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March 10, 2018

Latest round of Motorola layoffs could spell the end of the Moto X smartphone

by John_A

Just a few weeks ago, we reported that HTC had laid off a large portion of its U.S. smartphone division. Now, it looks like it could be Motorola’s turn.

According to a post on TheLayoff from someone claiming to be a former employee, Motorola has told a large portion of its Chicago workforce that their last day of work will be April 6. The initial post mentioned that the company may have laid off as much as half of its Chicago workforce, however Motorola has since denied that. The post also sparked rumors that the Moto Z may be nearing the end of its life span — another claim that Motorola denied. It could instead be the Moto X that gets the chop, according to an anonymous source in a report from Android Police. We reached out to Motorola for conformation, and received a replay saying that the company “does not comment on rumors.”

“In late 2017, (Motorola parent) Lenovo announced a worldwide resource action that would occur over the next several quarters, and impacting less than two percent of its global workforce,” said Motorola in a statement to GSMArena. 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.”

While it’s good to hear that the Moto Z will continue, the “premium midrange” Moto X has been a staple of Motorola’s lineup for years now, and it would be sad to see it go. It seems as though the latest iteration of the device was in its final stages of development — it leaked online just a few months ago. We assume that both the flagship Moto Z3 and budget Moto G6 are both still moving forward.

The news is just the latest in a series of Motorola layoffs. Most recently, it was announced in late 2016 that Lenovo would be laying off as many as 1,100 employees. At the time, the company said it was committed to keeping the Chicago branch, and while the latest news doesn’t mean it will be closing the headquarters, the fact that even more layoffs have been announced could mean that the end may be near for Motorola in Chicago.

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