Lenovo buys Motorola from Google

TechCrunch has confirmed reports that Lenovo is buying Motorola Mobility from Google. This is the division within Google that the company purchased in 2011 for $12.5 billion. Motorola Mobility will go to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.

First Google Reader, now this. Seriously, Google got what they wanted out of Motorola—the patents.

  • JohnDoey

    The Motorola patents turned out to be worthless, so Google didn’t get what it wanted. They should have bought the Nortel patents — which they bid pi billion on like jackasses, and then let go to an Apple-led consortium — because not only are they actually valuable, they include a patent that directly impacts Google Search.

    • We all should be rooting against that troll (Rockstar).

      I read the hardware patents have value and even those patents that lost in court don’t make up the whole portfolio.

      • Moeskido

        I’ll wait patiently for that to pan out.

      • tylernol

        how is rockstar a patent troll?

        • “patent troll

          Web definitions

          A patent troll, also called a patent assertion entity, is a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.”

          • tylernol

            thanks for not answering my question. My question was not “what is a patent troll”. My question was “how is rockstar a patent troll”? Rockstar is a NPE/consortium owned/controlled by…who? So do they really fit the definition of troll as you supplied? Not really.

          • I’m not not answering your question. I’ll elaborate on my position since it seems Rockstar and their structure isn’t clear.

            This is a separate entity with the primary owners/investors being Apple/others. The entity makes nothing.

            Patent troll = has patents, sues, makes nothing. That’s Rockstar.

    • tylernol

      exactly Google only bought Motorola out of panic, but not only because they lost the Nortel patents but also Motorola was threatening to go after other Android handset makers in patent lawsuits,

  • Jeff Zugale


    Wonder how many jobs that $9.5 billion could have created.

    Gruber’s take is great.

  • Stephen Middlehurst

    Agree with JohnDoey on this one, the Motorola deal has been a complete bust for Google and someone seriously blew the research when it came to assessing the usefulness of those patents. For Google it’ll probably work out okay as they’re now more closely tied with Samsung and if Lenovo does manage to turn Motorola around you’ve got to assume that too will be tightly tied to Google.

    My question is what happens to all those devices manufactured on Google’s watch. Will Lenovo continue to provide good, timely support or will customers be left out in the cold? And looking at the wider picture where does Google go from here? They’ve really struggled in the hardware field with no major success to point to. Do they keep trying or does the partner approach make more sense for them (and if they go that route… how does that affect Microsoft)? For that matter who in their right mind would now go out and buy a Nest device tomorrow? Look at Google’s history when it comes to acquisitions and you’d surely be at least a little concerned about how long Nest will last before being shut down.

    • Dennis Madrid

      You bring up good points, but what occurred to me is Google is dumping Motorola because they now have Nest. There’s no need for two hardware design groups/teams/etc. and Nest is superior (smaller, better-skilled, more appealing, etc.) to Motorola.

      • Exactly. It turns out the ailing Motorola Mobility team really wasn’t good at designing and developing modern hardware. Google has Nest / Tony Fadell / Mr. iPod, who needs the Motorola teams and all of that overhead.

  • dreyfus2

    I heard about education cost in the US going up, but I think Page is overdoing it slightly here.

    What I really don’t see is Lenovo’s point here. They are already a bigger smartphone maker than Motorola and they are well established with enterprises. Can’t really see what they gain (other than a loss-making outfit).

    • def4

      Brand and distribution.

      • dreyfus2

        Possible, but does not really strike me as conclusive. The Moto brand is irrelevant since about 2006 (when they started to bundle RAZRs with hair dryers in most places) and their current distribution is marginal (the Moto X finally made it to mainland Europe two weeks ago). Outfits like Huawei and ZTE run circles around them.

    • This is news to me. I cant find anything about mobile/smarphones on their US site.


  • LMBO @ Google Reader. Time to move on buddy. 🙂

    I agree…it wasn’t a loss of as big a magnitude as I thought it could turn out to be. I’m disappointed but maybe it was for the best.

    I still want a Moto X.