The Motorola brand name soon will be replaced with “Moto by Lenovo,” Motorola Mobility CEO Rick Osterloh said Thursday in an interview with CNET. Lenovo—the world's largest PC maker—purchased Motorola from Google in 2014.
Motorola’s name has long been a staple in the wireless industry, its history deeply rooted in the origins of cellphones as we know them. It's a somewhat sad day for those who watched as the Motorola Razr took the wireless industry by storm in the mid-2000s.
All is not lost, however, as the Motorola name will remain as a corporate division under Lenovo. In other words, instead of referring to new products as "Motorola Moto X Pure Edition," the shift in branding would translate into "Moto X Pure Edition by Lenovo." It's a subtle change, but an undoubtedly sentimental one for some.
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According to CNET, the Moto name will be reserved for high-end smartphones, with Lenovo’s Vibe smartphone line targeting the low end of the market in the sub-$100 segment.
A Motorola (msi) spokesperson told Fortune the name would still live on but the company would "really emphasize the Moto and Vibe family names" with future products.
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Lenovo (lnvgy) announced in August that Motorola was taking control of the company’s faltering mobile division amid declining sales and smartphone market share. The move made sense, given Motorola’s years of experience and expertise in the mobile industry. Lenovo posted its first quarterly loss for the first time in six years due to restructuring costs.
Osterloh told CNET he expects Moto and Vibe handsets to begin showing up in the same markets. For example, in markets where Motorola devices are currently available, the Vibe line will begin to be seen. The same can be said about markets were Vibe is currently available, and Motorola is not.
As for the Vibe line making an appearance in the U.S. market, don't expect it to happen this year.