LG Electronics quit the Android world last July, and while the company never produced a flagship smartphone capable of hanging with the best in the market, LG was a prominent source of cheap smartphones, especially in the US. Thanks to a new report from Counterpoint Research, we’re now getting a look at what a US market without LG looks like, and the big winner is apparently Lenovo’s phone division, Motorola.
Counterpoint Research shows Motorola capturing the #3 spot in the US smartphone market, with 10 percent market share. Apple takes the top spot with 58 percent, and Samsung grabs a 22 percent share. It looks like LG supply cratered around September 2021.
Counterpoint says Motorola’s rise is mostly thanks to its success at the lower end of the market and its good relationship with US carriers. Research Director Jeff Fieldhack notes in the report that “Motorola has been a key OEM filling the void left by LG’s exit. The OEM has all the key characteristics major carriers look for—a full portfolio, ability to ramp volumes, and low return rates. Motorola’s sub-$300 portfolio—Moto G Stylus, Moto G Power and Moto G Pure—has driven its success in the US. Thanks to its reliability, Motorola has been a key free ‘switch’ device, a device carriers use to move subscribers from networks that are being shut off or as a device MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) use when changing network partners.”
Motorola occasionally makes flagship smartphones, but in the US, these releases don’t come on a reliable schedule. The Motorola Razr is a beautiful-looking retro-style foldable smartphone, but it’s woefully delicate; our first-gen version from early 2020 broke in a single day. A sequel was announced just seven months later and launched in October of 2020. That was 18 months ago, and a Razr 3 is nowhere to be seen. As for slab phones, Motorola did not release a flagship Snapdragon 888 phone in the US last year. 2020’s Motorola Edge+, which has a Snapdragon 865, is the company’s current US flagship.