The resurrection of Moto: Why it might be successful in PH this time

In Business, Phones by Alora Uy GuerreroLeave a Comment

WATCHING the re-entry of Moto to the Philippine market is like witnessing the resurrection of a dearly departed — twice. Motorola Philippines, which had been in the country since 1979, ceased operations in 2009. It returned in July 2015 as a company now owned by Lenovo, but went silent early this year. This week saw its comeback, and Moto might just make it this time around.

Look at its #MotoIsBack event. There are clues there as to how serious the company is about the Philippines.

Sign No. 1: Moto introduced as its endorsers showbiz couple James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Until recently, the two, known as JaDine, were prized ambassadors of Philippine-based Cherry Mobile, which also happens to be the top smartphone vendor in the country. We’re guessing Moto paid about P7 million for each artist for a one-and-a-half-year contract. Even if we’re off by a million or two, you know that’s still not cheap. You won’t spend that much if you’re not setting your bar high.

Sign No. 2: The Moto devices launched here are new. Last year, two of the smartphones released in the Philippines in the third quarter — the second-generation Moto X and G — were part of Motorola Mobility’s 2014 product lineup. Only the Moto E was relatively new, having been launched globally in February 2015.

The Moto devices launched here are new. Last year, two of the three phones released in the Philippines in the third quarter — the second-gen Moto X and G — were part of Motorola’s 2014 product lineup.

This year, we have the following:

  • Moto Z and Z Play modular, flagship phones. The more premium of the two handsets, the Moto Z, retails at P33,999. It’s unbelievably thin at only 5.2mm; it’s powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820; and it comes bundled with a Moto Style Shell. (Click for the Moto Z’s complete specs.) The Moto Z Play is the cheaper of the two, costing P22,999. Of course, you get lower specs — Snapdragon 625 instead of 820, a full-HD screen instead of a quad-HD display, and 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB. However, Motorola says it’s the company’s longest-lasting smartphone ever; you supposedly get up to 45 hours of battery life. (Click for the Moto Z Play’s specs.)
  • Moto Mods. The modules that you can attach to the Moto Z and Z Play through a magnetic connector are here as well. The JBL SoundBoost Speaker is priced at P5,499, the Moto Insta-Share Projector at P14,999, the Hasselblad True Zoom at P14,999, the Incipio OffGrid Power Pack at P4,999, the leather Moto Style Shell at P999, and the Crimson Nylon and Herringbone Nylon variants of the shell at P699 each.
  • Moto G4 Plus, G4 Play, and G Turbo Edition midrange phones. The G4 Plus, retailing at P13,999, is a 5.5-incher that features a Snapdragon 617 chipset with Adreno 405 GPU and a 16-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus. (Click for the Moto G4 Plus’ full specs.) The other two are exclusive to telcos. The 5-inch, Snapdragon-powered G4 Play is free under Smart Communication’s Surf Plus Plan 999, where you get 5GB data-volume allowance, 30 minutes of calls and 100 text messages to all networks, a value-added service that you can interchange monthly, and a month of Smart Gadget Shield. (Click for the Moto G4 Play’s complete specs.) The 5-inch, Snapdragon 615-powered, IP67-rated G Turbo Edition, the only one running Android Lollipop among the three, can be had for free under Globe Telecom’s MyLifestyle Plan 799. It’s bundled with unlimited calls and texts to Globe and TM subscribers; a month’s choice of Navigation, Explore, or Fitness pack; 30 days of Gadget Care; and 1GB Globe Cloud storage for 24 months. (Click for the Moto G Turbo Edition’s specs.)
  • Moto E3 Power entry-level phone. This is the cheapest among all the handsets Motorola Philippines has introduced, priced at just P6,999. In the spotlight is its 3500mAh battery, which should be able to let you use the E3 Power one day worry-free. Charge it for only 15 minutes, and you get up to six hours of power. (Click for the Moto E3 Power’s full specs.)

Z Play (1) via Digital Trends, G4 Plus (3) via Droid Life, G4 Play (4) via Digital Trends, G Turbo Edition (5) via Stuff, E3 Power (6) via NeuroGadget

What’s great about all these smartphones are Motorola’s planned Android updates for them at any time this quarter. They will be available at MemoXpress stores nationwide and at Silicon Valley’s SM North EDSA, SM Mall of Asia, and SM Megamall branches. Soon, you’ll be able to buy a Moto from Lazada Philippines.

Sign No. 3. We’ve mentioned this earlier: Our telcos have finally partnered with Moto. This is important because while carriers usually ask for huge discounts from manufacturers, they buy in bulk — and the marketing campaigns Smart and Globe implement are valuable when you need to reach more people. What’s more, carrier subsidies can make the products more palatable to consumers.

It seems that Motorola Philippines is on the right path so far. Let’s hope it maximizes James and Nadine for its campaigns, releases devices here on time, and strengthens its partnership with dealers and telcos, and there’s a huge chance it might just succeed this time around.

Main image by AndroidPit

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Alora Uy Guerrero

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Editor-in-chief: Alora Uy Guerrero has 22 years of experience as an editor for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. She took time off journalism to manage OPPO’s digital-marketing campaigns. When not busy with her babies, she’s working on Revü, a passion project — or probably traveling or obsessing over her favorite bands, movies, TV shows, and basketball teams.