Lenovo's Motorola Mobility brand is coming back to China, as promised. The company said it will start selling LTE versions of the second-generation Moto X and second-generation Moto G, as well as a new phone called the Moto X Pro.
Motorola's return to the world's largest smartphone market is part of Lenovo's strategy of using both the Motorola and Lenovo brands to sell phones. However, China is a special case since the Lenovo and Motorola brands will sit alongside each other. Lenovo plans to also use the Motorola brand in the United States, Latin America, and elsewhere.
"Motorola has a long history in China and we are pleased that smartphone fans there continue to be passionate about our brand and products," Motorola said in a company blog post. "Chinese consumers have long been at the leading edge of smartphone use, blazing trails in mobile messaging, media and more. Motorola's pure Android based devices will give them new choices in how they connect to the world."
Motorola said the Moto X will be available in China in early February. The company is encouraging Chinese consumers to vote on which colors and materials they would like to see featured first. Later on in the year, customers will be able to design their own Moto X through the Moto Maker design tool.
The lower-cost Moto G, which became Motorola's best-selling smartphone ever last year, will be available later in the year, as will the Moto X Pro, which, as The Verge notes, appears to be similar to the Nexus 6 smartphone. The Moto X Pro sports a 6-inch display and a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 805 processor.
Motorola did not reveal pricing for any of the phones.
Motorola's position in China has declined during the past several years. That occurred in tandem with Google's decision in 2010 to move its servers out of China because of censorship concerns, and as the Chinese government moved to block Google search and services from Android phones.
Lenovo has enjoyed a great deal of success in large part due to its strength in China, where it has packed higher-end features and specs into phones that are undercutting market leaders Samsung Electronics and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) on price, just as rival Xiaomi has done. Yet Yang warned that Lenovo could not rely on China alone to be a growth engine.
"The industry is changing from in the past, when China grew much faster than the rest of the world," he told Bloomberg. "China will not see further hypergrowth."
- see this Motorola blog post
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