The Motorola brand name will soon be phased out by Lenovo, as the company tries to unify its phone products under one name. Lenovo will be the company name on Motorola phones in the very near future, according to Motorola COO Rick Osterloh, who spoke with CNET here at CES. It’ll be a slow phaseout, but don’t be shocked if the next Moto flagship doesn’t say “Motorola” anywhere on it.
Lenovo plans to continue using the Moto line of products as its high-end offerings, so you could still have devices called Moto X or Moto G, but they’ll be Moto X by Lenovo now.
CNET reports that phones will start showing the blue Lenovo logo, but that the Motorola “M” batwing will still be used as well. So the entire image of Motorola won’t be gone, just the name.
Wait, are those tears? Are you crying? It’s OK, we are too.
UPDATE: Here is the official statement from Motorola on this naming situation.
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. “Motorola” hasn’t been used on our products since the launch of the original Moto X in 2013.
UPDATE 2: Here is the full statement on the changes.
As we work closer together, Motorola and Lenovo are aiming to streamline our overall product portfolio and focus on two product sub-brands — Moto and Vibe (known as Le Meng in China). In the last day or so, many articles and blog posts have focused on the fact that as part of these plans, the “Motorola” company brand will become less central to our marketing. We want to add a little context that was missing from these reports.
First, and most importantly, Motorola Mobility isn’t going away. In fact, just last August Motorola Mobility assumed a much more central role in Lenovo’s smartphone business. As a wholly owned subsidiary, we remain the engineering, design and manufacturing engine for all of the Mobile Business Group’s smartphones and wearables. Motorola’s engineering heritage is hugely important to this effort, and that isn’t going to change.
But brands do have to evolve, and ours has been evolving for some time. Over the years, we have made font and color changes, and more recently we made the strategic decision to focus on “Moto” as our primary product brand. “Moto” is synonymous with Motorola, and it conveys the Motorola brand to consumers in a contemporary and engaging way. That wasn’t the only thing that evolved — the iconic batwing was static blue or red for many years, and we made it fun and colorful. That symbol, which has come to represent the “Moto” brand, continues to play a prominent role, and will remain on our products and in our marketing.
Now, as we have to think more holistically about our entire smartphone portfolio, we’ve made the decision to focus our marketing efforts on “Moto” and “Vibe” as our hero smartphone product brands globally. At the same time we are not abandoning the iconic Motorola brand. Although it will not be the focus of our marketing, it will continue to be used on packaging and elsewhere, so as to ensure that the rich history and association is never lost. The legacy and the goodwill associated with the Motorola brand will also live on through our licensees.
We also will now use the Lenovo brand to the fullest as we participate in one of the most competitive businesses in the world. Lenovo was recognized last October as one of Interbrand’s top 100 global brands. We are one of the few technology companies that can offer people a complete PC + tablet + smartphone experience and we see that as a major competitive advantage.
This latest move is all about where we focus our brand marketing efforts in the future. That will be on our two hero smartphone brands: Moto and Vibe, with the Lenovo corporate brand tying all of our consumer and commercial products together more holistically.
The Motorola legacy is near and dear to us as product designers, engineers and Motorola employees, and clearly it’s important to many of you who have had long relationships with us. We plan to continue it under our parent company, Lenovo.