In a bid to bring its mobile phone business under one brand, Lenovo will kill off the iconic Motorola brand and retain the Moto tag along with its homegrown brand Vibe for budget devices. Lenovo, which bought Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014, will retain the iconic M "batwing" emblem on its phones with a blue Lenovo logo.
The move, similar to Microsoft phasing out the Nokia brand and retaining Lumia, is aimed at protecting the existing brand and making it stronger the company claims. While Lenovo is the world's largest PC maker, it has been struggling with its weak mobile sales mostly in China, which resulted in the company's first quarterly loss in six years at $714m (£488m) in November 2015.
While speaking at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Motorola chief operating officer Rick Osterloh told CNET, "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."
Osterloh wants Lenovo to use its corporate brand to unify the products in the phone category. This will mean Vibe phones, which are currently doing well in budget markets, will also be introduced in other markets where Moto exists, and vice versa.
In addition, in markets where the Lenovo name is strong, the company will pitch the Moto line in the premium category. Osterloh said he expects to bring the Vibe line to the US soon but it is unlikely to happen in 2016.