Motorola brand name to be retired, confirms Lenovo COO

The Motorola phone branding has officially gone the way of the Dodo, with the company confirming the name will be "slowly phase[d] out".

Motorola was the very first mobile phone brand, but Rick Osterloh, COO of Lenovo, which bought Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014, said in a CNET interview yesterday that the moniker would be retired.

The full Motorola' moniker hasn't been used since the Moto X's launch back in 2013, but this marks the first confirmation from the company that the name won't make a re-appearance.

However, the condensed 'Moto' branding seen on the company's recent devices will remain in use on high-end devices, while others will be rebranded with Lenovo's own 'Vibe' name.

The full name will also persist in the name of the division Motorola Mobility now overseeing all of parent company Lenovo's mobile operations.

The Chinese manufacturer is known predominantly for its PC ranges, but is looking to expand the popularity of its mobile devices beyond its home country.

While the Moto label will adorn its high-end flagships, Lenovo will use its own branded devices in the budget space.

In particular, the company is looking to leverage the name recognition of both brands to expand into different territories.

Motorola, for example, has high brand currency in the West, while Lenovo's handsets have proved very popular in developing markets.

One of the reasons the Motorola name is so well-known is that the company produced the first mobile phone in the world in 1973.

While it has fallen out of favour somewhat since the advent of the smartphone, Motorola's handsets were ubiquitous even up until the early 2000s.

The company was purchased by Google in 2012 and tasked with producing some of the first Nexus devices, before being sold to current owners Lenovo in 2014.

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.