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Lenovo just laid off a chunk of its Motorola smartphone team

The team behind Lenovo’s most interesting phones is getting downsized. On Friday, Lenovo confirmed layoffs for the Motorola group in Chicago, where the company designs its modular Moto Z smartphones. In a statement to 9to5Google, Lenovo denied that it was axing 50% of the workforce, as the site had suggested, but didn’t provide any further … Continue reading “Lenovo just laid off a chunk of its Motorola smartphone team”

Lenovo just laid off a chunk of its Motorola smartphone team
[Photo: courtesy of Lenovo]
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The team behind Lenovo’s most interesting phones is getting downsized. On Friday, Lenovo confirmed layoffs for the Motorola group in Chicago, where the company designs its modular Moto Z smartphones. In a statement to 9to5Google, Lenovo denied that it was axing 50% of the workforce, as the site had suggested, but didn’t provide any further specifics.

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The first-generation Moto Z launched in 2016, and allowed users to snap “Moto Mods” such as speakers, projectors, zoom lenses, and batteries onto the back of the phone. Lenovo sold 3 million of those phones in their first year, and kept pushing the idea in 2017 with the Moto Z2 series, which supported all the same Mods along with a slew of new ones. In February, Lenovo said it had sold 5 million Moto Z handsets worldwide, with Mod activations up 64% year-over-year.

Overall, though, Lenovo hasn’t broken even in mobile since acquiring Motorola from Google for $2.9 billion in 2014, and said last year that it would shrink its global workforce by less than 2%. Despite the layoffs, Lenovo says the Moto Z smartphone line “will continue.”