Breaking News: Google to Buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 Billion


Well, slap me silly and call us crazy – we never, ever saw this coming. Google is getting set to buy Motorola Mobility, the company who was a huge part of why Android has quickly become one of the most widely-used operating systems today. The purchase will be made for $12.5 billion. Google cites Motorola’s commitment to Android and them being the only mobile operating system they use as one of the reasons why the OEM fits into their future plans perfectly.

This doesn’t mean Google has suddenly become an OEM – Motorola will continue to operate independently and Android will still be as open as it is now to every OEM. A large part of this acquisition has to do with Motorola’s stronghold in other telecommunications market.

Another piece to the puzzle? Motorola’s patent portfolio. They get a nice list of patents to go along with the company in order to further help protect themselves from the patent trolls.

I know what all of you are thinking – ZOMG NEXUS 3 BY MOTOROLA! We don’t know that. In fact, we’d bet heavily against that. But we’re glad to see previous rumors of Motorola’s plan to fade away from Android to focus on their own operating system may be curtailed by the fact that they are owned by Google. [Google, Press Release]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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    The implications…they are….OMG!!!!!

    And here I joked about the HTC announcement being Google would buy htc….O_O

    Does this mean we get:

    A Nexus phone line like the Galaxy S line?
    With cheaper, lower end stock nexus phones besides the BEAST MODE cutting edge nexus phones.

    I guess if Nexus Phones will now only be made by motorola, then I will own only moto devices…..funny…..but totally awesome!!!!


    Meanwhile, Steve jobs just crapped his pants xD

    1. You have to assume that a Moto Nexus = Unlocked bootloaders

      1. OMG…. FUCK YES!

        This is GREAT NEWS. Not only will all Moto devices get updated quickly as hell, but it will also drive other oems to update their devices to stay competative. WOO HOO!


    2. It means, to me, that they bought the wrong manufacturer if they want top devices.

      here’s hoping that with the patent acquisition complete they’ll see to raising the bar on moto devices.

      1. I actually completely disagree. Rarely do people complain about Moto hardware, it’s always about bootloaders, Blur, and update delays. Do you honestly think Google is going to allow any of that on their dime?

        Honestly, I love my Droid2, other than Blur and the fact that I don’t have Gbread yet. Otherwise, the call quality is superb, overall great hardware and battery life.

      2. they bought the company with the patents….thats what they needed, thats what they got. Samsung is doing great with their galaxy line, so I doubt they would even want to be bought or be too expensive (Also they are very integrated…hard to buy their mobile division and not their chips/scree division which is also used in their tv’s and whatnots)
        And HTC has too few patents…so dunno why its the wrong manufacturer

  2. Methinks HTC and Samsung will be mighty pissed and jealous when they wake up this morning.

    1. Nah, they still make the better devices. Google’s keeping android open, it’s the patents they’re after.

      1. Agree with you 100% about the patents.

        But keeping this under-performing dead weight afloat will be a full time job for the good folks at Google.

        1. Google might not care greatly that Moto performs spectacularly, just that they stay above water. Google probably cares more about (1) the patents, and (2) having their own handset maker that they can get to build anything controversial or unconventional that Google may want but which other OEMs are reluctant to build.

    2. At least publicly they all “welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners” with a few extra words thrown in there for those that were trying for extra credit. Sounds like Google told them what to say :) At this point, I think they really would be happier that they’ll have patent help than they’d be worried about favoritism.


    3. Forget Samsung & HTC, what about Mr. Jobs?

    4. google couldn’t even afford to buy out samsung or htc the only reason they can buy motorola is because they haven’t turned a profit in a while

  3. WHOA! nice, just saw this on Google

  4. This is crazy but it IS whats up.
    +1 Google.

  5. i doubt there would be any major changes. theyll just let motorola get on with it. as the article says, theyre after the patents and the general market position. it wouldnt be in their interests to start favouring one phone brand over another as they dont want to piss off samung/sony/htc etc. if theyre seen as giving the good stuff to motorola then the others might start considering going elsewhere.

  6. Motorola Mobility will still be a seperate entity and have to license Android from Google. I doubt HTC and Samsung will stay angry long as Android has really help them compete with the big fruit.

  7. Its the end of Blur as we know it! Not a bad thing.

    1. That is my favorite part of this whole thing and I don’t even use Motorola phones.

    2. Don’t know this for sure, but I certainly hope so!

    3. I’ve never owned a Motorola Android phone. Is Blur really that bad? It must be because I’ve never read a positive comment about it.

