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Motorola's name disappears from its phones this year

By the end of 2016, 'Moto' will be all that's left of the storied mobile brand.

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Motorola's name is virtually synonymous with cellphones (it invented the category, after all), but you aren't going to see it around for much longer. Parent company Lenovo informs CNET that it's phasing out the Motorola name on phones this year: The "Moto" name and that signature "M" logo will be all that's left on higher-end devices, while lower-cost models will go with Lenovo's own Vibe moniker. While Motorola as an organization will still exist, it won't be nearly as prominent in 2016.

It's not clear when you'll see the switch, although there should be a slow transition rather than an abrupt rebranding. However it happens, it's definitely a big gamble for Lenovo. While it's a big mobile brand in China and a few other parts of the world, it's only really known for PCs in regions like North America. Motorola, meanwhile, is still well-remembered for its StarTACs, RAZRs and Droids on this side of the globe. There's no guarantee that a "Moto X by Lenovo" will be as attractive as its Motorola-branded predecessors, no matter how good the phone itself might be.

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