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Motorola targets bargain hunters with sub-$600 smartphones

Motorola is ready to undercut its rivals in order to gain market share in the increasingly popular smartphone market.

AFP spoke to chief executive Dennis Woodside at CES 2014 where he stated that the Google-owned firm is pinning its hopes on satisfying consumers with an eye for a bargain in order to grow.

“Consumer tastes change, and we actually think that there's a huge undercurrent of consumers who are saying, 'I don't want to pay as much for my phone … that's actually a great opportunity," he said.

The firm has its eyes on the “next five billion consumers who can’t afford a $600 [£365] phone” according to Woodside and cites the success of the flagship Moto X smartphone and low price Moto G device as evidence of this.

"There will be different phones at different price points but we're going to be very aggressive there," Woodside said. "When we priced Moto X at $399 [£243] in the US as a promotion, we sold tens of thousands of units in a matter of eight minutes."

Analysts have speculated that the bargain pricing of its handsets is down to weak sales, however Woodside stated that the company makes a profit and that growing its device numbers was most important for the moment.

"Costs are really important in the business and we'll always be focused on costs, but right now the priority is growing the top line," he added. "This is a business where scale matters and what's been really important for us to start putting products out there that we're excited about and get consumers excited about. That's what we've done with Moto X and Moto G."

Motorola burst back onto the smartphone scene with the Moto X and Moto G devices earlier this year after Google had acquired it in August 2011 for some $12.5 billion [£7.6 billion].

At one time it was at the head of the mobile phone market but recent estimates have stated that it owns just seven per cent of the mobile market in the US and fares worse on a worldwide basis.