Motorola makes an unexpected comeback in the US at LG's expense

The smartphone market has been in a state of flux in the past two years or so, and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic or the more recent component supply shortage. There's also the shift in market leaders because of the absence of certain former giants in that space. In the US, in particular, that dynamic is producing rather interesting figures, resulting in the return of Motorola and the entry of OnePlus to the country's top five thanks to LG's exit.

It was only this year that LG formally bowed out of the rat race known as the smartphone market, finally acknowledging how it has been bleeding for quarters, even years. Its absence in the global market naturally also affected the US, allowing other brands to recover or gain new ground.

According to Counterpoint Research, OnePlus finally entered a favorable spot in the country's top five with a 3% share in the third quarter of 2021. TCL and Alcatel together still occupied the fourth spot, even if its share declined from 6% to 5% compared to the same quarter last year. The most surprising winner, however, is Motorola, mostly because it is now in third place.

Motorola's name still has some weight in the US, even if its presence in the smartphone market has dwindled considerably. It hasn't stopped making phones, of course, but it has been focusing its resources more on mid-range and budget models that are more often than not sold in emerging markets. In the US, that tier has traditionally been occupied by LG, leaving it ripe for the picking.

The report names the Moto G line as the company's top-selling models, which isn't surprising since the high-end Moto G100 and Motorola Edge only launched recently. Fortunately for the company, it is reportedly less affected by the global semiconductor condition, but no one is able to escape it completely in the long run. It's perhaps too early for Motorola fans to celebrate, but getting back into the limelight in the US is no small feat.

Motorola has definitely been stepping up its efforts to shake off its predominant "mid-range" image. Although it probably still considers those its primary markets, the company has been taking steps to advertise more premium features, like its ill-named Ready For feature for large screens. This surprising rise to the country's coveted third spot isn't one that Motorola should squander, especially since many brands are only too happy to challenge it for that position.