Motorola explains Lenovo’s rebranding plan

by: John DyeJanuary 8, 2016


The announcement yesterday that Lenovo would be phasing out the Motorola name turned quite a few heads in the mobile industry. Some users were confused about what this meant for the future of Motorola and the Moto line. Today, on their official blog, Motorola posted a lengthier explanation of Lenovo’s actions and ensured audiences that the two corporate entities were working together in this endeavor.

The primary thing the company wants to convey is that Motorola Mobility is here to stay as a central part of Lenovo’s corporate architecture. The team, though a wholly owned subsidiary of Lenovo, still has the same people designing and manufacturing devices. The idea is not to get rid of the company as a design entity, but rather to simplify branding of Lenovo products. In a sense, the distinction between Motorola and Moto has become rather meaningless, so while the team looks like it will still internally be referred to as Motorola Mobility, the full name will begin to vanish from devices.

motorola-logo-mwc-2015-1See also: Motorola is going away, says Lenovo100

The ‘batwing’ logo that used to represent the company as a whole will remain as it transitions into representing the Moto line, which will continue production alongside Lenovo’s own brand of Vibe. The idea is to create a line of high-end devices developed by the subsidiary team and marketed as Moto alongside a line of budget devices that will wear the Vibe brand.

This post is ensuring fans that this rebranding is a change in marketing, not a change in product development or design. Prior to being purchased by Google in 2012 and subsequently Lenovo in 2014, Motorola was one of the largest names in the mobile industry, especially through the mid-2000’s. Lenovo, although a large name in the computer industry, is not as recognizable in the mobile field and is seeking to parlay Moto’s brand recognition into better sales for their products across the board.

What are your thoughts of this explanation of how these things are shaking out? Let us know in the comments below!

Next:  Best Android phones (January 2016)

  • Juan A C

    Wow I hope they don’t ruin the great thing Motorola has going on. Best price/quality ratio in the market

    • Ridge

      Agreed, although Huawei is definitely making a splash this year in North America.

      I’d still rather a Motorola device, but get rid of the IPS displays!! What’s the point of moto display if the whole screen lights up?

      • Chris

        They won’t get as big. Not if you can’t even pronounce the damn name correctly

      • Avieshek Rajkhowa

        Check QiKu – Q Terra

      • Marty

        Agreed. One of the more severe changes made to the Motorola brand after Lenovo stepped in…going from superior OLED tech to LCD tech. Not to mention the poorer build quality.

    • moew

      Remember when IBM had the best laptops in the industry? Then they sold out to Lenovo, nobody buys Lenovo anymore. /history

      • Mr.Flying Zoom3rz must be a 100% troll! Nobody? Proof? Lenovo’s laptops are one of the best out there. I’ll guess some people reject Lenovo notebooks because of the Superfish scandal, but that’s all.

        • moew

          You are 100% troll and internets noob. Nobody buys lenovo anymore. I’ll bet you work there, based on the response. F U Lenovo, just like in the context of Motorola.

          • Mr.Flying Zoom3rz

            Why so harsh dude? I’m not working for Lenovo and I’m not a noob man. Anyway…May be in the US nobody buys Lenovo notebooks anymore, but US is not the whole world, but just a part of it.

        • Steve Pruyn

          Right. Lenovo has done a nice job carrying on the IBM laptop tradition and that give me hope for Motorola also. So many companies buy other companies and forget what the company they are buying did best that made them so desirable in the first place. Watch for Lenovo to push Samsung LG and Sony to the limit soon in the US market. The best part is us Androids users are the big winners.

      • Stang88

        Guess then NOBODY is buying ANY desktops or laptops. Lenovo has been among the top 3 sellers of both for the last several years. They still are regarded as among the best, hence their sales performance. Guess you need to bone up on your /history.

  • Phillip Morales

    It is stupid.

  • Mickey Jones

    Run it as a separate entity. Keep Lenovo’s hands and name off the phones and leave the Motorola brand alone if you want to sell phones.

  • aa

    Lenovo branding should be phased out instead, since motorola is more known in mobile industry compared to lenovo. I really hate to see Chinese manufacturers buying these reputable brands/companies such as IBM’s thinkpad, motorola and even alcatel that already owned or subsidized by tcl and many more outside electronics and mobile industry. products feels cheap whenever bought by china-based manufacturers because Chinese people always fools.

    • Chris

      Surprised softbank hasn’t renamed sprint yet….

      • not a fan

        softbank in japanese

      • Karly Johnston

        Sprint to Splint, you know you aren’t going anywhere fast.

