Motorola may be working on a solution meant to rival the Samsung Desktop Experience (DeX) platform, known industry insider Evan Blass said earlier this week. The concept is said to be an evolution of the Atrix Lapdock, a phone-to-PC solution Motorola introduced in 2011. The new project is understood to be internally referred to as the "Moto ModBook" and some of its provisional user interface designs can be seen below, with their wallpapers suggesting they're over a year old at this point.
The Lenovo-owned smartphone maker radically changed its product strategy this year, having decided against delivering a Z-series flagship, in addition to streamlining its handset portfolio in an aggressive manner. Both moves were meant to revive its commercial performance and provide it with a boost in the mid-range segment, particularly in the context of carrier sales. Besides the 2017 Moto Z2 Force underperforming to the point of not warranting a successor, Motorola also decided to double down on its value-oriented strategy and build on the fact that it's still the fastest-selling unlocked smartphone brand in the U.S. by delivering a number of aggressively priced G- and Z-series handsets over the course of this year.
The company's possible phone-to-PC experiment comes at a time when Samsung is moving away from the segment after spending the better part of the last two years advertising the DeX Station and DeX Pad. As not many consumers apparently deemed paying $150 for such gadgets worth it, Samsung decided to cut its losses by having the DeX platform built into the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Tab S4, its latest flagship offerings announced this month. The move allowed the South Korean company to continue advertising its new high-end devices as productivity-oriented tools but without asking consumers to pay a premium for an accessory meant to enable them. Should Motorola be looking to revive the Atrix concept in the future, such a decision may signal that new high-end smartphones from the company are on the horizon, even as the Moto Z3 Force has now either been scrapped or was never seriously considered for commercialization in the first place.
Remember the Motorola Atrix lapdock? The concept may still have some life at Lenovo, where a graphic designer was apparently collaborating on an Android desktop UI/UX for a product referred to as the Moto ModBook (note the Z2-era wallpaper)... pic.twitter.com/zhnRLwavy7
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 8, 2018