April 18, 2024

Could Lenovo have better luck with modular design than LG?


Following the rumor mill lately, you’ll find numerous reports that say Lenovo, the current owner of what was once known as Motorola Mobility, allegedly has a couple of changes in mind when it comes to the future of the Moto X line-up of smartphones.

One of the changes would be a rebranding. Instead of calling the devices Moto X, they may opt for Moto Z. This is sort of interesting given that Sony recently did a rebranding of their own, changing the Xperia Z brand over to Xperia X. This may or may not be a factor to consider when it comes to the origin of this rumor, as well as the issue that there is arguably an over saturated use of the letter X when it comes to Android smartphones (Nexus 5X, OnePlus X, Honor 5X, among others). It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to start using any of the other 25 letters of the English alphabet.

The other reason for this potential rebranding is that the next generation of Moto X devices will take a page from LG’s book and go for a “modular type” design. Some leaked images of the new Moto X reveal 16 electrical contacts on the backside of the device, which is presumably where the mods, called “Amps” or “MotoMods”, will attach and connect to the device. Already there is talk of at least six mods planned for the Moto X/Z, which include a battery pack, a couple of options for camera attachments, and stereo speakers.

At first I wasn’t convinced that a rebranding would be the best thing, particularly because I have viewed Moto X as a good thing for Moto. After the initial disappointment of the first gen Moto X subsided (I still chuckle when I think about how big the hype was for that phone), Google and Motorola really turned things around for its image. Price drops and customization put a positive light on Moto X, and things seem to have only gotten better over the years.

But if the modular type design is really the direction that Lenovo is taking the Moto X in, a new name only seems appropriate. Adding the ability to change your phone with mods is a big change.

I also wonder if Lenovo will end up having more success with mods than LG’s G5. I really thought the G5 had some cool concepts when it was unveiled during MWC earlier this year, but when the reviews started rolling it, not everybody was thrilled with what LG’s modular type design had to offer. Whether it was the phone’s design or the fact that it only comes with two options for modular attachments that caused its disappointment, I don’t know. Both of those factors seemed to play a part, as well as the notion that maybe, just maybe, the world isn’t ready for modular designs just yet.

I like the idea of modular smartphones. If done right, there’s a huge opportunity not only to cut down on e-Waste, a growing problem in our world, but it could also drastically increase the longevity in which we keep our smartphones. However, the downside is that the idea is also more complicated than what most people are used to; it could very well be that the idea doesn’t catch on due to the fact that modding can be somewhat complicated. I still have faith that one day it will be viewed more favorably than it is today. Perhaps Lenovo’s efforts will have better success than what we’ve seen so far.

Readers, what are your thoughts on the potential rebranding of Moto X? Do you think Lenovo should keep running with the Moto X name? Do you predict that Lenovo will do better with modular type than LG did with the G5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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