Most of the AI advancement has been in camera technology allowing the user to take an average shot and the phone to post-process it into a great one. That is not amazing – its just a good use of extra CPU power and a few presets to make photos look better.

The real trick is to make AI non-intrusive, invisible but powerful so that it becomes an extension of the user.

AI is where most advancements over the next few years will happen as smartphone chips get the extra power and neural processors needed to start to think for us in a meaningful way.

There is a mad scramble for brand supremacy.

Huawei recently knocked Apple off as the world’s second largest smartphone maker. Danny says it is no secret that companies in the top five are eyeing the top spots and may do anything to improve positions.

Without mentioning brands, he says it is all about strategy.

For example

  • Flooding an emerging market like India with low-cost smartphones – even if it is subsidising the price (dumping).
  • Setting up a factory in an emerging country (patriotism)
  • Focusing on markets where it can get growth and ignoring those where it cannot (easy way out).
  • Dumping tons of money at retailers to buy shelf space, advertising catalogue space and kickbacks for sales-people too recommend brand X over brand Y (coercion).

Motorola and its parent Lenovo are global companies with too much at stake to play games. They need to cover more than 85+ countries with a good quality product, a high level of support and service.

We are in the top four in the U.S, top two in Latin America, experiencing strong growth in Europe and on the rapid ascent in Australia.

Time in the sun

Over the past 25 years, he has seen Motorola rise to the top only to be knocked off by Ericsson. Then to be knocked off by Nokia with Symbian and Windows Mobile. Apple came in 2007 and took the world by storm – really driving the smartphone and stylus-free touch screen experience.

In his opinion time is the sun is a precursor for a time in the shade. Apple and Samsung are targets, and relative newcomers like Huawei, OPPO/Vivo/One Plus (all part of BBK) and Xiaomi are determined to get to the top.

Motorola is pursuing a ‘slow and steady’ global strategy to get back into the top five, and with its, Lenovo backed manufacturing, supply chain control and distribution.

So, we see Motorola as innovation and value/feature led with the backing of a well-respected global brand. That approach is seeing us adopted by business as a fleet phone, often in tandem with Lenovo as a fleet computing device.

Last year we celebrated 90 years. There is a great read about the company here.

Motorola and especially its famous Bat Wing Logo still enjoys huge brand recognition.

GadgetGuy’s take: Smartphone industry in 2019 – tell it as it is Danny

I like talking to Danny – no marketing hype or BS. His take on 5G and foldables is just so true – early adopters will pay through the nose and should wait for version 2.0.