Before you start hyperventilating and breaking down, no, Lenovo isn’t killing Motorola, the company. It is, however, practically putting an end to an iconic name that has spanned decades. The Chinese manufacturer will be retiring the “Motorola” brand in favor of the shorter “Moto” to slap on its high end smartphones. That said, the Motorola name itself will live on but only in corporate talk and documents. Nothing consumers will regularly see. At the end of the day, all of Lenovo’s smartphones will soon be under one, single, unified brand: Lenovo.
It isn’t really that extraordinary that acquiring companies phase out the acquired eventually, but it’s still a sad day in the history of mobile telephony. Motorola is credited to have been one of if not the pioneer of mobile phones and its name, through thick or thin, has been associated with cellphones ever since.
It hasn’t been a smooth ride for the company of course, and it was in danger of losing ground. It did experience a rebirth in the hands of Google in 2012 when it launched the Moto X to much acclaim. Thus it came as a surprise when the search giant sold off Motorola Mobility to Lenovo two years later.
Lenovo says that it treasures the Motorola brand and wants to protect it. And by that it means stripping its phones off the complete Motorola name and simply using “Moto” instead. In fact, while future Moto (not Motorola) smartphones will still prominently feature the “M” logo, expect to also prominently see Lenovo’s own logo stamped there as well.
That said, Motorola (the acquired company) will play a significant role in Lenovo’s mobile future. Lenovo will be handing over control of its smartphone design to more seasoned hands. Lenovo’s strategy would be to put out Moto smartphones for the high end market while Vibe will be used for everything else, putting into question the fates of popular budget smartphones like the Moto G and Moto E. We’ll know the answers perhaps when the Lenovo Moto X 2016 (or 2017) is unveiled.