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Motorola faces challenges in going global with the Moto G

The smartphone will announced at events in London, Mexico City, SAPSo Paulo and Toronto.

By Mikael Ricknäs
November 12, 2013 10:32 AM ET

IDG News Service - The Moto G smartphone expected from Motorola on Wednesday will likely be available outside the U.S., but competing in the increasingly tough mid-range segment globally won't be easy.

The existing Moto X only sells in North America.

While Motorola didn't confirm its distribution plans for Moto G, a website inviting users to sign up for the live online announcement has an international feel that looks like a stylized globe and Nov. 13 is written in multiple languages. Motorola is also organizing launch events in London, Mexico City, SAPSo Paulo and Toronto.

The device is expected to be powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor from Qualcomm come with a 4.5-inch 720p screen, according to rumored specs. Other reported specifications include a 8GB of integrated storage and a 5-megapixel camera. A product page on British Amazon that was quickly removed priced it at 159 pounds ($250).

Combined with some of the software features Motorola announced on the Moto X, including voice control, and a few new ones, could make Moto G an interesting mid-range smartphone.

"If you look at the worldwide smartphone market, you'll notice that a majority of the volume and the growth comes from mid-tier of the market, especially that cost about $200. They are in huge demand ... so it makes sense for Motorola to go into that segment," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

But the growth also means that competition with vendors such as Samsung Electronics, Huawei Technologies and ZTE will be fierce, Gupta said.

To keep up, Motorola doesn't just have to develop a good product, said Francisco Jeronimo, research director for European mobile devices at IDC.

"It needs to invest a lot more in Europe, because brand awareness is very low at the moment. So it needs to make a huge investment to change that," Jeronimo said.

But he still thinks that Motorola has a better chance at competing in this segment of the market versus the high end, where Samsung and Apple dominate. Motorola has continued to struggle since it was acquired by Google. Its revenue fell by 33 percent during the third quarter even though a record number of smartphones were shipped during that period, according to IDC.

Motorola's share of the worldwide smartphone market was 1 percent during the third quarter, compared to 2.1 percent in the previous year, Jeronimo said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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