Motorola Won't Launch Moto Z3 Force Android Flagship This Year

Motorola won't be following up on its 2017 Moto Z2 Force with a Moto Z3 Force this year, the company confirmed Thursday in response to a consumer query on Twitter. The development implies the Lenovo-owned handset maker won't be releasing any Android flagships in 2018 and is seemingly pulling away from the high-end market segment for the time being. The firm's final Moto Z-series product was unveiled yesterday in the form of the Moto Z3, officially the world's first smartphone to be announced with 5G capabilities.

The handset's 5G support will still be optional, with Motorola planning to deliver it in the form of a mod that users will be able to attach to the Moto Z3. The company hasn't clarified why the Moto Z3 Force won't be launched this year, though the development is presumably related to the poor commercial performance of the company's 2017 flagship which disappointed in the United States, the world's largest market for high-end smartphones, whereas it wasn't even widely available globally. With Lenovo now looking to reimagine its mobile division in order to combat declining sales in its home country of China and abroad, Motorola may have resolved to save R&D costs associated with the development of another modular flagship that would have likely sold poorly regardless of its marketing efforts, with the premium segment of the market now moving to bezel-less designs and tall aspect ratios that the company cannot deliver while still offering backward compatibility with older mods that it promised with the launch of the original Z line in mid-2016, vowing to continue releasing compatible handsets and accessories over the following two years. Due to that state of affairs, the company may transition its modular lineup to the 18:9 image format and largely bezel-less design next year, in addition to refreshing it with a new flagship.

The Moto Z3 will be available for purchase in the U.S. and a number of other markets later this summer. While the handset will be offered to American consumers unlocked, it will also be carried by Verizon. The Moto Z3 may also be Motorola's final mobile release of the year, with the handset maker already delivering a broad range of products spanning both entry-level and mid-range categories over the last several months.

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