Lenovo announced plans last week to eliminate about 3200 jobs, or about 5 percent of its total workforce. But it turns out one division will be particularly hard hit: Motorola.

The Chinese PC maker acquired the Chicago-based phone from Google maker in 2014, but for the most part Motorola’s strategy hasn’t changed much: the company still continues to crank out a series of high-quality, low-cost phones with software that looks a lot like stock Android software.

Now the Chicago Tribune reports Lenovo is planning to layoff about 25 percent of Motorola’s Chicago-based employees, which means eliminating about 500 jobs.

moto x

The move isn’t a huge surprise: Lenovo is trying to streamline its operations in order to improve profitability, and the company already had a smartphone division before acquiring Motorola. Some of the Motorola jobs that are being eliminated may be redundant with positions already filled at Lenovo.

But Phandroid notes that some of the cuts include the Motorola software and services team — which means some of the folks losing their jobs are the people behind the Moto Voice, Moto Display, Moto Assist, and other software designed to bring touchless controls, subtle notifications, and other features first introduced on the original Moto X.

While the 2015 Moto X and Moto G smartphones have generated a lot of buzz, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of software support they get in the future given the changes taking place at Motorola. And it’ll be interesting to see whether Motorola can generate as much buzz with whatever the company brings to market in 2016.

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18 replies on “Lenovo cuts jobs at Motorola, eliminates team responsible for Moto Voice, Moto Display”

  1. Moto Voice is THE feature of all Moto X devices. Next important thing for me: fast updates and almost stock android. Don’t change that please!

  2. Lenovo should stop selling their crappy own-brand phones & tablets and learn how to properly distribute these Moto products. Here in Indonesia they would sell tons of up-to-date Moto devices, if you could easily buy them.

  3. Well, Lenovo ruined the ThinkPad line. They’re just doing the same for Motorola. I bet Lenovo will put malware on them too (that is, worse than the ones other OEMs pre-install).

    1. The liar always ignore the key fact: IBM was begging Lenovo for selling ThinkPad department.

  4. Was looking at Moto for my next phone. I’ll probably stick to Samsung for another year or two to see if lenovo messes this up.

  5. It sucks, but they probably determined that the software that team was developing didn’t add enough value when it came to selling the device. It’s hard to distinguish yourself with software tweaks and apps when people get distracted by the latest hardware bells and whistles.

    They’re also coming under a lot of pressure from the extremely low margin sales of their competition in China. That also sucks, because it puts more pressure on companies like Lenovo to cut costs to the bone through exporting jobs and cutting wages to the bone. But we do like our cheap “fondleslabs”…

  6. I don’t like the feeling I’m getting from this I hope this doesn’t try out like Nokia I’m currently using a moto x 2nd gen and those are the main features tht distinguish a Motorola form any other smartphone

  7. I’d hate to see this impact Android updates for Moto phones, but that’s a weak spot with all vendors since they seem to see it as an unwanted cost that only help consumers avoid buying yet another new phone. This entire thing is an area ripe for regulatory action no matter what OS a phone maker uses.

    1. i’d like to see phone makers just release the source code of all the drivers that make up the phone to give companies like cyanogen something to work with.. HP open sourced everything about the HPTP and that thing is seeing updates until this day

  8. Moto sold only 5.9 million units in Q2 so not much and if anything they seem to be getting more relevant inside Lenovo not less. “Motorola will take the lead in product development, design and manufacturing.”.

    1. That has more to do with them not releasing new phones more than once a year.

  9. I really like those features, I hope Lenovo doesn’t do away with them. It’s what sets Motorola apart

    1. hopefully this leads to Lenovo releasing some of their beefier phones in the US if they become a basic OEM

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