Lenovo to phase out iconic Motorola brand name

By Shawn Knight
Jan 7, 2016
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  1. One of the most iconic and recognizable brands both in and outside of the tech world will soon disappear... at least, as it relates to mobile devices. During a recent interview at CES, Motorola COO Rick Osterloh told CNET that they'll be slowly phasing out the Motorola brand.

    Moving forward, Lenovo plans to unify its two phone businesses under the Lenovo name. Specifically, it'll reserve the Moto name for its high-end product line and its own Vibe brand for entry-level devices. The publication said the Motorola brand will live on in the corporate world as a division within Lenovo.

    Kantar WorldPanel analyst Carolina Milanesi said Lenovo doesn't have a bad brand but Motorola stands for a lot, especially in mobile. It would be a shame to move away from that, the analyst added.

    Indeed, Motorola's name is synonymous with the mobile industry. Martin Cooper, who led the company's communications systems division in the early '70s, conceived the first portable cellular phone (not to be confused with the car phone) in 1973. Cooper was given the green light to develop the device, bringing to market the DynaTAC (DYNamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) 8000x a decade later.

    By the early 2000s, Motorola's Razr series took the mobile industry to new heights but the company lost much of its momentum and marketshare by the end of the decade. Google acquired Motorola's Mobility division in 2012 for $12.5 billion before selling it to Lenovo less than two years later for just $2.91 billion.

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,298   +665

    If I could have one final device bearing the Motorola name it would be a brand new Moto Q running Android with a nice skin/launcher that had an integrated "today" screen. The original Q's almost made Windows Mobile worth using.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,526   +682

    Love my "M" phone, it beats the heck out of the iPhone and anything else out there, at a fraction of the cost!
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,114   +1,378

    Bad call, should have been the other way round. Motorola has a good mojo to it, Lenovo has none.
    agb81 and H3llion like this.
  5. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 823   +249

    Ah... let's hearken back to the "good old days"... it's sentimental crap like this that makes people forget that technology PROGRESSES.... those who don't, are left in the dust.

    Sure, go get yourself an old Motorola Razr, and fool yourself into thinking it's good enough... I'll take my iPhone 6 any day...
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,341   +1,939

    Sometimes it doesn't pay to be fussy. You take what you can get.
  7. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Addict Posts: 183   +83

    Wow, so that's why they were suddenly producing good phones. I didn't even know Motorola's mobile division was wholly owned by Lenovo.

    Incidentally, I own a K3 Note right now and it's a great phone for very little money. It's fast and light, it has an awesome display, it's not locked in any way (boot loader or otherwise) and there are tons of ROMs available for it (of which I have tested quite a few). The default Chinese ROM is a disaster, but once you get it going on a clean one, it's a whole new experience.

    Knowing how much is possible for so little has made it almost impossible for me to justify buying the expensive ones.
  8. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,248   +220

    Hello Moto.
    Hello Len... nvm >.>
    Bubbajim likes this.
  9. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 819   +385

    Someone has been smokn' something good. Cuz we're just gonna ignore the whole spyware integration into firmware that Lenovo has been SuperFishy about.
    I hear Lenovo and I'm thinking to myself "ok, that's the one to stay away from".
  10. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 201   +100

    Was thinking of buying motorola phone next but finding out it's actually lenovo changed my mind. Don't want their spying software on my phone. Lenovo to me means cheap crappy tech for super cheap prices in exchange for all your personal data.

    Damn just as I had to skip buying razer mouse after heard razer and lenovo were working together.
  11. General Sam

    General Sam TS Enthusiast Posts: 55   +12

    I agree I think they're getting rid of the wrong name. Lenovo doesn't have a good vibe with it in my eyes, I'll never purchase their products from what I've seen when selling them, but my last phone was a Motorola Nexus 6. The name for me has been around since childhood.
  12. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Addict Posts: 294   +58

    Good thing I stopped waiting for a Droid 5.

    Thanks Google for doing absolutely nothing for Motorola.
  13. robb213

    robb213 TS Addict Posts: 309   +92

    Exactly what I was going to say. Especially after Lenovo pulled the SuperFish conundrum, that's what people think of when they hear the name. Motorola, while it's had rough times too, doesn't have any nowhere as bad recognitions with the brand.
  14. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 253   +86

    Isn't the real reason Google bought the mobile division of Motorola because of the patent portfolio? I could have sworn I read that when they sold the piece of Motorola to Lenovo, that didn't include the patent portfolio. So Google gutted the company, and sold the scraps to Lenovo, which in turn didn't do anything with it. One wonders why Lenovo bought the scraps??
  15. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 862   +353

    Not as much of a problem in china, far east but BIG for any potential customer in the USA.
    The motorola name was around WAY longer than the mobile phone. I remember talking on
    motorola VHF radios long before the cell phone came around. Also, people were familiar with
    the moto name, associated with the motorola brick, the star tac, micro tac, razr etc.
    Lenovo, if they want a presence in the USA, just dug itself a hole, but, it's hard to break into
    the USA market anyway. With 20+ years of the stupid 2 year contracts FINALLY going away,
    you still have people conditioned into thinking if you want a phone, you HAVE to purchase it
    from a carrier, and we all know when you walk into a carrier store, it's like walking into an Apple
    or Samsung store.

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