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Danny Adamopoulos, Motorola GM sales APAC Mature Markets, dropped into GadgetGuy for a chat about the smartphone industry in 2019 – warts and all!

Its one of those traditions where he can call a spade a bloody shovel and educate us on the issues behind the issues – the smartphone industry in 2019. It is also Motorola’s 90th birthday.

I like Danny. He is not afraid to discuss anything, and if we need to, we can ‘put the pen down’ (go off the record) to give me a better understanding. Our last chat was more about the rebirth of Motorola under Lenovo. This chat is about the smartphone industry in 2019. And he should know – 25 years in the game and 20 at Motorola.

It was a great Q&A, and we covered so much ground that the best I can do is attribute this to him and paraphrase.

smartphone industry in 2019

The smartphone industry in 2019 heralds the era of the affordable mid-range

While all the focus is on the glamorous and expensive flagship devices – Apple XS Max, Samsung Galaxy S10, Huawei Mate 20 Pro and phones costing well over $1,000 (and over $2,000) the real action is in two areas.

First, the sub $200 pre-paid market is experiencing massive growth.

We need product in all segments to succeed. Our 4G Moto C-series is a low cost ($129) outright not even prepaid. Value buyers see our brand as a strength, and you see it at Amazon, supermarkets and service stations. It is nothing fancy, but it delivers all essential Android features with our backing.

The Moto e5 is $199 with a 4,000mAh fast-charge battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 2/16GB, 5.7”/18:9 screen, fingerprint reader, dual sim and separate microSD, Android One 8.0 and a decent front/rear ‘social media” 13/5MP camera. It is walking out the door faster than we can get them.

Motorola push features down. The moto e5 is as good as last years Moto G series at half the price. And good old Motorola quality means good reliability too.

I think it would be hard for any other company to offer such a comprehensive package without the strength of Lenovo’s supply chain and buying power. At this price, you should expect a no-name processor and nowhere near the LTE band coverage or camera quality!

Smartphone industry in 2019

Second, is the sub $500 segment.

Motorola has the moto g6 play, moto g6 and moto g6 plus for $299, 399 and $499 respectively.

We make this range in our factory – not at an ODM’d and slapped together as quickly and as cheaply as possible. We put a lot of value into it. The moto g6 plus has a dual, big pixel camera, Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 and 15W fast charging.

Smartphone industry in 2019

These are going to consumers who want most of the flagship features but realise that top tier smartphone prices are now way over the top. We are also getting ‘fleet sales’ where companies want a reasonable price device backed by Motorola. I dare say the moto g6 plus offers nearly double the features for well under half the price.

Note that Motorola launched its G7 series at MWC 2019 – we should see them here in a few months.

Finally, our Moto Z series and Moto Mods.

The Moto Z series and Moto Mods offer some, if not the most innovative thinking in a smartphone and protects your investment. For example one of the first 5G smartphones in the US will be a 5G Mod for our Moto Z3 play. Everyone else is building an expensive all in one handset, and here we can do it with a Mod.

We didn’t bring the Moto Z3 here, just the lower-cost Moto Z3 Play, but we may grow this family in Australia in the future.