Moto Z2 Force sales anemic, but Motorola gains U.S. market share anyway

In the past we have seen some surprisingly anemic sales numbers for smartphones that generated a lot of buzz when launched. A recent example was the much hyped Essential phone. Another device that appears to be joining that list is the Motorola Moto Z2 Force. The latest estimates for the device indicate that less than 150,000 units have shipped including a paltry 10,000 units sold through AT&T.

In recent years Motorola relied on exclusivity with Verizon, the largest carrier in the U.S., to help drive sales. Part of that strategy was being the supplier for the Verizon-based DROID line of smartphones. Over the summer Motorola shifted to expand offerings of their top tier devices to all of the major U.S. carriers. This was allegedly backed by an unconfirmed marketing campaign estimated to cost $200 million for the Moto Z2 Force.

Thanks to a history with Verizon, it appears that carrier was responsible for about 100,000 units sold from August through the end of October. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is thought to have sold around 20,000 units and Sprint moved 15,000 units. Surprisingly though, AT&T appears to have only sold 10,000 Moto Z2 Force devices. BayStreet Research, which has been monitoring sales of the units, notes that this paltry number comes even as AT&T was offering a free Moto Insta-Share Projector module with the Moto Z2 Force. The projector itself normally retails for $300 and gives users the ability to project a 70-inch image. AT&T was trying to make the connection between this hardware and their DirecTV Now streaming service.

BayStreet indicates the disappointing numbers for the Moto Z2 Force point to the challenge of executing a successful sales campaign for a new device. They also point to how dominant Samsung and Apple have become in the U.S. market as a major hurdle for other smartphone manufacturers.

Despite the low numbers, Strategy Analytics says Motorola has increased their market share over the past year and now hold 5.2% of the U.S. market with sales of 2.1 million units during the third quarter. That was enough to push Motorola back into the top five in the U.S., a milestone it last achieved in 2015. The other four include ZTE, LG, Apple and Samsung. Motorola’s ability to hit that mark, despite the struggles of their top-tier device demonstrates why they are so committed to diversifying their portfolio across so many market segments.

source: Fierce Wireless


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.


  • Steve D

    Low sales numbers for the Z2 Force are not surprising. I had my eyes on it as my next phone but the specs underwhelmed…especially for the price point. Moto likes to point to the shatterproof screen as a key feature but most sophisticated users understood the trade off was having a screen that was easily scratched. The free projector mod would have been nice if it was HiDef…but it’s not. They also took away the headphone jack leaving support for enhanced LTE as the the only real plus. All things considered I opted for the Z2 Play Unlocked directly through Motorola instead.

    I really like the Mods concept…if Moto/Lenovo partnered with a Medical Instrument manufacturer they could produce a truly useful device that could have lasting impact. As it is there are only a few useful Mods (wireless charging and wireless charging/battery combo)….the rest are all just mediocre implementations of a good idea.