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Motorola returns to China with launch of Moto X, Moto X Pro, and Moto G

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'We're now back in the biggest and most exciting smartphone market in the world!'

Motorola has a history of operating in China stretching all the way back to 1987, and today the company marks its return to "the biggest and most exciting smartphone market" with the launch of its full smartphone portfolio. This morning, Motorola President and COO Rick Osterloh announced the 2014 Moto X and LTE-capable Moto G for the Chinese market, along with a Moto X Pro that is essentially a rebadged Nexus 6. The Moto Hint Bluetooth earpiece is also coming to China, along with the Moto Maker phone customization service and, eventually, the Moto 360 smartwatch. China will be the first country in Asia to get the benefit of Moto Maker "in the next few months," but availability of the 360 watch looks to be a bit further out.

Ni hao, Moto!

The Moto X will be the first smartphone to run Android Lollipop in China, according to Motorola, and the company has again reiterated its "pure Android" approach. Instead of layering on skins or customizations, Moto focuses on optimizing the speed and quality of basic interactions like touch sensitivity and launching the camera. "When you buy a Moto phone, we don't forget about you," said Product Marketing VP Steve Sinclair, and Motorola's recent track record of issuing the latest Android updates within days of availability speaks to that commitment. Moto is of course promising to bring that same level of service to its Chinese customers, who'll be able to buy the Moto X shortly or sign up for the Moto G and Moto X Pro, which are expected after the turn of the Chinese New Year (February 19th).

Under Lenovo's ownership, Motorola was supposed to primarily serve markets outside of China — where Lenovo is already established as one of the market leaders — but it appears that Moto's brand cachet has been deemed valuable enough to bring to Lenovo's native China as well. It's not immediately clear how, or if, Lenovo will differentiate between its own-brand and Moto devices, but maybe the company will be content with just selling a diversity of appealing devices and letting the buyer choose. Personalization and individualization were together the biggest theme of Moto's presentation today, with the company emphasizing its desire to build "the most personal smartphone ever."