Motorola phones making a comeback in SA this week

2016-10-17 11:22 - Gareth van Zyl and Kyle Venktess
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Lenovo's Moto phones are being launched in South Africa this week. (Motorola)

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Johannesburg - Chinese computing giant Lenovo is readying to launch its ‘Moto’ smartphones in South Africa on Thursday, a move that heralds the return of Motorola in South Africa.

Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility from Google in late 2014 for $2.91bn. Google previously paid $12.5bn for Motorola Mobility in 2011.

Amid Motorola Mobility’s changes in ownership, the brand’s last high profile smartphone launch in South Africa was the release of its Razr Maxx handset in 2012.

In January last year, the President of Lenovo Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Aymar de Lencquesaing told Fin24 that Motorola phones would make a comeback in SA before the end of 2015.

Lenovo, though, didn’t manage to launch Motorola back into the SA market last year as previously planned. In January 2016, Lenovo also re-branded Motorola as ‘Moto’.

But Fin24 understands that Lenovo will launch Moto phones into the South African market on Thursday at a launch event in Johannesburg, with one of the phones being its Android powered Moto Z.

Local Lenovo officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on Monday.

Lenovo’s current PR firm, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, told Fin24 that “Lenovo will make comment at and after the launch”. An invite to journalists to attend a Lenovo launch on Thursday, though, hints at a "Lenovo Moto Launch".

An invite to journalists that outlines Lenovo's planned launch on Thursday, October 20.

The re-launch of the Moto phones in South Africa has become an open secret in South Africa. On Friday, Lenovo’s Africa Twitter account further hinted at the Moto South Africa launch in a tweet.

In June this year, local Lenovo executives were quoted in the press as saying that plans were in place to bring the Moto brand to South Africa before the end of 2016.

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