An Update on Motorola’s Fate

Moto, by Lenovo

Still catching up on notable news stories that I saved while on vacation… This post is about the future of Motorola under its new owner, Lenovo. Keep in mind that all the pieces I’ve assembled here are from a single source, albeit a fairly reliable one.

So apparently last week at the Consumer Electronics Show the following bombshell was dropped:

At CES today, Lenovo higher-ups announced that their company, which has owned Motorola since 2014, will be phasing out the brand name.

This was likely the worst possible news for Moto fans, as the products they’ve come to love over the past few years—the Moto X, Moto G and even Moto E—would be no more. On the other hand the move makes perfect sense for Moto’s new owner; I despise using this term, but at the moment Lenovo has no real “brand equity” [shudder] for their mobile products in the Americas—whereas in their home market of mainland China their phones seem to be quite popular.

Perhaps Lenovo execs took notice of the blowback to their stated plan. A post on the official Motorola blog sought to clear things up:

The idea is to create a line of high-end devices marketed as Moto alongside a line of budget devices that will wear the Vibe brand.

Ok, that’s not so bad, right? But it would still mean the death of the Moto G at the very least. Or maybe not… Here’s what someone from Moto said to The Verge:

Although we are simplifying the combined Motorola and Lenovo portfolio, we have no plans to retire Moto G, our most successful smartphone, or Moto E.

Well then, cheers all around. Except, that is, for this little tidbit from the President of Lenovo for China and the Asia-Pacific Region:

Lenovo and Moto’s UI will be merged into a brand new UI to be unveiled in 2017.

For fans of Motorola’s near-stock Android experience, this could be really bad news, as Chinese Android phones tend to be—how to put this diplomatically—heavily skinned…

Sources: Android Authority (1) (2) (3) (4)

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