A fateful day has arrived in mobile history, because Lenovo has announced that it will be will be phasing out the Motorola brand name later this year. Lenovo purchased Motorola Mobility for nearly $3 billion in 2014, but has continued to let the company function much the same under the new ownership. But as 2016 goes on, Lenovo will begin to drop the Motorola name from new devices.
Rather than using the Motorola name, the Lenovo and Motorola brands will be unified under the Lenovo name. Phones that come from the Motorola branch of the company will now be a part of the Moto line, as using the name that has garnered a strong reputation among enthusiasts. Thus, a new phone in 2016 would theoretically be named the Lenovo Moto X. The new Moto line will sit alongside of Lenovo’s existing Vibe line, which is currently not offered in the US.
Edit: Motorola has now issued an official statement regarding the change. See below:
Motorola Mobility continues to exist as a Lenovo company and is the engineering and design engine for all of our mobile products. However, for our product branding we will utilize a dual brand strategy across smartphone and wearables going forward using Moto and Vibe globally. Motorola hasn't been used on our products since the launch of the original Moto X in 2013.Motorola
The Motorola name won’t be completely forgotten, though, as there will still be a Motorola corporate division within Lenovo. But the name switch for devices allows Lenovo to expand its own brand in the US and other countries where Motorola has historically had a stronger foothold. Lenovo has also said that it will retain the iconic “M” logo for use on devices in the Moto line, though said devices will also feature the Lenovo logo.
Motorola is a brand that’s garnered a tremendous reputation in the mobile industry. It’s known for being one of the first mobile phone companies, particularly famous for the wildly popular Motorola Razr, which revolutionized the cell phone market in the mid-2000s. The name dropping from future products has great significance, especially in light of Motorola’s drop in prominence in the smartphone market. While the company’s devices are highly respected, the brand has been overshadowed by giants like Samsung and Apple.
Lenovo’s push to unify the brands is smart, as the company simply doesn’t carry a reputation for mobile products in the US. Utilizing the Moto line will help to change that and pave the way for Lenovo to introduce its own lines into the US. Motorola COO Rick Osterloh stated that Lenovo has plans to bring its Vibe line to the US, though the introduction likely won’t take place until 2017, allowing the company time to establish a name with the Moto line. The Vibe line focuses on unique devices as well as several extreme budget devices.
Say goodbye to Motorola. Say hello to Lenovo.