Jan 29 AT 5:27 PM Nick Sarafolean 26 Comments

Lenovo buys Motorola Mobility for $2.91 billion


While we can try and say that nothing really shocks us anymore, we don’t think that any of us saw this coming. After reports started coming in fast and thick this afternoon that Lenovo was planning to buy Motorola Mobility from Google, it’s been confirmed by El Goog itself. The going price for Motorola is $2.91 billion which is a far cry from the $12.5 billion that Google originally paid for Motorola Mobility. As Google nears closer to reporting their earnings tomorrow, it’s going to be interesting to see how investors respond to this new shift.

It’s been widely known that Google has been losing money on Motorola’s hardware division every quarter. Motorola’s patent portfolio also hasn’t been as helpful as expected and those things combined together could have led Google to sign the deal. Plus, a big part of the price difference is that Google keeps the patent portfolio for future use, which is worth quite a lot. It should be noted that although Google and Lenovo have struck a deal, it has yet to be approved by the Chinese and American governments which will certainly take time. Google’s full press release can be found down below if you’d like to hear Larry Page’s thoughts on the acquisition.

What do you guys think of this deal?

Show Press Release
We’ve just signed an agreement to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. As this is an important move for Android users everywhere, I wanted to explain why in detail.

We acquired Motorola in 2012 to help supercharge the Android ecosystem by creating a stronger patent portfolio for Google and great smartphones for users. Over the past 19 months, Dennis Woodside and the Motorola team have done a tremendous job reinventing the company. They’ve focused on building a smaller number of great (and great value) smartphones that consumers love. Both the Moto G and the Moto X are doing really well, and I’m very excited about the smartphone lineup for 2014. And on the intellectual property side, Motorola’s patents have helped create a level playing field, which is good news for all Android’s users and partners.

But the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo–which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere. As a side note, this does not signal a larger shift for our other hardware efforts. The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry. We’re excited by the opportunities to build amazing new products for users within these emerging ecosystems.

Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem. They have a lot of experience in hardware, and they have global reach. In addition, Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity–just as they did when they acquired ThinkPad from IBM in 2005. Google will retain the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, which we will continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem.

The deal has yet to be approved in the U.S. or China, and this usually takes time. So until then, it’s business as usual. I’m phenomenally impressed with everything the Motorola team has achieved and confident that with Lenovo as a partner, Motorola will build more and more great products for people everywhere.

Posted by Larry Page, CEO

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

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  • Vance

    Noooooooo :’(

    • Hom0ncruse

      final nail in the coffin for H……Motorola

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    I’m kinda… surprised. I hope this doesn’t change the way Moto has been doing business lately.

  • ranwanimator

    Well that’s disappointing.

  • famoso jorden

    no, I don’t like this…it changed my decision about buying the moto x (was just released in my country) right away. Let’s just hope the everyday customer won’t care as much as I do. And again: Bye Moto =/

  • Andreas Hosemann

    so glad I bought a Google nexus 5 don’t have to worry about Google selling Google

    • GE918

      Yes, Google can sell Google. It depends on how the mobile division is structured. If it’s a subsidiary they can sell off that portion.

  • James

    I was looking forward to what Motorola would do with Google, The Moto G has been flying off the shelves in the UK and was looking forward to the Moto X coming over here. Going to have to go back with my original Idea of the G2 now. Very sad day, Google could have done something great with Motorola

  • Ade

    Kinda glad I bought the moto x, juuuust before this happened, but kinda now wish I had just gotten the Nexus 5. I will look at my Moto X closely when it arrives in case I decide its not worth missing the return period.

  • Dave

    I love my MotoX, it’s got a lot of great features that I actually use and none of the bloatware that plagues other devices. I fear the first thing that will happen under Lenovo is that the bloatware will come fast and furious, the second is that they start throwing on features to pad the bullet points on the POS material even though the features are useless to the end user.

  • RhynosAndroid

    I’m really surprised and did not see this coming, but really, I felt Google dropped the ball. The phones that have been released, imo, weren’t really up to my expectations. Decent, but anti-climactic considering what they bring to the table and how they advertised them being “game changers”. They boasted “making the moto-x yours” by building it! Then you find out this really only concerns the battery cover, bezel, the basic coloring.

    Of course, look at what Lenovo has done internationally in handsets, they really are breaking the mold. I loved the K900, used one for awhile. They’re looking to to be an exception.

