Yesterday, Motorola unveiled its latest smartphone offering - the Moto E - at events in London and India. Unlike other release events however, this was not about the latest specifications, screen resolution, or other cutting edge features. Rather it focused on just one important number: the price. At just 129USD without contract, the device (and its maker Motorola) has set its sights on conquering developing markets.
Motorola is hoping to sell to the so called ‘next billion’.
This follows the success of the Moto G which has recently been seeing strong sales in regions, such as Brazil, long neglected by major manufacturers. By continuing this trend towards “phones for everyone” Motorola is hoping to tap into the so called ‘next billion’: users in the developing work who have so far been priced out of buying a smartphone. Indeed, this is the reason the Moto E was debuted in India, home to hundreds of millions of potential users, rather than in Europe or the US.
But making a cheap phone is easy. It’s what you can deliver for that price which matters - and without a doubt this phone delivers…
While obviously not sporting top of the line specs, the Moto E comes across as well built and not at all ‘cheap’. In terms of display, it features a 4.3 inch 540x960px qHD display, with a pixel density of 256ppi, protected by the latest Gorilla Glass 3 scratch resistant glass. Powering this is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, an Adreno 302 GPU and 1GB of RAM. While inbuilt storage is on the light side at only 4GB, this can be expanded through a micro-SD card slot. In addition, it features a single 5MP rear camera, with no flash capability.
In terms of form, the phone follows the same design philosophy of the Moto G and the Moto X, with fully removable back panels, which curve subtly towards the sides. These panels are available in a number of colors, providing users with the option to change them and customize the look of the phone as they please. Lastly, the phone will be shipped running the 4.4.2 version of Android, with very few in-house customizations.
Motorola will be hoping that this gamble to exploit developing markets will work, although at this stage it will have to hugely successful in order to rescue the company. Having faced quarter after quarter of operating losses, massive staff cuts, and an ongoing sale to Lenovo, the company will truly need a miracle to turn itself around.
[Lower Image: Motorola Mobility]