Motorola have had a rocky few years since being taken over by Lenovo and unfortunately 2018 has started off with more of the same. Reports coming out of the US are that not only have Motorola had to lay off employees but also that they have cancelled one of their popular lines of phones.
Yesterday there were reports that Motorola had laid off a significant number of employees from the engineering division of their Chicago branch, which Android Police later reported to have been 190 staff. An ex-employee who has been laid off spoke to TheLayoff.com and said that:
Motorola Mobility (Lenovo) just tapped 50% of their Chicago workforce on the shoulder to let them know they are being laid off. Their expected last day of work is April 6, 2018.
In a cost cutting exercise Motorola are also looking to scale back their involvement in the development of third party Moto Mods. This is a far cry from their previous efforts to increase the number of Mods being made. According to a developer of one of the third party Moto Mods the layoffs will have a huge impact on the Moto Z and Moto Mod team. In fact he seems to imply that the Moto Z and Moto Mods lineup will not have much of a future at all:
Along with all of the above cutbacks there are also reports that the company plans to cancel the Moto X5 in a bid to pare back the sheer number of devices they are releasing. While we loved the Moto X4 it is not the powerhouse that the Moto X lineup once was. Given Motorola’s investment in Moto Mods and the Moto Z lineup and the success of the Moto G line it is not entirely surprising to see the Moto X line canned.
Motorola have reached out to us and given us the following statement:
In late 2017, Lenovo announced a worldwide resource action that would occur over the next several quarters, and impacting less than two percent of its global workforce. This week’s employment reductions are a continuation of that process. We are reducing our Motorola operations in Chicago however this did not impact half of our workforce there and our Moto Z family will continue.
So while a lot of the Chicago staff were let go the overall numbers worldwide have been affected minimally and the Moto Z will continue to be made and sold — basically business as usual.
Hopefully Motorola can use this consolidation of their lineup to focus on the devices they do release and continuing to support those already released. The entire Moto Mod concept need to be overhauled. If people are paying $700+ for a Moto Z phone they cannot be expected to shell out another $100+ for each Moto Mod. What the answer is I have no idea but it would not surprise me to see them disappear in a year or two.
We loved the Motorola phones that we have reviewed and they are well supported after release with updates but for some reason they don’t sell as well as they should. Hopefully this refocusing can turn things around for Motorola.