Less than two years after the original Google buyout, Motorola Mobility gets a new owner
In a surprise announcement this afternoon, Google has revealed that it's to sell Motorola Mobility, the smartphone maker it acquired along with other bits of Motorola in 2012, to Chinese firm Lenovo in a deal worth $2.91 billion. That total amount consists of $660 million in cash, $750 million Lenovo shares and a $1.5 billion promissory note.
Google says it'll retain "the vast majority" of the Motorola patent portfolio, to which Lenovo will receive a license; Lenovo will also receive more than 2,000 patent assets. And the company will take ownership of the "future Motorola product roadmap," as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark.
Google CEO Larry Page said the deal would "devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere," while Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said Lenovo's "hardware expertise and global reach" would help it accelerate the momentum gained through the recent Moto X and Moto G launches.
The deal comes less than two years after Google purchased Motorola Mobility and its patents for $12 billion. Moto has only recently been rebranded as "a Google company," in conjunction with new product launches focused around a "pure Google" experience. While Motorola's smartphone roadmap for much of the next year or so is sure to already be in motion, it's unclear how the acquisition will affect Motorola's future priorities. There's no doubt, however, that the deal gives Lenovo in a key position in the smartphone world, particularly in the U.S., where Moto is ranked as the number 3 smartphone manufacture.
We're still digesting exactly what this means for the future of Motorola, Lenovo, Google and Android. We'll have more analysis later, so be sure to check back. In the meantime, share your reactions down in the comments!