Motorola Emerges as US’ #3 Smartphone OEM in 2021 for First Time

  • This is the first time ever that Motorola has become the #3 OEM in the US for a full year.
  • Motorola has been one of the biggest gainers from LG’s decline, consistently holding the #3 position since April 2021.

Boston, Denver, Seoul, Taipei, Beijing, London, Toronto, New Delhi, Hong Kong – March 28, 2022

Motorola emerged as the third-largest smartphone brand in the US in 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Pulse Service. In 2008, when feature phones were dominant, Motorola was the largest handset (smartphones and feature phones combined) OEM in the US. However, within the smartphone segment, this is the first time ever that Motorola has entered the top three in the US market for a full year.

Motorola’s sales more than doubled in 2021, growing 131% YoY. While Apple and Samsung dominate the premium price bands, Motorola rose through the ranks to become the #2 smartphone player in the $400 and below price segment in the US.

USA Smartphone Sell-through Share by Brand

Counterpoint Research USA Smartphone Sell-through Share by Brand: Motorola #3

Commenting on the market dynamics that led to Motorola attaining the #3 spot, Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “A common question is how Motorola has grown to over 10% of the US market. Motorola has been a key OEM filling the void left by LG’s exit. The OEM has all the key characteristics major carriers look for – a full portfolio, ability to ramp volumes, and low return rates. Motorola’s sub-$300 portfolio – Moto G Stylus, Moto G Power and Moto G Pure – has driven its success in the US. Thanks to its reliability, Motorola has been a key free ‘switch’ device, a device carriers use to move subscribers from networks that are being shut off or as a device MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) use when changing network partners.”

Commenting on the channel dynamics, Senior Analyst Varun Mishra said, “Motorola has grown its market share in the large US prepaid channels (Verizon Prepaid, Metro by T-Mobile, Cricket and Boost) to 28%. Our Consumer Lens research shows Motorola remains a very trusted and known brand. Prepaid consumer studies have shown users look for value, dependability and long battery life. Motorola scores well on these criteria.”

According to the Counterpoint Channel Share Tracker database, Motorola has maintained its momentum in Q1 2022. Mishra said, “Motorola has had a very strong tax season (February-March) in the US market. The brand’s goal for 2022 and 2023 is to grow its volumes in higher price tiers. This will be challenging with the stranglehold Apple and Samsung have on the US market. However, Motorola was very early in releasing 5G and foldable devices. It will attempt to benefit from the US subscriber base transition to 5G as well as the growth of foldables in lower price tiers.”

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Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Tarun Pathak


Varun Mishra


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