Lenovo to axe Motorola brand

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Chinese manufacturer will phase out Motorola in favour of Moto branding, while handsets like the Moto G and E be branded under Lenovo’s Vibe name

Motorola, the world’s oldest mobile phone brand, will cease to exist after owner Lenovo confirmed plans to axe it in favour of its own branding.

The US-based manufacturer, founded in 1928, was responsible for the first mobile phone call in 1973, and has released iconic handsets including the first flip phone, the Razr.

razrIt was purchased by Lenovo from Google in 2014 for £1.7 billion. The Chinese manufacturer continued to use the Motorola name for handsets, including the second generation Moto G and Moto X (both launched in 2014), which helped drive its market share from below one per cent to around six per cent in the UK (Kantar WorldPanel).

A Lenovo spokesperson confirmed plans to phase out the brand to Mobile News. The spokesperson said: “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.”

They added: “‘Motorola’ hasn’t been used on our products since the launch of the original Moto X in 2013.”

Vibe

Motorola chief operating officer Rick Osterloh told Cnet that flagship products like the Moto X will keep Motorola’s ‘M’ logo, but will also feature the blue Lenovo badge.

Lower-end phones like the Moto G and E will instead carry Lenovo’s Vibe branding. Vibe is Lenovo’s series of Android devices, with current products including the S1, Shot, P1 and P1m. The Motorola name will not be scrapped entirely and will instead live on from corporate perspective.

It comes just months after the Chinese manufacturer announced plans to fold its own mobile arm into Motorola’s manufacturing unit as part of a major restructure.

In November, Lenovo was forced to deny reports that it planned to ditch the Vibe range of handsets in favour, but Osterloh said it will maintain Vibe, rebranding the low-end Motorola handsets under this name.

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