January 12, 2016
During CES in Las Vegas, Motorola Mobility chief operating officer Rick Osterloh suggested that Lenovo has plans to phase out the Motorola brand. In the wake of news media and analyst confusion resulting from Osterloh’s comments, the company issued a statement to provide clarification, noting that the Motorola name or organization is not being dismantled, but is instead looking to “evolve” under parent company Lenovo. As part of that initiative, the company is looking to “streamline” its products under two brands — Moto and Vibe. Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014.
According to Digital Trends, “The pioneering telecommunications corporation says that Motorola Mobility itself remains the engineering and design wing for all the of Lenovo’s Mobile Business Group (MBG) smartphones and wearables. The subsidiary does not plan to lose its ‘engineering heritage.’”
“Now, as we have to think more holistically about our entire smartphone portfolio,” the statement explains, “we’ve made the decision to focus our marketing efforts on ‘Moto’ and ‘Vibe’ as our hero smartphone product brands globally.”
“At the same time we are not abandoning the iconic Motorola brand. Although it will not be the focus of our marketing, it will continue to be used on packaging and elsewhere, so as to ensure that the rich history and association is never lost. The legacy and the goodwill associated with the Motorola brand will also live on through our licensees.”
“All in all, it should be business as usual for Motorola,” suggests SlashGear. “The subsidiary will still be called Motorola but its devices will just be called ‘Moto,’ which sounds less redundant than Motorola Moto.”
Meanwhile, the Moto by Lenovo brand is expected to emphasize high-end smartphones. According to Chen Xudong, Lenovo’s head of mobile, fingerprint scanners will be added to the company’s flagship handsets this year. The Moto G and Moto E models will be discontinued, and all future phones will have displays larger than 5-inches.