As 2015 picks up where 2014 left off, it's time to see what Motorola made of the last 12 months in mobile, and take a look at what's coming next...
Motorola has launched a series of headline grabbing devices this year, and created one of the most beautiful pieces of wearable tech ever in the Moto 360. But what’s 2014 been like from a vantage point inside Moto HQ? And what’s coming next?
To get full 2014 debrief, we’ve been speaking to Motorola’s Nick Muir, GM UK & Ireland. Do this year’s devices hint at what’s in store for 2015? Read on to find out…
2014: The year of Moto
“We’ve had a fantastic year,” Nick says. “Our expectations were high, we knew that but we made it possible working hard, staying focused on our targets and fully committed to our strategy. As a result over the course of this year we’ve grown to about seven percent share of the smartphone market. We came from zero this time a year ago, so that’s definitely a big achievement.”
Nick tells us that the company’s success is in its choice of firing out high quality devices for every pockets, needs and taste:
“It really comes down to the launch of a portfolio of products, instead of just one. We’ve launched an update on the Moto G, including a 4G variant; a new Moto X; the Moto 360 smartwatch, and some new companion products now like Hint, which are all beginning to get traction across a lot of sites. And that kind of attention really caps off our year – the awards we’ve been winning in this quarter are off the scale.”
The Moto G range, with its high end spec and low price tag, has been the star of the show in terms of gongs in 2014, but it’s not the only winner in the Motorola stable:
“We won the Best Value Phone of the Year with Trusted Reviews, and the same with Uswitch, Android Magazine and Computer Shopper, as well numerous awards for the Moto 360 from the likes of Shortlist and Stuff. The new Moto X has been declared the best Android phone ever made by Stuff magazine too, which is a big step forward for us. And across the world, the Moto G is now the best-selling smartphone across Motorola’s history, which is incredible.”
It’s the Moto 360 that’s really stolen the limelight this year, though: with its round bezel and jewel-like finish, it’s the smartwatch du jour among the tech experts:
“The 360 has been incredible for us,” says Nick. “We’ve hit design gold, and it’s got a great momentum that we’re keen to continue. It sells out wherever we launch it.”
“It’s not only the design, though, he adds, “the ease of use and functionality are also being widely praised. We’ve updated the software several times already, and it just gets better every time. For us, it’s all about making sure that the user satisfaction rating stay high not just at purchase, but for a long time after purchase, too.”
And then, right at the very end of the year, we’ve had the Nexus 6 land on the shelves at Vodafone:
“We’re delighted with the reaction to the Nexus 6,” Nick says. “When we first had conversations about introducing a 6-inch device, the marketplace seemed quite sceptical. However, extremely positive reviews and feedback have started to flood in quickly now, we are sure the product is going to be really successful. The reaction there is super strong.”
2015: Better choice, better products
So that’s Motorola’s 2014 in a nutshell. Time now, then, to peer into the crystal ball and see what’s coming in 2015 and beyond…
“Wearable tech was one of the biggest trends of 2014,” says Nick, “And the devices arriving in 2015 will only bolsters our position there. The other trend we’re going to see growing next year is customisation. Around the industry, customisation options are starting to arise, not just for mobile phones, but for other products as well, and I think it’s going to be very big part of the tech industry.
“In the first instance that’ll be hardware based. For instance, the Moto Maker Design Studio online lets people choose their own materials and colours for their handsets, allowing you to create any of over 1000 possible combinations. That’s about giving customers the power to choose. Choice is a key trend – it’s important to have meaningful choice whether you’re choosing the lower end with the Moto E, or the higher end with the Moto X or Nexus 6. We try to mirror the right elements down through the whole portfolio.”
And it’s those two trends – choice and customisation – that are Nick’s top picks for things to look out for in the Motorola portfolio over the next 12 months:
“Nexus 6 and Moto G are very different styles of phones and they cater to people with very different needs. Nexus 6 is a very high end phone which tries to push the boundaries in terms of screen size, power and software experience. Moto G is a great budget handset for those wanting to get a premium device without the premium price point. But we’re entirely committed to improving both those product lines and both those categories as well – high end and low end.
“All the segments that we’ve made inroads into in 2014 are what we’ll be pushing further into in 2015,” he says. “And that definitely includes the wearable space, too.”
More on Moto: You can read our other recent exclusive interview with Motorola, in which we uncover all the secrets of the Nexus 6, right here. What’s your favourite Motorola handset of 2014? Let us know below!