said it is “eager to build a direct relationship with Chinese consumers and empower them by bringing the mobile Internet to millions of people”.
When the Motorola acquisition closed, Lenovo claimed it would push the combined company into third spot in the smartphone vendor league table.
According to Strategy Analytics, Lenovo captured 5 per cent market share of global smartphone shipments in Q3 2014, while Motorola captured 3 per cent. The combined 8 per cent share puts it above the current number three player Xiaomi.