There were questions about the future of Lenovo’s Moto-branded device business, after job cuts in the US were linked with possible product culls.
According to initial reports, the vendor laid-off half of its workforce in Chicago, although this figure was subsequently disputed. The development engineering team was said to have been particularly hard-hit, leading to the possibility products would be impacted.
A potential casualty was the Moto X5 smartphone, the successor to the Moto X4 (unveiled at IFA2017), as the company focused its efforts on the E, G and Z lines.
The company was also said to be focusing its “mod” smartphone extensions, which work with the Moto Z smartphone line, on products which have the potential to generate profit, at the expense of more experimental peripherals. A VR mod was recently mooted, which would join existing products including 360-degree camera, projector and smart speaker.
Motorola subsequently issued a statement, which said: “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.”
It is no secret Lenovo is struggling in the mobile market, although it has also positioned the sector as a future growth driver. And there were positives: the Moto-branded line registered shipment growth in North America and Western Europe, with Latin America remaining strong.