Lenovo's Motorola Mobility brand introduced a trio of new smartphones, including two intended for the U.S. market, and the company is embracing the direct-to-consumer route. Motorola is hoping its brand cachet and lower prices compared to flagship phones from Apple and Samsung Electronics that will give it a leg up over other OEMs that are also selling phones directly to consumers.
CTIA said that a group of wireless carriers and smartphone makers had implemented a set of voluntary principles aimed at stopping smartphone theft. The announcement came just as a California law requiring smartphones sold in the state to have a "kill switch" went into effect.
Lenovo's mobile chief is stepping down from his role amid a slowdown in the Chinese smartphone market and a push from Lenovo to expand its online sales presence.
In reporting its most recent financial results, Lenovo said it will need to rework its smartphone strategy in its native China amid a slowing and saturating market there, but pointed to stronger sales through its Motorola Mobility brand.
Motorola Mobility President Rick Osterloh blasted Apple's prices as "outrageous" and said that Motorola and Apple have different design philosophies and strategies. The comments appear to be a slap back against Apple executive Jony Ive, who appears to have issued veiled insults against Motorola in a recent magazine article.
Lenovo reported stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings and said that its Motorola Mobility unit is performing well. The company said it could grow its smartphone business to 30 percent of its total revenues.
Samsung Electronics lost its crown as the world's sole top smartphone vendor to Apple in the fourth quarter for the first time in three years, according to analysts, following Apple's record iPhone sales and another drop in sales and earnings for Samsung's mobile division.
Apple likely sold more iPhone units in China in its most recent quarter than it did in the United States, according to a Financial Times report. If the report proves accurate, this would be the first time iPhone sales in China have outpaced those in the U.S. market.
Lenovo's Motorola Mobility brand is coming back to China, as promised. The company said it will start selling LTE versions of the second-generation Moto X and second-generation Moto G, as well as a new phone called the Moto X Pro.
Lenovo, which recently assumed the mantle of No. 3 global smartphone maker with the closing of its $2.91 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, nevertheless saw its mobile revenue slip in the third quarter. Further, CEO Yang Yuanqing warned of the end of "hypergrowth" in the Chinese smartphone market.