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Is a varied new family of Moto models exactly what Motorola needs?

By Jules Wang July 16, 2015, 12:10 pm

And “tweak, tweak, tweak” go the little mouses at Motorola. Skeumorphs, component and material orders, machine settings, marketing plans, Motorola.

We are expecting a bevy of new devices from the Lenovo subsidiary including updates to its flagship Moto X series and the affordable Moto G and Moto E lineups. Another two phones have shown up as slight tweaks of the aforementioned: the Moto X Sport and the Moto G Nuevo.

Keeping in mind that Motorola has also has another Verizon-incentivized Droid phone on the way. The company might be able to rebadge it as an international powerhouse as it has just last year. And while the Nexus 6 (mis)adventure was just that, we can’t completely knock it off the counter when we’re talking about the stratification of Motorola’s smartphone releases of recent.

Motorola, one of the latest OEMs to widen its net in hopes to catch more consumers. Of course, we know that this dog and pony show has been done before. It’s part of the reason why Samsung’s on top of the Android world and HTC’s at wit’s end.

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Divide and conquer

Being first has its perks. Especially when you can claim that you have right phone for everyone.

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Year-to-date, Samsung has piled on 21 separate models upon the market. Those 21 include the Galaxy S6 Edge, the Galaxy A7 in January, the Galaxy A8 this month and the Galaxy Grand Neo Plus. You want to know how many Android smartphones Samsung released five years ago, when it introduced the Samsung Galaxy S series? Seven. And there was one Windows Phone 7 device, too.

Samsung had a lot working for it when it proliferated its modern smartphone lineup. It had ambition to hit all the price targets from high to low from the Galaxy 550 to the Galaxy S. It had the partnerships with postpaid and prepaid carriers. The latter had a great part in Samsung’s sales as the recovery from the Great Recession was struggling to clasp on. And it had the scale to keep the factories churning this set of models tomorrow and the next set on Tuesday.

The Korean OEM has been able to build upon its initial success and diversify from there.

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Desperation

It’s the HTC One. Not the one and only, though.

HTC Desire 626 hands-on

Before it introduced the One series, HTC found itself in a period producing different phones for different carriers while not really owning its own work. 2011 saw the Sprint-exclusive EVO lineup, the Vivid on AT&T, the Droid Incredible 2 on Verizon (and the *new* 4G LTE network!), and the Amaze 4G on T-Mobile. HTC also decided to build an obscure budget series based on its Desire phone.

HTC hit 2012 with One … line of three smartphones. And one more EVO flagship for Sprint, for some reason. The HTC One M7 was accompanied by two size variations, the One M8 with one size variation and a material variation. The Desire series split into different lanes last year with a couple of souped up mid-rangers while retaining low-end ones. And the formula worked for a little bit.

This year, the flagship One M9 has remained the flagship in most regions. Some others are getting amped-up versions of the M9, but everything else the company does tails back on the what it has marketed as its biggest deal of the year. And this year, in the face of what Samsung’s done with the Galaxy S6, it wasn’t the biggest deal of the year for smartphone buyers.

The company’s quick pulse on consolidating its cache might not have too much to do with its very recent financial state, but the hesitation, trouble and confusion on what HTC should do with its smartphone release schedule going forward certainly isn’t going to help it dig itself out of this hole.

So what?

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Will the continual branching off of the Moto series all pay off for Motorola? Depends on how you view the strategies of HTC and Samsung. It seems all bets are off on July 28. You can place those bets down in the comments below.

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