Motorola’s next mid-range phone Moto G 3rd generation will be launched by Flipkart in India by the end of this month or in the first week of July, according to industry sources.
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The pricing of the G3 will be in the Rs 14,000 range, according to a source.
No information, however, could be gathered about the specifications of the upcoming Moto G 3, but two features are considered nearly certain – 4G LTE and a full-HD display.
The current Moto G 2, which was launched in September last year, was priced at Rs 12,999 and has 16 GB of inbuilt memory. It is not clear whether the minimum memory will be increased to 32 GB in the 3rd Generation, and most sources called that unlikely.
Moto G is the mid-ranking of the three core offerings from Motorola (now a part of Lenovo) in India. The Moto E, priced in the Rs 7,000 range, caters to the entry level, while the Moto X caters to the high-end crowd.
Moto G is supposed to be the perfect mix of affordability and features.
The Moto G has largely lived up to that expectation, especially in the early stages of the phone’s life. The current Moto G 2, for example, was considered value for money when it was launched about ten months ago.
However, subsequent launches of the Lenovo A6000 Plus, Lenovo A7000 and RedMi 2 have taken the sheen off the ‘G’ over the last five months.
These models have brought what were considered mid-range attributes — 4G LTE and HD displays — to the entry level market, disrupting the positioning of the Moto G.
However, the 3rd Generation of the phone will address those issues and will be very similar to recently launched Xiaomi Mi 4i and Asus Zenfone 2, both of which come with 4G LTE and full HD displays, while costing in the Rs 13,000 to 15,000 range.
Update: Since this story was published, a video claiming to be that of a prototype of this phone has been leaked online.
The most popular Rs 14,999 model of Asus Zenfone 2 has seen extreme demand and is currently out of stock on Flipkart, the authorized seller. Even the Mi 4i has seen brisk offtake, and is also not available for ready purchase from Flipkart.
In addition, the biggest player in the entry-level 4G market in India – Lenovo – is unlikely to spoil Motorola’s party in the mid-range in the same way it disrupted its entry-level market as Motorola is now integrated with Lenovo. Earlier, both were operating as independent businesses though Lenovo had started the acquisition process.
As a result, the Moto G 3rd Generation will see huge demand if the company manages to actually put the phones up for sale within the next 3-4 weeks as suggested. Otherwise, competition would carve out the market before Moto has a chance to say ‘me too!’
For example, China-based Phicomm will launch its 5-inch, full-HD, LTE-enabled Passion P660 next week at a price of just 10,999 on Amazon, taking on the 5.5-inch Meizu M1 Note, priced at Rs 11,999.
Meanwhile, ZTE Corp, which has been largely absent in the slugfest that is the mass-market smartphone market of India, has made a splash by launching India’s cheapest 4G smartphone – the ZTE Blade Qlux, at a price of just Rs 4,999. That is a full Rs 2,000 less than the price of the Yu Yuphoria, arguably the best value-for-money, entry-level 4G smartphone in India.
In other words, if Moto delays the launch of its Moto G for long, it may find itself too late to the mid-range party, which Xiaomi and Asus have already started.
Besides, Micromax’s 4G-enabled Canvas Knight 2 has become available in the market at a price of Rs 16,000, and could be priced around Rs 14,000 by the time the new Moto G launches.
Micromax Yu and Huawei are also expected to launch their own full-HD, 4G-enabled handsets in the Rs 14,000 range in July.