2016 might well be remembered as the year when mobile users everywhere bid farewell to the iconic Motorola brand name. Going forward, it will be replaced with the “Moto by Lenovo” brand name. That is because Lenovo, the Chinese tech giant that acquired Motorola Mobility from Google about a couple of years ago, is planning to unify its two mobile divisions under the Lenovo brand name. These two phone businesses we are referring to, of course, are Motorola’s Moto brand, which mainly consists of high end mobile devices, and Lenovo’s local (Chinese made) Vibe brand, which typically offers budget friendly handsets.
Strictly speaking, the Motorola name will still be continued, specifically as the official designation of a particular division under the bigger Lenovo corporate entity, but mobile users can no longer expect to see the brand in any smartphone or device from here on. This was explained by Rick Osterloh, the chief operating officer of Motorola, who further added that the phasing out of the brand name will be done slowly, gradually shifting the focus to the Moto by Lenovo brand.
As far as mobile brands go, the Motorola brand had quite an impressive run in the wireless industry. After all, many consider Motorola as the inventor of the cell phone, and about a decade ago, the company’s Razr flip phone was a very popular choice, along with the now iconic (and nostalgia inducing) “Hello Moto” ringtone. But the last few years have seen the once formidable mobile player struggle to keep up with industry leaders such as Samsung and Apple. Back in 2012, Google had acquired Motorola’s mobile business, only to sell it to Lenovo a couple of years later.
As for Lenovo, the China based tech giant does not see this development as the death of the Motorola brand, but as a way of protecting it by making it stronger. Indeed, the iconic M logo will still be utilized in future mobile devices, but the name that people will see from now on will be the Lenovo brand. Needless to say, this will need getting used to, especially for fans of the Motorola brand.
Some industry watchers are lamenting the fact that the Motorola brand is being phased out, especially when one considers that the brand is not that weak yet. As a matter of fact, Motorola’s Moto lineup of smartphones is a hit, especially with the Android crowd. But from Lenovo’s point of view, it is a strategic move. For some people, the Lenovo brand is mainly associated with computers and laptops, not smartphones. Taking over the Motorola brand would be a wise move. But for some mobile users out there, it may feel like something has been lost forever.
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