    The acquisition of Moto Mobility should be very beneficial to all 3 parties. Google just hasn’t really expressed the interest needed to bring moto back, it shows in the return. I think they hoped more for a quick turnover of profit.

    Lenovo, on the other hand, has been working on quality handsets for awhile, but haven’t been able to break into the US market. Being called a “Chinese handset” is an unfair death sentence in the eyes of the American market place and it’s not fair, especially with Lenovo. They already have solid international handsets. Bring in their passion and design, I think we may see a turn around, bringing a profit back to moto (and obviously Lenovo,). Lenovo getting into the US market painlessly and yet another strong platform carrying android.

    Sure, it could blow up in our faces, but I don’t feel that’s likely.

  • reddragonman

    I see this as a good move by Google. I am a little disappointed, as I was liking the direction Motorola was headed in, and hopefully that won’t change. It will make other manufacturers less worried about Google being in the hardware business I think, and it would also open the door for a Motorola Nexus. Only time will tell. At least Google is keeping what they originally bought Motorola for, the patent portfolio.

  • RoyalJoker

    I really liked the moto x to be honest besides I hated its specs even though people tried to tell me specs aren’t everything. I was patiently awaiting the moto x 2 and hoping it had better specs. Google has always been my choice since the first nexus I’ve owned them all. I was also happy to see one day I could support american workers. I read this article in disgust. I will never buy a moto device now. Chinese bought it thus american workers won’t benefit from its dollar( I’m one of those typically buy american goods to keep jobs in our country not racist I just like giving money to my country to see it continue to expand ) this has went from me waiting and waiting eagerly to now no matter how good or bad it will be overlooked and I will not buy. I’m sticking with nexus

  • sere83

    Google possibly killing the nexus line? Now selling Motorola? This is looking super grim from where i’m standing….

  • vforvortex

    This somewhat explains why Google had a firewall between them and Motorola the whole time after the acquisition. Maybe we will find out more during the investor call as to the reasons for the sale.

  • Trey

    I am extremely dissapointed. In my eyes, Lenovo has a track record for turning a perfect product into crap. I spent thousands of dollars with them buying their top of the line Thinkpad, because Thinkpads were awesome when they were made by IBM. The laptop now collects dust because I can’t use it from the poor quality to which it was designed. I can respect that Goolgle felt it was in their best interest to sale, but Lenovo? I would have rather it been Dell.

  • wolf of elm street

    Step1 :buy for $12.5 billion
    Step2 :sell for $2.91 billion

    PROFIT! ca-ching!

    • jamal adam

      I think we need to understand that part of the reason why Motorola cost Google so much was because of the patents, which they will keep the majority of, but still it is eye opening to say the least.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      They got to keep the patent portfolio, the advanced technology group, and sold off a bunch of businesses (like Motorola set top boxes) for extra profit. I’d say it was a pretty dang good deal for Google.

  • jamal adam

    Well this came flying out of left field. Quite the surprise. Perhaps this had something to do with Google+Samsung patent cross-licensing deal. Still, it’s disappointing to say the least, especially when Motorola was turning a new leaf and making amazing and very affordable devices (X and G). I hope that they can continue on the path they were headed and that Lenovo provides them the necessary tools to move forward and disrupt the mobile space. Lenovo had been trying to enter the US market and this is perfect for them and also the know how to handle acquisitions well (thinking of ThinkPad from IBM).

  • Khalil

    FAK! I just got the Moto G from Motorola in December. WTF Google? Now I have to get the Nexus 5, maybe this was your plan after all… I would much rather have a phone from Google than any other company. I hope Lenovo updates the damn software… I’m curious as to what will happen with the Motorola team and Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, I like them.. :(

  • Akash kumar


  • Paul Atreides

    I feel sorry for anyone who bought into Moto thinking Google would keep running things. I guess the Moto X flop was the nail in the coffin for Google with this project. I’m not that confident in Motorola as I was starting to be but hopefully Lenovo keeps up the model Google was trying to implement unless that model was just a fire sale in hindsight.

  • rustic

    Too bad, I was hoping to see the next Moto X. I guess it’s the end of Motorola as we know it, Lenovo will use its own brand for the phones.
    But maybe it can work with Google on Nexus 6, or whatever it will be called.

  • jake

    So here comes those fugly, tapered-cornered phones again? I was really digging Google’s infuence at Motorola. Now, maybe they’re back to being dumpy.

  • donger

    Go Lenovo.