Chicago-based Motorola Mobility will absorb the mobile unit of Lenovo, the Beijing-based technology giant, with Rick Osterloh,⇒ president and COO of Motorola Mobility, leading the global smartphone business.
I’m biased, but I think this is the right move.
Lenovo has many commendable attributes: decent market share in China, well-spec’d products, timely response to select component trends, and reasonable industrial design. Lenovo has proficiency.
But Motorola has a more clear, more cohesive portfolio. It has a better product in the high mid-tier (Moto X / Style). The Motorola brand is better known, more widely, when it comes to smartphones. And it has more experience in markets beyond China. Motorola has traces of its past success, and renewed product focus.
And Motorola also has Rick Osterloh. I’ve worked with Rick; he has an excellent mix of product, technology, and operations knowledge. He’s superb at articulating the strengths and challenges in a situation, and what action to take to move forward. Plus, he’s a super nice guy. Rare.
So, net-net, folding Lenovo’s smartphone operation under Motorola – and Rick – makes sense.
Now, does this help the combined entity overcome some of its disadvantages? – low installed base, little in-house technology development, small scale, limited distribution, and limited marketing spend. – No. Motorola/Lenovo, like most Android OEMs, will still need to dig itself out of this situation.
But this operational adjustment makes it easier to maneuver and to focus the global product line, R&D, and sales and marketing.