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Lenovo folds smartphone unit under Motorola, plans to streamline mobile portfolio

By Roger Fingas

Apple competitor Lenovo on Thursday confirmed that it will shuffle all of its smartphone operations -- including design and manufacturing -- under its Motorola banner, and eventually shut down Lenovo Mobile entirely.

Motorola president Rick Osterloh will take charge of the newly merged unit "effectively immediately," a Lenovo spokesperson told NDTV Gadgets. Lenovo Mobile workers will be assigned to Motorola.

The company didn't say what will happen to the Lenovo Mobile brand name, which is invisible in North America but well-known in China and some other countries. ZUK -- a phone brand backed by Lenovo -- will continue to operate independently, and as-is, another spokesperson commented to Engadget.

Lenovo as a whole though is scaling back on the number of phones it produces, with the aim of offering more clearly differentiated models. Motorola already has a relatively trimmed-down phone lineup, consisting of the Moto E, G, and X lines, the Nexus 6, and three Droid phones for Verizon.

Earlier this month Lenovo announced that it would lay off approximately 3,200 people in order to save about $650 million during the second half of 2015. It took a pre-tax loss of $292 million in the June quarter, and wrote down $300 million in unsold phones.

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