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Forget the Motorola of old: choose progress over nostalgia

Last Wednesday, I wrote an article explaining why Lenovo is the manufacturer to watch in the coming years. Among my reasons, I noted the work going into great mid-range devices, including the Moto line. At the end of the article, many users (on the Brazilian site) complained that Lenovo "spoiled" the line of Motorola devices, which it acquired in 2014. Is such nostalgia a good thing?

This nostalgia for Motorola – and you can also include Nokia in this – is fully justified. After all, in their heydays, both companies developed beautiful devices. And, both at the time of the cell and early smartphones (the latter when it was under the administration of Google), Motorola provided many users with their first phone.

However, the nostalgia attached to Motorola devices of yesteryear makes it easy to forget the numerous slips that Motorola made when smartphones began be lucrative; including the launch of some pretty bad devices.

RM
Rui Maciel
Nostalgia has never helped IT companies evolve and gain market share
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Slipups culminated in Motorola’s demise

While the iPhone began to gain market share between 2007 and 2008, Motorola was still invested in its Razr line and only decided to enter the smartphone race in earnest when it launched the Moto Droid (2009), its first model with Google's Android OS. But it hardly aspired to greatness. Or even good looks. And let's not forget other aberrations, such as the Motorola Flipout.

motorola flipout
Motorola Flipout: one of the ugliest smartphones ever made.  / © Motorola

This string of bad decisions resulted in consecutive losses for Motorola. And consumers - including many who today complain that Lenovo "spoiled" Motorola - were merciless. When a device is bad, customers will simply choose another brand. And the market does not forgive, either. Motorola was divided into two and its mobile phone division sold to Google in 2011 for $12.5 billion.

Under the administration of Big G, Motorola managed to rise again, releasing two series that remain successful today: the Moto G and Moto X (which may be replaced by the Moto Z). But Google found that producing smartphones was more complex than it had imagined and, having taken stripped the brand of all its worthwhile patents, sold the company to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, or $9.59 billion less than it had spent to acquire it.

Lenovo does what needs to be done

Lenovo could have taken the easy way, keeping the design of the Moto G and Moto X intact and just upgrading the hardware. However, the company may have noticed that nostalgia leads nowhere and chose the more difficult, and, in my view, better route: it kept the Moto brand but began to makes compromises to please both the Eastern and Western consumer bases; more importantly, Lenovo began to introduce innovations.

androidpit moto z projetor
The Moto Z connected to a speaker module: the trademark "M" is still there, but for how much longer? / © AndroidPIT

The Moto G4 Plus, for example, already has a fingerprint scanner; the newly announced Moto Z line has peripheral modules that can be attached via magnetic connectors, enhancing features such as the battery, audio and camera.

motog4plus androidpit front
Moto G4 Plus: designed to please both Western and Eastern markets. / © ANDROIDPIT

Finally, the design of these devices has reached a format that can appeal to consumers in all countries where Lenovo releases its devices.

Nostalgia does not work in the IT market

Lenovo was wise not bury the Motorola brand upon purchasing it because it would run the risk of suffering a major rejection by Western audiences and shut itself out of these key markets. However, make no mistake: the goal is to move further and further away from the Motorola of yesterday. Given that a sentimental attachment to the past can result in the brand ending up caught in a niche, restricting it severely, the move makes sense.

Being nostalgic in the IT market has never helped anyone. Blackberry, Nokia, Yahoo and even Motorola itself are all proof of this.

Are you still holding out hope for a 100-percent Motorola smartphone in the future, or do you agree that it is time to let go? Let us know in the comments.

14 comments

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  • I actually believe nostalgia can be a factor to smartphone purchases. At least to some extent.

    I for example heard about the Moto X Style, back in the summer of 2015. I made a lot of research on it and eventually bought it in the autumn/fall. A Lenovo company or not: it's a beast of a phone! The design, the specs, the neat features next to a clean stock Android. Amazing phone.

    That said, I didn't just dip my toes in the unkown water: Because I had once owned a Moto phone back in the 90's as a kid, but we're not talking a smartphone though...

  • im sorry.. the OG droid was the first main stream android device.. put android on the map. the droid series has always been well built phones with great reception and features that change the game.. OG turbo user now.. i love it.. Verizon killed the moto Droid.. low advertising.. never pushing their employees to sell them.. ive been thinking about moving away from moto cuz for the poor customer service stories i hear about.. but not just yet.. im going to ride my turbo till it dies..

    as far as security patches? whens the last time any one who actively vists these droid websites actually got a virus? i would hope never

  • I recently bought a Moto G4+, and figured I was settling. But i have been so surprised and pleased with my new phone. And I am so thankful I did NOT waste money on the pricier brands. This phone is great!

