Why Is Lenovo Killing The Iconic Motorola Brand That Invented Cell Phone?

Images | Motorola

Short Bytes: At CES 2016, Lenovo revealed that it’s slowly phasing out the Motorola brand name to unify its smartphone business under a single Lenovo-umbrella. While the Motorola brand will continue to exist inside Lenovo, you won’t be seeing it in outside world.

About 32 years ago, Motorola launched DynaTAC 8000X, the first handheld cellphone. This iconic brand gave a kickstart to the wireless mobility. Well, the year 2016 will be remembered as the year when Motorola name was wiped off the smartphones.

Lenovo, which bought Motorola from Google in 2014 for $3 billion, is now slowly “phasing” the Motorola brand name. While, the future high-end smartphones by Lenovo will now carry “Moto by Lenovo” brand name, the budget smartphones will be sold under Lenovo’s Vibe branding.

“We’ll slowly phase out Motorola and focus on Moto,” said Motorola COO Rick Osterloh, talking to CNET at CES 2016. This news has come as a shock for the die-hard Motorola fans who have been around since the company that invented mobile phones released the ultrathin Razr flip phone. This phone also brought along the catchy Hello Moto ringtone.

Why Is Lenovo Killing The Iconic Motorola Brand?

When Lenovo bought Motorola in 2014, it revealed that protecting and growing Motorola brand will be Lenovo’s priority. Well, it looks like the priorities change with time.

While Lenovo has declared that it’s working to unify its phone business, the definition of the ‘high-end’ and ‘budget’ devices remains unclear. Will Moto X range devices pledge allegiance to high-end ‘Moto by Lenovo’ brand? Will the highly successful budget phones like Moto G and Moto E be rebranded under the Vibe brand?

Right now Lenovo’s Vibe devices are retailing for $100 or less, so things could be a bit different for Moto G.

Notably, the Motorola brand will continue to exist inside Lenovo — you won’t be seeing it in the outside. It’s pure business — a step by Lenovo to push its own brand.

After all this fuss, here’s the official statement from Motorola on this much-discussed rebranding:

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.

Are you sad? It’s OK. Everyone leaves!

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Adarsh Verma

Adarsh Verma

Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]
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