Google announced that they are selling Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, seemingly marking the end of their partnership that began 19 months ago.
In August 2011, Google purchased Motorola for a cool $12.5 billion, buying not only its mobile business, but eighty years worth of patents and innovation. The patents were the attraction for Google, who needed to bolster its portfolio in the seemingly unending patent wars. And while claiming those patents as theirs, they allowed Motorola's mobile device business to function as an independent entity, with some touches from Google of course.
We started to see some of those touches with the Moto X, an almost pure stock Android phone that shipped, and still receives, the latest versions of Android from the mothership, as well as other goodies. The device was a new strategy for Motorola, and one that was enticing to Lenovo.
While today's purchase may seem like a big loss for Google ($12b buying price; $3b selling price), it's not as bad as it seems. As reported to Pocketlint, Google will retain not only the patent portfolio, but Motorola's Advanced Technology and Project group, including Project Ara.
According to Lenovo CFO Wong Waiming, Motorola's handset business will be the only part of Motorola that sells to Lenovo, just as the Chinese company readies to establish itself in the US smart-device industry.
The deal is pending regulatory approval in both the U.S. and China, which usually can take some time, but no hiccups are anticipated.