A few short months after purchasing Motorola mobility for around US$11Bn Google has offloaded the handset maker to Lenovo for around US$3Bn.
Although that may appear as a significant loss what needs to be appreciated is that Google is retaining many of the key Motorola patents which many argue was the design from the start. Having a strong packet of mobile patents protects Google and its Android platform from being sued as has happened to many others.
Removing itself from competing in the mobile handset market will make many other phone providers, especially Samsung, very happy. Google will produce ‘Play’ editions of its operating system that people can load onto any handset to have the ‘pure’ Google experience.
A partially unsung portion of this deal is the growing influence of Chinese hardware supplier Lenovo who already is the most profitable supplier of desktops today. Owning Motorola Mobility gives them a quick leg up into the large phone market (the US) and the ability to impact many other markets in which it already has a name for producing quality devices.
Most analysis see the move to sell Motorola mobility as very smart from Google and something that it always planned to do. It certainly allows it to focus on what it does best and removes many of the issues other phone handset manufacturers had with the Motorola hardware coming directly from Google.
Google’s Android mobile operating system continues to dominate the market with almost 80% market share. Focusing on just doing software is going to strengthen that even further.