  • I will only buy phones from manufactures who put a premium on security patches and upgrades. That used to be Motorola and why I bought the first moto x. No longer. Until they get their act together in this regard I will not consider a Motorola.

  • Jai Ford 3 months ago Link to comment

    No integrity here. This article is clearly written by a paid scribe of Lenovo. Have you failed to note that the Moto G4 versions are a completely defective mess of products? The phones Motorola manufacturer prior to Lenovo were very solid performers. These new Lenovo offerings are defective devices! Did you not even test them for a even 2 hours??? Shame on you and all bought and paid lackeys. Not a single honest review these days. Enjoy your Lenovo payback while consumers buy these defective phones based in your dishonest reviews. Have some ethics!

    • Jai, none of our content is paid for in any way unless marked with an "advertorial" or "sponsored" label, or introduced by the word "Deal". I can assure you this piece is in no way paid for by Lenovo. I am sorry you disagree with what the author has to say, but your gripe is with the author's own opinion and not with the ethics or operating methods of AndroidPIT.

  • Jay 3 months ago Link to comment

    I think out of all phones the Motorola's have have had the most intelligent software ( the most brainy ). Now lenovo will have to keep it up and update that . Now there is a problem with lenovo , that is they are made in China . So the default settings are in Mandarin and just converted to English . I've also heard way too many people say that there is Chinese spyware on all of their products .

    Though I still use their products

  • I'll buy Motorola again when they no longer have an association with a company known for cheapening production materials, and install rootkits, spyware, and software that breaks encrypted communication on their gimmick-laden computers... AKA Lenovo.

    Lenovo has already gotten rid of most of the Moto team that made the android lineup great again, and now they are slapping their own name on it to make it a "sub-brand" and have their own utterly horrible developers working on it. So yeah, this is one time the nostalgia is WORLD better than the shit we are going to get from them.

    • Cheap Lenovo PCs? I have to disagree, they still make the best business laptops out there. There is reason why they are so successful with that business. I like Lenovo, not sure which direction they will take with Moto but it doesn't look bad so far.
      Im kinda speechless how far apart our opinions about Lenovo are. Feels like your talking about Acer back in the day to me :D

  • As a long standing Motorola User 1st with Bluetooth Earpiece's & then Droid:4, Maxx user , yes my Next Andriod Smartphone will have to be a Moto unless as mentioned they become unavailable...

  • Don Conn 3 months ago Link to comment

    I've used Apple for a long time and then I decided to give Android a shot this year. I went through most of the Android flagship phones but I kept thinking of the one Android phone that kept me in the Android world which was the original Droid Turbo. That phone was the best Android experience I had up until I purchased the Moto Z Force. Motorola has by far the smoothest software interface out of any. Samsung's software is rather just choppy. Great phone but software killed both the s7 and s7 edge for me. Motorola currently has a golden opportunity if they market and motivate third parties to compete over the modification backs or moduel backs. If they can motivate at least three companies to compete with the numerous possibilities to sell and produce these Mods, I strongly believe they will more than hold their own as one of the top two leading Android products. Competition breads innovation and these mods they have designed so seamlessly for users definitely gives them all they need if they choose to be just as involved in the innovating as the third parties themselves. If they take the easy road then they will fade out as a median based product expectancy company. If I had the money and means to be personally involved in creative development for designing mods, then I would very much be sitting at my drawing board. Ultimately Motorola has to be 100 percent involved instead of leaving it up to outside sourcing to innovate. My gut tells me by what I've read that the three they have released will be the only ones they promote within. It's too bad BC I see so much potential for pure creativity. They should be heading the R&D and handing it out to the third parties rather than saying here's a million dollars to think for us. All that said, I personally left Apple for Motorola simply BC they have a very good smartphone. It's up to Motorola whether they stay or fade as they have set a bar starting with the Droid Turbo up until the present day. I hope they continue to for the lack of better words to meet the bar they have been able to set for the last few years. I'm sold but who knows how dedicated they will remain as Motorola the product and not Lenovo the company.

    • I totally agree. The new mod system looks promising, way more so than LGs version. I just hope that people will see the advantages of this system and will pick it up. But only then 3rd party offerings will show up and the party gets started ;)

  • Harshith 3 months ago Link to comment

    Yes I'll buy Motorola phones in future

    • I won't buy another MOTOROLA product , after I bought the Moto X Pure Edition which I think it was the best bang for the buck, but the problem is that you can't trade them in for another phone!!? Verizon say's that they will give you $300 for a working phone, but they don't take the Moto X Pure Edition so I hope it lasts for a long time.
      Lucky I got on sale for $299 or I would be up the proverbial s Creek without the paddle. Lol

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