Motorola used to be a big mobile phone brand not just in the world but also locally here in Kenya. At the onset of what was to later be the explosion of mobile phones in the country, one could easily spot several Motorola C-series mobile phones. Remember the C113 that Safaricom had on offer for months on end back then? The C117?
Or this L6 that I chucked out of my drawer this morning after first meeting it way back in 2008? (I know, my age is showing).
The thing is, Kenyans have quite a history with the Motorola phone brand and despite its mother company’s dwindling fortunes that saw it change ownership twice in two years before ending up in the hands of the Chinese (Lenovo), just like Nokia which is making a comeback, there may be a few soft spots left for the brand in many a Kenyan consumer’s hearts. At least for the older generation that could afford Motorola phones back then before they quietly slipped from the market and became something we could only read about in international media and salivate from a distance.
All that is bound to change for the better starting later this month when, according to our sources, the Motorola brand is expected to make an official return to the Kenyan market thanks to Lenovo, its owner.
Lenovo has been active in the Kenyan mobile market for a while now selling several of its devices in the various market segments, entry-level, mid-range and high-end.
Late last year, the company revealed plans to drop its own smartphone brand in favour of Motorola’s thanks to the latter’s wider brand recognition in overseas markets.
According to technology blog TechArena, Motorola is expected to avail one of its smartphones from the past year, the Moto Z, initially. It is not yet clear how many other devices in the Motorola brand Lenovo will be bringing to the market at this point.
The Moto Z’s most
infamous feature is its lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack long before Apple validated the trend. Another smartphone from a Chinese device maker, the Oppo R5, was the first to be made available in the Kenyan market without the feature thanks to its ridiculously thin frame.