Motorola ships 6.5 million phones in 2014 thanks to Moto G

With record sales in India and a resurgence in the UK, the wallet-friendly Motorola Moto G has helped drive Motorola to 6.5 million sales so far in 2014.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Motorola Moto G
The cheap-as-chips Motorola Moto G Sarah Tew/CNET

More people are saying "Hello, Moto." Motorola's new boss Rick Osterloh has revealed on Twitter that the troubled company "shipped 6.5 million devices globally in Q1", meaning the first three months of the year.

Motorola's lineup is headed by the Moto X , which US phone fans can personalise with the clever Moto Maker customisation service. But the company's recent increased success is largely due to the brilliant Moto G , an excellent and hugely affordable Android phone that gives you spectacular value for money.

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The Moto G boasts a 4.5-inch 720p screen, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.4 KitKat, and a 5-megapixel camera, all for just $180 in the US or £100 in the UK.

The Moto G is selling so well around the world it's been Motorola's biggest-selling product ever in India and has almost single-handedly resurrected Motorola as a player in the UK mobile market in the last six months.

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But before they start popping the champagne up at Moto Towers, the only problem with a cheap product is that even if you sell shedloads of them you're still only making a small amount of money from each one. And lo, in its most recent round of financial results, Motorola copped to increased losses despite increasing sales.

It's also worth noting that Osterloh's tweet refers to devices shipped to stores, carriers and networks, not actual sales to real people. And there's no indication of what proportion are smartphones as opposed to feature phones.

So what's next for Motorola? The Moto X is rumoured to be followed by the Moto X + 1, and the American company also plans to make a play for your wrist with the Moto 360 smartwatch, using Google's Android Wear software.

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When it comes to Motorola's future, much depends on Lenovo's plans for the brand as it moves to buy the loss-making phone-fabricator from Google for $2.9 billion.

Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion, writing off a huge loss as it offloads the company. But the Big G can comfort itself with the Motorola patents it will keep, strengthening its position in legal scraps with rivals such as Apple and Nokia. Google describes the Moto deal as " a success".