Moto X5 cancelled as Motorola lays off large portion of engineering team, Moto Mods in peril

Things aren’t looking to so good for our friends at Motorola. Yesterday, a report from 9to5Google stated that the company’s US branch was undergoing some pretty big changes, laying off a significant portion of their engineering staff in Chicago.

This information that was confirmed earlier today with Motorola confirming that less than half their staff (Android Police reports somewhere around 190 people) would be losing their jobs. What does this mean for Motorola’s future smartphones? Well, there are some changes being made there as well.

While Motorola’s flagship Moto Z line doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy at the present moment, it seems Motorola could be giving the axe to a few other projects. Sources claim the recently-leaked-but-still-unannounced Moto X5 is no longer a thing. It seems the entire X line is now being shelved while Motorola refocuses on their more successful E, G, and Z phones — at least for now.

As for Moto Mods, their future is a little more uncertain. Lenovo is reportedly scaling back efforts when it comes to partnering with 3rd party accessory makers for more “niche” Mods. You know, like that Indiegogo funded physical keyboard Mod everyone was so excited about.

While it’s possible Motorola could end up ditching their Z line entirely in the near future, right now it’s looking like it’ll stick around for another generation or so. With the Moto Z3 around the corner, we’ll have to see if the flagship phone could help steer Motorola in the right direction or, if like the X line, it’ll crash and burn as well.

via Android Police

Motorola could cancel the Moto X5 amid confirmed layoffs

  • According to an anonymous source, Motorola plans to abandon plans for the Moto X5.
  • While the company never officially announced the follow-up to last year’s Moto X4, information on the upcoming device leaked in January.
  • The source also confirms that Motorola intends to focus on the E, G, and Z lines for now.

An anonymous source talking with Android Police said that Motorola is canceling development of the Motorola Moto X5, which would have been the follow-up to the Moto X4 that came out last year. The news drops amid reports of a large purge of employees happening at Motorola’s Chicago offices.

The Moto X5 was never officially announced by the company, but a lot of the details of the device leaked at the beginning of 2018. According to the anonymous source, Motorola is abandoning the X line to instead focus on the E, G, and Z lines. If correct, that would at least partially line up with the information we obtained directly from Motorola, which explicitly stated the company’s intention to continue supporting and developing the Z line. The E and G lines, however, we have no confirmation on one way or the other.

This news is likely disappointing to Motorola fans, as the Moto X4 is a popular device that received excellent reviews from many publications, including Android Authority. The Moto X4 and its Android One edition are also two of the few phones that are available on Google’s telecommunication service Google Fi, so it’s quite peculiar that the company is choosing to abandon the line.

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Lenovo bought the Motorola smartphone brand in 2014, making big promises about turning the company profitable. However, the promises haven’t been fulfilled, and Motorola continues to suffer from low sales.

The most significant thing that differentiates Motorola phones from the rest of the market is its line of Moto Mods, which can easily snap on or off phones. While the modular phone concept never really became a trend, it is nice to see that Motorola is not abandoning the one thing it does that separates it from the competition.

In fact, according to the anonymous source at Android Police, Motorola plans to continue supporting and developing Moto Mods. However, the company is looking to downsize its efforts to focus only on Mods that are practical and profitable.

Are you disappointed that you’ll likely not see a Moto X5 in the near future? Let us know in the comments!

Motorola lays off half of their Chicago-based employees, Moto X5 is being cancelled

Lenovo-owned Motorola is one of the few Android smartphone makers that has a headquarters in the U.S. Their Chicago office has been slowly dwindling over the years and it’s about to get much worse. Several sources are reporting that Motorola will be laying off close to half of their Chicago workforce next month. One source claims 190 people will be laid off. The future is not looking good for Moto phones on the horizon.

Motorola has confirmed the reports with the following statement:

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.

They’re claiming the layoffs “did not impact half of the workforce,” but that goes against many of the reports swirling around right now. Motorola is also adamant that the Moto Z family will continue, though it likely will look a lot different. A second report is claiming the Moto X5 has been canceled and they will downsize the Moto Mod collection to basically just battery packs and style covers. They will focus solely on the E, G, and Z lines going forward.

