Skip to main content

Well, that was a quickie! Google sells Motorola

Motorola Moto G4
Simon Hill/Digital Trends

After a scant 29 months, the love affair between Google and Motorola has ended. On August 15, 2011, Google announced its intent to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Today, it announced its intent to sell it to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Yes, Google wanted Moto out so badly it took a $7 billion plus hit to be free.

As a part of the separation, Google will retain all of Motorola’s stuff (it’s patents, especially) and Lenovo has promised to take on Motorola’s name when they wed.

“The smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices,” said Google CEO Larry Page. “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.”

Page went on to say that Lenovo has the expertise needed to scale Motorola and make it a “major player” in the Android ecosystem, and intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity, just as it did with the ThinkPad brand it bought from IBM in 2005. Google will retain the “vast majority” of Motorola’s patents, which it will then use to “defend the entire Android ecosystem.”

We do not have sales figures of the Moto X or Moto G. From what we understand, sales for these phones started out slow, but they were beginning to take off. In a Google blog post, Page said that “both the Moto G and the Moto X are doing really well, and I’m very excited about the smartphone lineup for 2014.”

The deal has to be approved by the U.S. and China, which will take up to a year — if you recall, Google’s 2011 acquisition of Motorola wasn’t completed until May 22, 2012.

“So until then, it’s business as usual,” Page said. “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.”

Editors' Recommendations

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
Motorola just launched a new Android phone to take on the Google Pixel 8a
A render of the front and back of the Moto G Stylus 5G (2024).

If you have your heart set on a phone with a stylus, you’re probably familiar with Samsung devices like the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the previous Galaxy S23 Ultra. But there is another company out there that ships phones with a stylus — Motorola. Unlike Samsung’s flagship, the new Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) won’t break the bank thanks to its $400 starting price in the U.S.

The Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) is the latest in a series of midrange stylus-equipped phones that Motorola started releasing in 2020. The latest model keeps up with its predecessors with solid midrange capabilities and, as the name indicates, support for 5G.

Read more
The 10 most important things to know about the Google Pixel 8a
Promo image for the Google Pixel 8a, showing renders of the phone in all four colors.

Google has just announced the next Pixel A-series device -- the new Google Pixel 8a. The A-series is the more budget-friendly Pixel option, and it comes out halfway in the cycle to the next mainline Pixel device.

This year, the Pixel 8a offers some big upgrades over its predecessor, the Google Pixel 7a. It’s also more similarly matched with the standard Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, both of which came out in October 2023.

Read more
Google just launched a new Pixel Tablet … kind of
The Google Pixel Tablet sitting outside with its screen on.

With the excitement of the Google Pixel 8a launch, it might have passed a little unnoticed that Google also launched a new Pixel Tablet — though not exactly. For one thing, the “new” Pixel Tablet is the exact same device as the “old” Pixel Tablet. We mean that literally: same specs, same look, same screen. The only difference with the newly launched Pixel Tablet is that it’ll be sold without its charging/speaker dock, unlike the previous model, which included it.

At $399, the new Pixel Tablet is $100 cheaper than the earlier model, but that’s to be expected — both because it doesn’t come with any hardware refresh and also because it cuts the dock. It's also worth noting that it will not be launched with any new first-party accessories like a keyboard or stylus, which were previously rumored for the tablet.

Read more