Earlier this month, in the middle of CES, panic swept over long-time Motorola phone fans: was Lenovo killing off the Motorola brand as we knew it? Calmer minds quickly prevailed, and the shape of story subtly shifted: sure, we wouldn’t be seeing “Motorola” splashed prominently across future handsets, but we hadn’t been for some time anyway, and the retention of the “Moto” brand, even if in the form of “Moto by Lenovo” would help upcoming models keep some connection to the past. Still, there’s an understandable undercurrent of anxiety to all this, and a lot of users might sleep just a bit easier having seen the next Moto handset arrive without incident. Today we get a sense for just when that might happen, as Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang talks about plans for new Motorola hardware due near the year’s mid-point.
Speaking at Davos this week, Yang indicated that a Moto smartphone that presents shoppers with a “more innovative, more attractive” handset option is currently in the works for a July launch.
That would fit nicely with the timing we’d expect for a new Moto X-series device, after last July’s launch of the Moto X Style and Moto X Play (alongside the latest Moto G). Unlike with those models, this time it sounds like a US release will be the company’s priority.
Should we latch on to the way Yang only appears to be talking about a single device, and not the spread we got last year? Perhaps, but this isn’t really a formal announcement, and it might be premature to squeeze too much analysis about this one brief comment. For now, we’ll look forward to July with the expectation that something big is coming, and see if more details don’t come to light as summer starts getting closer.