The Number 3 Mobile Phone Brand in US May Just Remind you of John Wick

In John Wick there is a question posed to John almost through out the film, "Are you Back?". Some where towards the crescendo of the movie, he finally replies, "Yes, I'm thinking I'm back". It has conviction, oomph and somewhat of a self reflection, post all the mayhem the character has been through.

Enjoy the clip (YouTube):

Motorola, yes, the makers of the Razor and a dominant player in the Mobile phone game in yester years, has surprisingly landed on the Number 3 spot at the end of 2021. The proof point to this comeback story, or rather I'm thinking I'm back line, is reported by Counterpoint Research

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If you're wondering why Motorola is akin to John Wick, its 'cuz it has been a rough few decades for the brand. Post the Razor success, things went from bad to worse, forcing the company to split in two. Google found this as a break-in opportunity and bought the Mobility piece of the business, including Intellectual Property, in 2011, for a record $12.5 Billion. Things didn't pan out and the company was sold to Lenovo 3 years later. Lenovo paid only $2.91 Billion to take Motorola off of Google's books.

Lenovo repositioned the brand for the low end market and suddenly things started to click. Counterpoint reports a 131% year over year (YoY) growth for the brand in 2021. The inflection point came, when LG decided to exit the market in April 2021, leaving a gapping hole for a suitable contender to take its spot. Business and competitive landscape became even better when Huawei was banned by the US government. 

Motorola, leveraging the strong brand recognition and solid device portfolio, now holds a commanding 28% of the Pre-Paid market share. Even better news for the brand is that it sits on the 2nd position in the below $400 priced mobile phone and 3rd overall in the US market. Not bad for a company that had almost dissipated like the BlackBerry, yet somehow still found a way to stay in the game. 

On a final note, the Counterpoint report also suggests that Motorola has been vying to get back in the premium market. This is evident by their early adoption of 5G and folding phone segments, which Counterpoint projects to grow 10x by 2023