Google is now officially a smartphone manufacturer. However, it may not want to start celebrating too early. The smartphone market has emerged as a two-horse race at the moment, and Motorola is lagging behind badly. According to Horace Deidu, Motorola ranks 10th among handset markers and 7th among Android manufacturers with approximately 3.5 per cent market share.
What’s more, Motorola sales have remained relatively flat even as the overall market has exploded. Overall smartphone shipments were up about 57 per cent last year while Motorola smartphone shipments grew a respectable 36 per cent. However, last year Android market share grew from 31 per cent to a staggering 51 per cent globally, and leading manufacturers RIM and Nokia were both in retreat. When you take this into account, Motorola lags far behind its Android rivals. Samsung smartphone shipments grew more than 200 per cent last year, HTC shipments grew approximately 80 per cent.
However, despite early stumbles the race is far from over. Smartphone penetration in the U.S. is hovering around 50 per cent, according to the most recent comScore numbers (which should be taken with a grain of salt). The huge “blue ocean” on the top of the chart below represents a massive untapped market opportunity. Globally, smartphone penetration only stood at approximately 10 per cent at the end of last year. In other words, Google’s smartphone market opportunity with Motorola dwarfs the company’s pre-acquisition missteps.
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