Google has agreed to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, writes Larry Page on the Google blog.
According to Page, the smartphone market is super competitive, and they 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.
Google acquired Motorola in 2012 for $12.5 billion to help the Android ecosystem and create a stronger patent portfolio.
Google is selling Motorola for much less than it paid for it, but Google is keeping a bunch of Motrola’s patents, which it can license out to other companies. It also won’t include the Advanced Technology and Projects group which developed the Project Ara modular phone, which allows different phone configurations to be constructed from various parts. Google also sold off Motorola’s cable box business (the home division) for $2.5 billion.
It is Lenovo’s second major deal on U.S. soil in a week. Lenovo last week said it would buy IBM’s low-end server business for $2.3 billion.
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.