Google has sold its Motorola Mobility smartphone business to Lenovo, in a bolt-from-the-blue deal. The PC-maker, which also has a fast–growing smartphone arm in its home country, paid $2.91 billion (£1.53 billion) for the company.
The selling price represents a major drop from the $12.5 billion outlay Google paid for Motorola back in August 2011.
However, Google’s deal with Lenovo will see it retain ‘the vast majority’ of Moto’s portfolio of patents. These will the be licensed back to Lenovo for use in any future devices.
Lenovo, though, will have full ownership rights of the Motorola brand and its trademarks. The Chinese company will be hoping that the acquisition can boost its smartphone reach beyond its domestic market.
Motorola has had a tough few years under Google’s ownership. The company was essentially broken up and only re-emerged with new devices towards the end of 2013, in the form of the Moto X and Moto G.
Both handsets have been reviewed favourably. However, with Samsung continuing to dominate the Android space, Lenovo will have a fight on its hands to try and push the Moto brand back to mainstream popularity.