Lenovo confirms Moto G and E will remain in lineup for 2016

Igor Bonifacic

January 12, 2016 11:58am

Update: As things sometimes do on the broken-telephone world of internet news, Chen Pudong’s statement was mistranslated, and presented here incorrectly. In a statement to us, Lenovo assures us that the Moto E and G are alive and well, and will receive updates this year. Where things may change is how they are represented, since the Vibe line, Lenovo’s Chinese line of smartphones, may intersect the same price points.

“Chen Xudong’s remarks to Chinese media have been misunderstood. Although we are simplifying the combined Motorola and Vibe portfolio, we have no plans to retire Moto G, our most successful smartphone, or Moto E.

We will focus on the Moto and Vibe product brands moving forward, with each brand having its own purpose and target audiences. Together they enable us to give smartphone users all around the world the power to choose the device that’s best for them.

Moto will be our innovative trendsetting brand. Vibe will be our mass-market challenger brand. The brands will overlap in some price points and key geographies, but with different brand identities, features experiences and designs. The product brands are meant to be complementary and address multiple target audiences and ends of the product price spectrum.”

Certainly not the death knell we claimed earlier. Sorry for the confusion.

It turns out there’s more happening at the company formerly known as Motorola than a simple name change.

In an interview with Digital Trends, Chen Pudong, senior vice president of mobile at Lenovo, outlined a significant shift in strategy for the historic phone-maker. In 2016, the company will change its focus to exclusively developing flagship smartphones that feature 5-inch and greater displays.

Perhaps most significantly, as a part of the move, the Moto G and Moto E, both considered excellent phones at their respective price points, will not receive new iterations in 2016. With the Canadian Dollar in its current condition, the loss of affordable and compelling devices like the Moto E and G is sure to hurt Canadian consumers.

If there’s a silver lining to the news, it’s that moving forward, all phones bearing the Moto name will ship with fingerprint scanners. When it came to integrating fingerprint authentication into the experience of using a smartphone, Motorola was one of the most forward-thinking smartphone OEMs.

The Atrix 4G, released in Canada in 2011, was one of the first smartphones to include the feature, and based on leaked prototypes, it’s clear Motorola was keen on perfecting the feature. However, Apple’s acquisition of AuthenTec, then one of the only suppliers of fingerprint authentication technology, in 2012 for $356 million meant that Motorola, as well as other Android OEMs, found it difficult to source the component at the scale needed to outfit an entire lineup of phones with the technology.

It’s obvious Lenovo needed a new mobile strategy, but it’s hard to say if this is the one that will help the company find success. Even with its recent troubles, Samsung is still synonymous with high-end Android smartphones. Likewise, despite the success it found with laptop computers and the ThinkPad brand, Lenovo has been slow to adapt to other competitors in China like Xiaomi and Huawei, companies that have shown they’re capable of putting out compelling devices at a fraction of the price of other Android OEMS.

SourceTech Sina
  • G.P.

    is it too early to RIP it?

  • Brett Arnold Allard

    It’s sad seeing Motorola being stripped of all its glory.. What was once considered an excellent phone company is slowly fading into nothingness.

    The G lineup has always been fantastic and even the X play was an excellent Mid range device. But if they can offer compelling new high end devices available worldwide then this may be the way to go for Lenovo and what’s left of Motorola.

  • Kyolux

    Awful to hear. I love my Moto G 2014. Seems like I won’t be getting a Lenovo phone next. I’m not interested in high-end devices, my money is better spent elsewhere.

    Well.. will have to see if there’s anything decent to buy off subsidy at the end of the year.

  • Mark Small

    Sad to see.

    If my phone died tomorrow my choice would be either a Moto G or a Zenphone 2 Laser. If it dies in 6-12 months then I’ll only have the Asus to choose from.

  • vn33

    Can’t help wonder why they are abandoning the Moto G series?
    Isn’t it one of the best-selling product in their stable?

  • kaer

    I think people are misinterpreting. Just because there won’t be phones named Moto G and E doesn’t mean there won’t be similar specced phones. But those will be under the Lenovo branding, since they are using the Moto brand for the high-end phones.

    • jayzon12

      Yea it looks like they will keep the moto name for high end and than use their lenovo name for entry level as they already offer entry and mid range phones under the lenovo name

  • Mark Loney

    I can see why they are not looking to extend on the moto G and E…

    Lenovo themselves have mid range to low spec phones already in their line up..

    They have a line of phones called Vibe…Vibe Shot..Vibe x2….

    They are mid range price however are good phones ….

  • Brad Fortin

    “In 2016, the company will change its focus to exclusively developing flagship smartphones that feature 5-inch and greater displays.”

    This is why there aren’t any small flagships.

  • Tim3Tripp3r

    Igor, Thanks for the update. It makes a lot more sense now. I was kind of wondering earlier if they were shooting themselves in the foot with the first post you made. I tend to see the world through “Canadian” eyes but do recognize that we Canadians are a very small market in the overall scheme of things. I thought it odd that Motorola had very good results with the G & E series and left the high end devices for others to battle it out for market share but Lenovo was going in the complete opposite direction with earlier quote. I still think that they should concentrate on the mid to entry level market (Canadian) as it was working for them and why mess with it.

  • Andrew_notPorC

    I thought it odd that they would discontinue their best-selling device, unless it was unprofitable. Makes sense that the may tweak the branking. Maybe Moto Vibe G/E for now, then eventually drop the Moto.