Lenovo moving away from Motorola brand - slightly

The Motorola brand, which produced the world's first handheld mobile phone, is being phased out in a modest rebranding transition by its new parent Lenovo.

Well, part of it is, anyway.

Cnet reported that Motorola COO Rick Osterloh said the iconic name will be "slowly" phased out starting this year, with Lenovo moving to the Moto brand for high-end devices. Motorola will retain its entire name as a division of Lenovo, however, and products will continue to sport the Motorola brand's venerable batwings icon.

Google sold Motorola Mobile to China's Lenovo for $2.91 billion in 2014 after buying Motorola and its patents for $12.4 billion in 2011. (Google retained those patents, which it estimated were worth $5.5 billion.) Lenovo has continued to struggle in the cutthroat world of smartphone manufacturing, however: It claimed 5.3 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2015, according to Strategy Analytics, down from 7.6 percent during the same period in 2014.

Lenovo said in August that Motorola would take over its smartphone development and manufacturing business in an effort to cut costs and boost sales.

The first call from a mobile handset occurred in April 1973, when Motorola researcher and executive Martin Cooper placed a call to Bell Labs' Joel Engel. Motorola enjoyed tremendous success through the era of the analog phone, then followed that up in the digital age with its portfolio of Razr flip phones.

The manufacturer foundered as the smartphone revolution took hold, however, losing market share to vendors such as Samsung and Apple. And it's worth noting that this isn't an abrupt move by Lenovo: Motorola Mobility said in a statement provided to Droid Live that its products haven't carried the full "Motorola" brand since the launch of the original Moto X in 2013.

For more:
- see this Cnet article

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