After Lenovo acquired Motorola’s smartphone business from Google last year, the company continued to release two lines of phones. Motorola manufactured global phones including the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E, while Lenovo continued to crank out devices like the Vibe Shot and the upcoming Vibe P1.
But it probably didn’t make sense to have two smartphone teams… and soon there may be only one.
A few weeks ago we heard that Lenovo would be laying off a number of Motorola employees and replacing some of those people with Lenovo staffers. Now the company tells NDTV Gadgets that in spite of the layoffs, it’s actually Motorola that will be leading Lenovo’s smartphone business from now on.
Basically, Lenovo is merging the Lenovo Mobile Business Group with Motorola Mobility. What’s interesting about the move is that it’s Motorola’s management team that will be in charge: Former Motorola president Rick Osterloh will be in the leader of the new group.
Of course, Motorola is now a Lenovo brand, so Osterloh will still have to report to Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing, but it’s interesting to see that while Google apparently acquired Motorola for its patents a few years ago, it really looks like Lenovo bought the company from Google for its smartphone expertise.
So what does this mean for Motorola smartphones moving forward? Motorola will reportedly continue to be a global brand, but the Moto X, G, and E will be joined by devices like the Lenovo-backed ZUK Z1 smartphone.
While the Motorola team will be in charge of development of new products, PC World reports that we’ll continue to see some new phones branded with the Motorola name while others have Lenovo branding. Motorola will also be charged with developing smartwatches for Lenovo.