Why did Google buy Motorola

Google sells Motorola to Lenovo after just two years

In this gallery: 2 images

Less than two years after taking over Motorola Mobility, Google is saying goodbye to the cell phone manufacturer. As the software manufacturer surprisingly announced on Wednesday, the cell phone subsidiary is moving to the Chinese hardware manufacturer Lenovo.

Financial details

The purchase price is quoted as $ 2.91 billion (2.13 billion euros). Google had once paid 12.5 billion dollars, but emphasized from the start that it was primarily interested in the patents associated with Motorola in order to be able to better protect the Android operating system from lawsuits by other corporations. A hope that has hardly come up so far. In the meantime, Google had already sold the business with set-top devices by 2.4 billion dollars.


According to the agreement, the majority of the patents will remain in the possession of Google, only 2,000 of the total of 24,000 will go to Lenovo. It can be assumed that these are mainly patents in which Google itself has no interest. Of the $ 2.91 billion, Lenovo will pay 660 million in cash and 750 million in treasury stock. There is also a promissory note worth $ 1.5 billion.


Google is thus returning to the role of the pure software manufacturer, at least in the Android area, which it held for years before the Motorola purchase. The combination of hardware and software providers quickly raised concerns with other providers. Google tried to counter this by running Motorola Mobility as an independent subsidiary. It was also emphasized again and again that Motorola had no preference whatsoever when it came to delivering new Android versions.


In the official announcement, Google boss Larry Page also emphasized that the sale would enable Google to focus again on the entire Android ecosystem and its further development. At the same time, Motorola ends up with Lenovo at the world's largest PC manufacturer, which is currently also enjoying strong growth in sales in the smartphone sector. Lenovo is now number one for smartphones in China.

With the takeover of Motorola, one now hopes to nibble on the market share of Android-Primus Samsung worldwide. The Motorola brand is to be continued, similar to how the name "Thinkpad", which was taken over by IBM in 2005, is used in the PC sector. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside and the rest of the management level of the mobile phone manufacturer should also go to Lenovo.

Other categories

In this context, Page also emphasized that the Motorola sale in no way means that one completely abandons hardware development. In the areas of wearables - keyword Google Glass - and smart home, there is still a lot planned. In addition, a Motorola division is excluded from the sale to Lenovo: the "Advanced Technology and Projects" group, which is working on the "Ara" project, with which Google wants to advance the concept of the modular smartphone. (Andreas Proschofsky, derStandard.at, January 29, 2014)