Early last month, Motorola fans got some bad news: Lenovo, which bought the company from Google in 2014, planned to scrap the Motorola name for future devices. Not only that, but it sounded like Motorola’s lower-end phones were on the chopping block too.
At least the latter concern was unfounded, it seems. According to Re/Code, Motorola president Rick Osterloh said at Mobile World Congress 2016 this week that the company will continue to produce its Moto G and Moto E (shown) phones, both keeping that same naming as well. Only now, they’ll be “Moto by Lenovo” devices.
The Moto G line has produced three well-regarded mid-range devices, all with strong functionality and a near-stock Android experience for a reasonable price. Meanwhile, the Moto E showed significant improvement in last year’s second-gen model, although it’s very much an entry-level phone at an entry-level price.
Still, last month’s reports suggested that only “high-end” Moto phones would still be produced under the Lenovo banner, which didn’t bode well for the Moto E in particular, and that Lenovo’s Vibe brand would represent the united company’s low-end front. But now, Osterloh says they both can sell cheap phones and coexist in that market. “Gap and Banana Republic have overlapping price points too,” he said, drawing a retail comparison to those sister stores.
Also beneficial is the fact that Lenovo doesn’t plan on bringing the Vibe line – including the newly-revealed Vibe K5 Plus – to the United States, so at least the Moto phones can claim that home turf for the time being. Osterloh says that could change, though, and in any case the companies plan to share more technology and software going forward.
The latest Moto G was announced last July, while the current Moto E was released a year ago, so we could well see new versions pop up in the coming months. However, one thing we won’t see is another Moto Hint earbud-headset: according to Osterloh, he thinks they made “an awesome product,” but consumer interest isn’t big enough in Bluetooth headsets to support another attempt.