Bye, Bye Moto(rola)! Motorola Is Going to Be Phased Out
Over the last couple of years, Motorola has released a few really nice devices. They have been reasonably developer-friendly and updated with the latest incarnations of Android swiftly.According to Motorola Chief Operating Officer Rick Osterloh, the Motorola name will fade from phones within the next few months. Lenovo, which is the owner of Motorola Mobility, will still use the Moto brand for its high-end phones and homegrown Vibe for cheaper headsets.
Motorola was one of the most important brands in cellular telephones’ history. In the 90’s and 00’s, Motorola phones were used by millions. We have to mention the Razr series and the DynaTAC, which was one of the first true mobile devices. The beginning of the smartphone era was hard for Motorola. As a result of a poorer financial condition, Motorola was sold to Google in 2012 and to Lenovo almost two years later. During that period, phones like the Moto X and Moto G were released. Despite overall greatness, Motorola devices fell short in rivalry with Apple and Samsung.
Prior to Google’s transaction, Motorola sold its devices with locked bootloaders, which made them less popular among XDA members. The situation changed completely with the first generation of the Moto X and Moto G. These two devices were quite cheap and sported some vastly improved hardware. Google made them closer to Nexus devices. It’s worth mentioning that these phones are still supported by Motorola. After the acquisition, Lenovo’s initial plan was to protect the Motorola brand and making it stronger. Obviously, the Chinese tech giant must have changed its mind. It’s likely that this move was monetary, as Motorola hasn’t made much of a profit for a quite a long time. Lenovo, however, is a leader in the PC market. We can’t say the same about its smartphone department. The Vibe series isn’t as popular as Lenovo wants it to be.
The Moto series will be sold under the Lenovo name from now on, but it will retain its famous batwing M on the back cover. It’s unclear whether the Moto brand will use an AOSP-like version of Android. We didn’t learn much about it from Osterloh’s CES interview. Motorola will soon take over all of the mobile operations at Lenovo. We should expect cheap Vibe phones to hit the US market however not until next year.
UPDATE: DroidLife has received an official statement from Motorola.
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.
The change, as we understand, will affect only the branding of the devices, with the engineering of the devices still under the responsibility of Motorola.
Will you miss the Motorola brand? Leave a comment below!