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Motorola reportedly cancels Moto X5; its Chicago engineering team faces layoffs

Motorola was one of the most trusted mobile brands in the world. Now, it struggles to cope with the current crop of devices. The Lenovo-owned brand has reportedly laid off many of its engineers from the Chicago team and canceled the upcoming Moto X5. The layoffs arrive as part of Lenovo cutting 2% of its global workforce that was announced back in 2017.

In a statement to 9to5Google, Motorola later stated:

"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."

The job cuts were expected to hit the Chinese and the U.S. workers of the company and the Chicago layoffs are a byproduct of that. Citing sources, Android Police states that about 190 people will be affected in the Chicago office. The company will also be scaling back on Moto mods, focusing on ones that "turn a profit" instead of the niche market it currently caters. Motorola may also be pulling from a few markets where its sales are lackluster.

The X series of smartphones, which once boasted Motorola's flagship models, was delegated to the midrange premium bracket. In our review of the Moto X4, Rich Woods found it to be a great budget device with mediocre performance. The X5 was one of the most interesting devices coming out of Motorola if the leaks were to be believed. Rumors suggested that the device had a dual camera and an iPhone X-like notch.

However, all is not lost as the company doubled its smartphone sales in the U.S., selling 2.1 million units last year. The company will now recalibrate its attention to the E (budget), G (midrange), and Z (premium) series of smartphones.

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