Years after Chinese electronics giant Lenovo purchased Motorola, the lines between the two companies are starting to blur. The status of Motorola as its "Moto" lineup becomes a sub-brand of Lenovo is still somewhat up in the air. According to a post from Digital Trends, the Moto line will be positioned as a more high-end option, as opposed to serving a wide array of market segments as it does now. This will be accomplished by putting minimum specs on the various Moto X models, and merging the hardware currently known as the Moto G and Moto E with the Lenovo side of the business.
Specifically, the site quotes Lenovo mobile head Chen Xudong, who said that upcoming Moto X devices would all have screens larger than 5 inches (as has been the case since the 2014 model) and include a fingerprint sensor, which isn't featured on Motorola's latest flagships. Dropping the cheaper Moto G and Moto E lines would make sense since Lenovo sells the bulk of its phones in China, with its booming market for inexpensive and unlocked hardware.
It also might explain some of Motorola's less salubrious behavior as of late, specifically its somewhat tepid commitment to updating lower-end phones with new versions of Android. Keep in mind that a single quote from a representative, even someone so high in the company hierarchy as Xudong, doesn't necessarily indicate a new company direction. At this point in the product cycle, new versions of the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E (if in fact there are new versions coming) aren't even past the preliminary design stage. That said, it's rather disheartening, especially if you're a fan of Motorola's less expensive models.
It looks like that Lenovo representative may not have been entirely correct, or else there's some miscommunication between what was said and Digital Trends' report. A Motorola representative, unnamed but directly quoted by The Verge, said that the company has no plans to phase out either the Moto G or Moto E.
"Although we are simplifying the combined Motorola and [Lenovo] portfolio, we have no plans to retire Moto G, our most successful smartphone, or Moto E," a Motorola representative says.
- Digital Trends