    • Mario Manlupig

      then you go buy it yourself.

    • Jacky

      I agree, the Lenovo branding should be phased out instead!!

    • Happy

      Oh, wow, here comes the racist. Have you checked what is the workforce of Google – what percentage of the employees are Asian (from Asian descent) and what percentage of these are from Chinese descent? Also Chinese equipment is powering the vast majority of mobile networks around the World, so if your gadget has a bitten fruit on it, it doesn’t mean that you are not using Chinese equipment all day long. And mind you – i am in no way in love with the Chinese, but I wouldn’t dismiss them or their capabilities and achievements.

      • osm

        Not only him.

        Reading through the comments on the earlier rebranding article on this site, I was really surprised to see how xenophobic a lot of Android Authority readers are.

        • Andy

          What did you expect from a bunch of Android fanboys? You have to remember that most of this audience are 16-21 kids bragging about having the best smartphone with the highest number of cores.

          And yes, surprisingly xenophobic, taken that probably about 80% of their/our devices are manufactured in China, by the Chinese, from Chinese components. But am I surprised to see this coming from the people described above? No, not really. Android communities are the Linux community counterpart: arrogant, self-indulfent and completely convinced they possess ultimate knowledge and their products are the panaceum for all world’s problems…

          • Yuko

            Hey you just described all iPhone users, they are the ones who feel they are better than everyone.

          • Mr.Flying Zoom3rz


    • Avieshek Rajkhowa

      Don’t forget who’s leading Google, Sundar Pichai, yes he’s from India and India is from Asia.
      Well, check out Microsoft, Adobe too..
      And do check 80% of the people in NASA are Asians..

      • Marty

        Indians…some of the smartest people in the world. Technically advanced. Google and Microsoft will benefit in the long run. [Anglo- American here]

        I used to think Sundar was doing bad for Google. But I don’t think that anymore.

        • Avieshek Rajkhowa

          U wouldn’t ‘ve Google Chrome without him

          • Marty

            That’s not a commendation.

    • Chesz Heaven-

      Alcatel was bought by Nokia last year. Know your facts!

  • Rahul Mahesh

    I feel like killing Lenovo.

  • Avieshek Rajkhowa

    Actually, they plan to change Motorola into “Moto” which this site fails to explain

    • JosephHindy

      First part of the second to last “full” paragraph:

      The ‘batwing’ logo that used to represent the company as a whole will remain as it transitions into representing the Moto line, which will continue production alongside Lenovo’s own brand of Vibe.

      • Pride

        Truthfully I never thought of it as the batwing logo until I went back and looked

      • Avieshek Rajkhowa

        This is not the first time they presented the news and we already know that ‘M’ symbol will remain but the argument was Lenovo taking over the Motorola moniker

        And shl’d ‘ve kept a screenshot

        • JosephHindy

          They are taking over the Moto brand, ostensibly it’ll be the “Lenovo Moto X” instead of the “Motorola Moto X”. Moto stays, batwing stays, prefix changes. At least insofar as I can tell.

  • Chris

    They should just keep it the same.

    As. Usual Forigners ruining things.

    • Happy

      Ah, because the Americans are perfect and they never interfere in (or ruin) anybody’s business. Hmmm, let me think who bought and ruined Nokia. The “foreigners”? The Chinese? And as you are a “native” American I assume that your ancestors were chasing bison and living in wigwams.

      • Avieshek Rajkhowa

        Lol (y)

  • Faizan Khalid

    What about our beloved moto g and moto e lineup as they restricted the moto name with high end devices let’s hope we will get the unadvertised durability feature that many big names lack I mean moto phones are like 3310 in smartphone whether it’s a droid turbo 2 or 1st gen moto g x or e

  • nebulaoperator

    Hmmmm…..Moto line by Lenovo. I found it confusing branding-wise because Lenovo either known or unknown and both ways comes with Moto logo and name. Unless some specific marketing telling people what is what and within time awareness should settle down. Similarly like GoldStar.

  • Peter

    I think what most people is saying is we would like rather just put our fingers in our ears and chant ‘la la la… can’t hear you… la la la’. We know Lenovo owns motorola, we don’t like it, but nothing can be done about that. But it is just nicer to continue to think Motorola works completely independently from Lenovo and is bullishly continuing the legacy of Motorola. With the Motorola name gone that dream/perspective/reality is gone. Maybe the call it the ‘Motorola team’ or ‘Motorola group’ so we continue to think there is a bunch of passionate, nutty phone nerds beavering away on something completely radical aside from Lenovo’s legitimate boring money making machine.

