Moto spearheads Lenovo smartphone drive

Moto spearheads Lenovo smartphone drive

Brand heritage being leveraged for growth

Mr Sivakorn and Mr Ramaswamy say Thailand is a top priority for driving mobile sales for the company.
Mr Sivakorn and Mr Ramaswamy say Thailand is a top priority for driving mobile sales for the company.

Lenovo is targeting aggressive growth of its Motorola smartphones in Thailand, aiming for sales of 600,000 units this year, up 20% from 2017, driven by the Moto flagship models.

Although the local smartphone market has been fiercely competitive in recent years, especially in the medium-to-high-end segment, Moto is being positioned to compete on its strong features, heritage brand and affordable prices, said Sridhar Ramaswamy, general manager for Asian emerging markets in the Lenovo mobile business group.

"Thailand is the most important market among 12 emerging countries for Lenovo in terms of sales size, business potential and digital life development," he said, adding that those countries include Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

Founded in 1928, Motorola has had decades to build up its brand awareness.

The Moto G series, launched in 200, has seen 138 million units sold globally, Mr Ramaswamy said.

Lenovo opened the door for Moto's return to Thailand in March 2016 after the Chinese computer giant completely took over Motorola's handset division from Google for US$2.91 billion (93.5 billion baht) in 2014.

Sivakorn Damrongphat, country manager for the mobile business group at Lenovo Thailand, said interest in the Moto brand registered significant growth in 2017.

He said Thailand posted 15 million smartphone unit sales in 2017, of which 2.4 million were in the middle-to-high-end segment, with prices per unit ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 baht.

Lenovo is looking to maintain its 15% market share in the middle-to-high-end segment, or 200,000 units sold per month, in the Thai market.

Some 1,500 retailers sell the Moto brand nationwide. Apart from dealers and distributors, Lenovo is partnering with True Corp for marketing support of Moto handsets.

Mr Sivakorn said 90% of Moto smartphones are sold offline, while online channels, buoyed by partnerships with giant e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee, account for the rest.

Lenovo yesterday launched two new Moto G series -- Moto G6 and G6 Plus -- priced at 7,990 and 9,990 baht, respectively.

Those handsets are being positioned as the flagship models for this quarter.

Both the G6 and G6 Plus focus on display, design and power, featuring 5.7- and 5.9-inch Full HD Max Vision displays, Mr Sivakorn said.

Both phones have Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and run Android 8.0 Oreo.

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