Signs of Trouble

The initial source of all this was an alleged ex-Motorola employee who left a comment on He/she stated that 50% of the Chicago workforce was told April 6th would be their last day. Then, the owner of the popular Keyboard Moto Mod told an Indiegogo backer that “there has been some shocking news recently” and “the Z team in Moto was irreversibly impacted.” Not exactly the type of stuff you want to hear from people who have worked closely with the company.

This news might not be surprising to a lot of people. Motorola has not been doing well since the Lenovo takeover. Moto Mods were a cool concept, but they never seemed to really take off. A lot of manufacturers are hurting right now. If you’re not Samsung or Apple (and Google to a lesser extent), the smartphone market is a scary place.

Source: 9to5Google
Source: Android Police

Layoffs coming to Motorola, might impact the Moto Z and Moto Mods

Motorola’s smartphone business has been a story with a ton of ups and downs. They helped to really spark the Android craze with the Verizon Motorola Droid, but subsequently lost a lot of ground to HTC and then Samsung. That eventually turned into a sale to Google and the promising but underwhelming Moto X line, […]

Come comment on this article: Layoffs coming to Motorola, might impact the Moto Z and Moto Mods

Rumors abound that Motorola is laying off half its Chicago workforce (Update: layoffs confirmed)


UPDATE 03/09/2018, 12:55 P.M. EST: Android Authority received a statement from a Motorola/Lenovo representative about these layoff allegations:

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 appears that yes, a layoff at the Chicago Motorola Mobility office occurred. The statement’s wording of “this did not impact half of our workforce there” is a bit confusing. Does this mean Motorola is refuting the claim it laid off 50 percent of its workforce, or is it saying 50 percent of the workforce was unaffected and it did layoff half its workforce? It’s a confusing way to word a statement in either case. We’ve reached out for further clarification and will further update this story when we hear.

Still, it is good to know the Moto Z family of smartphones will continue and the Moto Mod mentioned below will likely make it to backers.

Original Article: It’s no secret that Motorola hasn’t been doing too well since Lenovo took over the legendary smartphone brand. While it’s great that the Moto Z line earned some good reviews and the company forged new territory with its line of Moto Mods (combined with Motorola boasting a lot about what’s to come in 2018), you don’t have to search too hard to find information that all is not well at Motorola/Lenovo.

Rumors are bubbling up that Motorola either has or will lay off half of its Chicago Motorola Mobility workforce. Right now, the primary source of the story is pretty flimsy, but there are corroborating rumors that make it seem legit.

The main source is a post on where an anonymous user with the moniker “Ex-Motorolan” gives news on the huge purge of employees:

Motorola Mobility (Lenovo) just tapped 50% of their Chicago workforce on the shoulder to let them know they are being laid off. Their expected last day of work is April 6, 2018. Sad… and to think this was my dream job getting out of college.

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There is no proof provided of the layoffs, so it’s hard to take this anonymous information very seriously. However, it is not too hard to fathom it being true when there are plenty of reports that Lenovo and Motorola are in some serious hot water when it comes to selling smartphones.

The allegations of “Ex-Motorolan” are further supported by some posts from an Indiegogo campaign. Liangchen Chen crowdfunded over $160,000 to build a Moto Mod keyboard. However, in the comments section of the campaign, Mr. Chen implies that he has been made aware of the layoffs due to his connection with Motorola’s Moto Mod team:

Mr. Chen is concerned about the future of his Moto Mod keyboard. If he cannot get an official license from Motorola as well as access to the OTA server in the Moto Mod department, his keyboard will not work with any current or future Motorola phones. He later says that if he can work out the OTA update situation, his Mod will at least work on current Moto Mod-compatible devices.

If you combine what Mr. Chen says with the anonymous post from “Ex-Motorolan,” it gives some serious credibility to the claim that there was a massive layoff at Motorola that hasn’t yet been officially announced.

We can only assume that in the next few days either more allegations of the layoffs will surface or Motorola/Lenovo will make an official statement. What these layoffs would mean for the future of Motorola, the line of Moto Z phones, and the upcoming Moto G6, Moto 5, and Moto Z3, is unknown.