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Motorola ready for growth in premium smartphone space and to face competition

Sharay Shams, General Manager for Middle East and Africa at Motorola
(Image credit: Motorola)

Motorola sees the Middle East, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as important markets from a technology perspective and in the 5G space.

Speaking to TechRadar Pro Middle East in an exclusive interview, Sharay Shams, General Manager for Middle East and Africa at Motorola, said that people in the region are constantly looking for innovation:

 “We see a big potential in the region and will continue to expand our footprint. With 5G coming in, we see the region to be at the forefront of technology and our strategy is to keep growing in the region,” he said.

To add to the growth, he said that Motorola has re-entered the premium space with the foldable Razr and Edge Plus devices. Motorola already has devices in the UAE from AED 599 while Lenovo has a strong presence in the mid- and entry-price segments.

 “We are ready for growth and are very confident in our foldable smartphone strategy. Foldable devices are an expensive element because there is a lot of innovation that goes in. We see foldable as an important trend in the market and it will be an ongoing focus in the future,” he said.

Even though when other smartphone brands were making noises about 5G, the Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto mod, was the first commercially-available smartphone to connect to a 5G network with Verizon in the US.

Motorola has strong history

Innovation is part of our DNA, Shams said and added that the brand plays an important element as Motorola has a nostalgic history and a strong association with consumers. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X was used to make the world’s first mobile phone call about 47 years ago.

 “Consumers are showing great confidence in the two flagship devices we launched and well-received in the market,” he said.

Edge Plus is the first 5G device from Motorola in the local market and Shams said that it has absolutely everything what the people want from a smartphone.

 “Strong hardware specs and edge features, combined with fastest 5G, bigger battery and audio capabilities from Waves make Edge Plus stand out from the crowd. Our consumers have been waiting for flagships from Motorola and we are quite happy with the market performance,” he said.

It takes years for a company to build a brand but in Lenovo’s case, he said that they have two brands – Lenovo and Motorola - and it resonates with the customers.

 “In markets where we think a particular brand can perform better, then we have the flexibility to approach the market. We select markets where we think we can make an impact and drive our business. We are establishing our presence in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East with Lenovo and Motorola brands and constantly evaluating more markets in the region.

“We have to keep innovating and Motorola has a long history as a player and has disrupted the status quo. As we go into the markets, we have to establish partnerships and have launched 5G devices in close collaboration with leading operators in the region and bringing it at the right price points,” he said.

Committed to region

Motorola’s premium devices are available at Etisalat, du, noon.com and Virgin Store in the UAE and with STC in Saudi Arabia.

"Our focus on emerging markets has helped drive MBG’s premium to market growth by 54 points, with UAE and Saudi Arabia leading our overall volume growth year on year" Shams said.

From a local perspective, he said that Motorola is committed to the market and has invested for the last seven years.

Moreover, he said that Motorola has been delivering five consecutive quarters of profitability worldwide.

“We are constantly growing our smartphone business worldwide and in most of the regions. We are the fastest growing OEM in North America, have double-digit growth in Europe and continue to be a leading player in Latin America,” he said.