Motorola on the offensive with New Year relaunch

US mobile phone giant Motorola is to undergo a major UK push in the New Year as part of an international rebrand, with a flurry of new launches supported by a significant marketing offensive.

Motorola: 2010 Defy campaign
Motorola: 2010 Defy campaign

The activity will be initially centred around the splitting of Motorola into two separate companies on 4 January.

The mobile phone business is to be called Motorola Mobility Holdings while a second company, to be called Motorola Solutions, will carry the remainder of the business.

The UK marketing push will coincide with the rebranding of Motorola Mobility, which is expected to retain the familiar Motorola M logo, in red, and give the company an opportunity to push its Defy handset as it looks to pinch market share from rivals like Nokia.

The company recently launched its first TV ad of the year, supporting the new phone, which is positioned as a rugged phone for hectic lifestyles, and is now expected to follow it up with further marketing support in 2011.

As part of its assault on the UK market, it is expected to market a new tablet as it takes on Apple's iPad, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Blackberry's proposed Playbook.

Motorola developed the first commercial mobile phone in 1983, and rose to be the world's biggest-selling mobile phone manufacturer.

But it lost market share to Nokia and other European brands in subsequent years.

The introduction of the Razr in 2004 turned the company around. It went on to sell some 110 million Razr phones and increased its market share again to move up to second place behind Nokia.

Subsequently, the brand has lost market share again, this time losing out to smartphones from Apple, Samsung, LG and HTC.

It is expected to follow the Defy with a series of new launches as it bids to become a major player in the smartphone market, concentrating solely on the Google Android operating system.

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