  • sid

    I would say one thing to lenovo. Buying a brand like Motorola and thinking to get much better reputation and sales.. I would say foolishness.. Brand power is a big thing and when its gone though u name it moto.. All goodwill will be gone.. Not much of a profit i see in Future..

  • DUdG

    Just stay to be moto don’t be lenovo!

  • Abedallah Abedrabbah

    To my understanding, Motorola is being renamed Moto basically and Lenovo is releasing cheap Vibe phones. I’m not sure if Motorola is also in charge of the Vibe or not. Hopefully Motorola is in charge of that brand design too.

  • Kanoosh

    people are making a bigger deal of this then there should be.. Moto hasn’t changed once since being aquired by Lenovo..and unless lenovo decides to get rid of Motorola , then changing the name has nothing to do with the company itself.
    EVERYONE calls their phone(s) “moto” , so it makes sense ..keep the full name within the corporate area and use “Moto” on the consumer level.. it’s srsly that simple but everyone loves to stir sh** up when really, this has no effect on us whatsoever.. so calm down lol.

    • Marty

      “Moto hasn’t changed once since being aquired by Lenovo”

      Sure they have. They changed in one of the most critical areas…for the worse, in their product development. They went from AMOLED to LCD and from superior build quality to inferior build quality. I’d call that change…change for the worse.

      • Kanoosh

        no not really , going the LCD route was a bit of a downer, but not a complete fail and you have no idea if lenovo had ANYTHING to do with that decision, so don’t make assumptions just because…. and their build quality went up actually.. have you even used or owned 2015 Moto’s flagships? it was one of the best highlights of last year.. high capacity battery with QHD screen all in a build of light weight materials while keeping the phone at a decent size to use one handed (unless you have midget hands) with SD card suport and a price of $399.. they went waaaaay up from 2014’s disappointment ..and they failed hard while google owned them (hence the reason why google let them go), so that tells you something since your all about assumptions.

        • Marty

          Lenovo is the boss. Changing to LCD under Lenovo puts Lenovo at fault. Lenovo is responsible.

          The build quality of the Moto X 2015 I had for a few days was down from my Nexus 6 and Moto X 2014. One blatant example of the poorer build quality was the SIM card drawer. It looked like it didn’t fit properly and was not flush with the body. (Remember: that’s one example so don’t jump on that “one example” as the only thing wrong).

          The reason Motorola didn’t shine under Google was because a lot of people didn’t give Motorola products a try. I am one who shied away from Google-owned Motorola products because I didn’t like the looks of their products and believed they were lower quality than competing brands. That changed when I finally bought a Nexus 6 on sale for nearly half off. I was so impressed with it that I also bought a Moto X 2014. It further impressed me.

          But as I said above, I did own a Lenovo-Motorola Moto X 2015 and immediately upon taking it from the box saw the first example of lesser build quality: the SIM card drawer.

          Motorola failed under Google because Google didn’t properly sell the brand.

          • Walter Conley

            Google let them go due to pressure from other hardware manufacturers for competing with them (on top of getting all the parents and other IP they wanted).

          • Marty

            Unless you’re an insider and know for certain, that’s conjecture just like mine.

        • Walter Conley

          Google let them go due to pressure from other hardware manufacturers for competing with them (on top of getting all the parents and other IP they wanted), not due to the ’14 lineup.

  • ConCal

    Man, Moto is doing great things. I hope the further influence by lenovo doesn’t change the company further.

  • Karly Johnston

    We already know they fired all the engineers so enough bs.

  • Gustavo Sanabria

    I have recently purchased a Moto X Pure Edition coming from a OnePlus One. The reason why I moved to Motorola was that of the name and brand. This is a turn down for me and I believe that for most Motorola users worldwide. Hopefully Lenovo knows how to handle this.

  • Mr.Flying Zoom3rz

    Don’t worry guys. Lenovo won’t kill the existing Moto devices and will keep the Moto’s current pure android experience in the future. All that noise for nothing. All in all, in today’s world who owns the party is the one with the most of money. Motorola was sold to Lenovo and Lenovo has now the rights to make some changes to the brand.

  • Scott Ricketts

    Once they discontinued Moto Voice I knew I wasn’t going back to them any time soon. They took Google Now to a whole new level, and since that costs money, no point in keeping that team around.

  • Osalt Osalt

    As long as Moto continues to keep the concept of “PURE” with unlocked and expandable phones that work on ALL carriers their venture should be successful from a marketing view. Many really dislike phones that are “Locked” to a carrier.

  • Sumit rai

    currently using moto x style..if this thing happens than it would be my last moto product