Any reports of the death of the Moto brand have been greatly exaggerated, Motorola CEO Rick Osterloh and Senior VP of Marketing and Communications Adrienne Hayes reiterated at a group briefing Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Some confusing reports had emerged in recent weeks after Lenovo announced that "Motorola" would now be known as just "Moto" — which of course it'd been using in branding and products for years anyway.
"Motorola continues to exist — will continue to exist," Hayes said. "The product brand that we choose to use — and have been using — is Moto. So Moto continues to exist as the design and engineering unit."
Osterloh reiterated that we'll continue to see Moto's trademark bat-wing symbol on products, but we'll also see Lenovo's name involved as well.
So in 2016 we could well see something like the "Lenovo Moto X" or "Lenovo Moto G."
"We're working in a much more integrated fashion with our Lenovo colleagues," Hayes said.
Verizon's phones will continue to be branded as "Droid," Hayes said. But they're "very actively discussing" exactly how that name might evolve. "We're trying to embrace the parent company. ... There's a lot of opportunity there, so we're looking to leverage that."
Lenovo's Vibe phones will continue to be aimed at first-time smartphone buyers, Osterloh and Hayes said. But the Moto E and Moto G lines will live on, too. "There's a lot of micro-price segments in emerging markets, " Osterloh said. "Gap and Banana Republic have overlapping segments, too."
"Today, we have Motorola Moto X, Motorola Moto Droid," Osterloh said. "At the end of this year what we're talking about now will start to hit the market. And we think that over time it will be a lot less confusing than it is now. ... It's the same team of folks building these things. ... So there's no major change there."
While Moto's engineering team is who's leading all of Lenovo's smartphone design and engineering, Osterloh said they've taken advantage of some of their new parent company's expertise, too, particularly in cameras, and with image quality.
As far as software goes, Moto and Lenovo's lines will continue to look distinctly different. So expect Moto phones to look more "stock" than the Vibe line. But they'll share more under the hood, Osterloh said. "We're going to keep the Vibe thing going in the Vibe way, and the Moto thing going in the Moto way."
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