      1. I actually liked it when I played around with it on my dad’s X. I like it a whole lot better than Sense, that’s for sure.

  8. Didn’t see that coming. Glad for both companies, although I wonder how it may impact (read “screw”) their relationship with other OEMs. Googarola FTW!

    1. I do believe you just coined a new popular phrase.

      Well done!

  9. so is motorola going to start making devices that look good

    1. I hope so….so far that is my only concern with motorola devices….they usually look ugly!


      and I dislike motoblur…almost forgot about that, but I think its safe to say that will be gone soon and what usefull features it did have will be incorporated in ICS or the next update

      The only other news today that can top this news would be if I won lsat weeks tegra contest :P

      1. Ugly and overprice.

    2. Motorola has the best looking phones, they are the only manufacturer that has masculine phones. They also have the best build quality. Now if only we can get decent software to match its build quality

      1. Masculine phones? Overcompensate much, caveman?

        1. Me want phone with squishable boobies!!! *grunt grunt grunt*

      2. plastic and bulky doesn’t equal masculine

      3. HTC makes the best looking phones and best build quality.

  10. Does this mean we can say goodbye to Motoblur (or whatever they’re calling it these days)…..will Motorola be forced to adopt stock Android for all future devices? I hope so…

    1. Chances are: not a chance. Moto will be run as an independent entity, and will likely have to be to avoid even more antitrust issues for Google. All this means is that Moto picks up 12B worth of working capital, and Google gets patent protection. Both sides win, and nothing really changes.

    This is biggest Monday news! And I love it! I can’t wait for a pure Google phone without any of that crap Blur!!
    I’m super excited!. Now let’s hope the FTC and FCC approve this.

  12. Btw, I think this was planned all along.

  13. google want to buy all of its competitors.so google can be on top.


    1. … that statement is so ignorant i .. just .. what?

  14. Motorola holds more than 17,000 mobile specific patents, They are the grandfather of the modern mobile device. This is a very good buy.

    Really makes HTC’s Beatz Audio purchase look lame

    1. More Lame… it was pretty lame to begin with imho.

    2. I wonder if that was the primary driver – to buy an enormous stack of chips in the ongoing and growing patent wars with Apple and MSoft. I’m was disconnected from the specific patent portfolios of any of them, but if Motorola has a lot of good IP that can be held against Apple/MSoft, that would be a good thing for Google and for everyone that loves Android.

      1. I’m pretty sure this half of Motorlola (the mobile spin-off that Google is buying) has access to the entire Motorola patent portfolio.

        If Google’s going to litigate, this is a good way to get started.

      2. pretty sure it was, they’ll use patents to fend off rivals and make a bit of money

  15. I wish this meant faster gingerbread updates for my droid 2. But I’m excited to see what google does. I’m guessing within six months our so, google takes the good features of blur and rolls them into android proper while discarding everything else.

  16. As far as I can tell… This was something that Google was going to be forced into doing at some point to help keep the bad fruit off their back. With all of Motorola’s patents and what Google has already taken in, it will be blessing. I think they should turn around and do the same thing with either HTC or Samsung. Leave the business intact and just use the patents.

    I don’t see Google trying to run the day to day workings of the cellphone company or giving one company over another more access.

    I feel this will be good for us all…

    1. insert some nice design ideas into motorola i think.

      Despite any pretences google now owns motorola and they should be producing flagship designs, not just reference model bullcrap.

  17. this is amazing and all..but its still subject to approval first..unfortunately..the way that the ftc is hounding google..id see thist o be quite difficult…unlike the tmo/att aquisition..att lined the pockets pretty thick

    1. this isn’t a monopolistic thing.

  18. This is sick. Hope my Atrix will get some love soon!

  19. The moment I read this I was like, WTF, it aint the first of april.
    And then I read the article, and now i’m like ZOMFG WTF MIND BLOWN

    this can lead to some very interesting stuff

  20. I would just like to point out that Microsoft bought Skype for 8.5 Billion. Larry Page 1, Ballmer… still a used car salesman.

  21. Awesome move by Google and even better move by Moto. I wondered why they split the company when they did but it’s now obvious. My only regret is that I didn’t buy some shares before it skyrocketed on the news today.

  22. Please get rid of Motoblur…PLEEEAAASE get rid of Motoblur!!!

  23. Good news

  24. OMG

  25. There’s something behind close doors on this. I’ll bet anything that the new Nexus is coming from Moto. And that Google is ginna start charging a tiny fee for android. