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Lenovo's Motorola is all talk, no mobile market bite

Motorola is getting lots of attention from the media. With smartphones as good as Moto G and Moto X, it's easy to understand why. Because of this, you might think that Motorola is selling lots of devices. After all, if it's so popular then that's a given, right? Well, that's not the case, at least not yet.

In reality, Motorola claims more mindshare than market share. According to parent company Lenovo, the long-lasting smartphone vendor only shipped a tad over 10 million units in the last quarter of 2014. That puts it on the same level as Microsoft, which, Strategy Analytics says (opens in new tab), is only at three percent market share. Motorola is far, far away from leading players in this regard.

10 million smartphones is not a lot, compared to how many units leading players are shipping. Apple and Samsung each shipped 74.5 million units in the same period of last year. Even Lenovo, taken without Motorola, shipped more smartphones -- based on Strategy Analytics' numbers, that would be roughly 14.7 million units.

But, there's a long-term value proposition with Motorola. Lenovo says that its shipments more than doubled year-over-year (118 per cent increase, to be exact), which is impressive if we consider that the average market growth is 29.6 per cent. Motorola is poised to claim a bigger piece of the pie, there's no question about it.

The growth potential is just as important as the revenue Motorola is able to generate for Lenovo. In Q4 2014, it was $1.9 billion (£1.25bn). Not too shabby, as Motorola has long been in the red, financially speaking. In case you are wondering, it will take some time before Lenovo breaks even. The Chinese player paid $2.91 billion (£1.9bn) to Google early last year to snatch up Motorola.

But, no matter how long it'll take to get there, Lenovo will still be winning. Motorola is well known in western markets, selling phones for decades now. There Lenovo is associated almost exclusively with Windows PCs and laptops. But, as Motorola gains more traction, basically so will Lenovo.