Say Hello To The Motorola “Penang” Phone


Prolific leaker Evan Blass recently revealed a new Motorola smartphone that will be heading into the market in 2023. What really caught our attention about this upcoming device is its codename: Penang.

Yes, it is that very Penang island state in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia. It is unknown why the phone was given the said codename but then again, nothing much is known about the device anyway although there is currently one blurry photo of it:

Motorola Penang
This is the Motorola Penang, ladies and gentlemen. [Image: Evan Blass / Gadgetgang.]

According to Evan who published this particular finding via Gadgetgang, there are several devices with the same root codename including Penang5G, Penang4G, and Penang+. The Penang5G variant for the North American market will apparently come with 4GB of RAM as well as either 64GB or 128GB internal storage.

Motorola has a long relationship with Malaysia as it was one of the first major foreign investors in the country. This is even more significant for Penang as it is the home to Motorola’s first Malaysian manufacturing facility which was set up back in 1972.

Motorola Solutions Penang
[Image: Motorola Solutions Malaysia / Facebook.]
Motorola Solutions Penang
The Motorola Innoplex Penang was opened in 2014. [Image: Motorola Solutions Malaysia / Facebook.]

Motorola still maintains a huge presence in Penang although its facility has since been turned into a research and development centre. Nevertheless, the Penang facility is the company’s second-largest global R&D centre with more than 1,000 engineers are being stationed there.

Technically, Motorola in its current state does not produce smartphones anymore. Back in 2011, Motorola Inc. was split into two separate entities, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions with the latter being the actual successor to Motorola Inc.

Lenovo Motorola Virtual Showcase MWC22
Motorola at Lenovo’s virtual showcase for MWC 2022. [Image: Lenovo.]

Later on, Motorola Mobility which is responsible for the brand’s mobile devices was acquired by Google a year later before being loaded off to Lenovo in 2014. In case you didn’t notice, Motorola’s R&D centre in Penang belonged to Motorola Solutions which mainly dabbled in critical communications equipment such as portable radio and security video systems.

Nevertheless, it is rather interesting to see the team at Motorola Mobility pay homage to a part of its heritage in Malaysia. Even though if it is just a codename for some phones that will likely end up in the mid-range market.

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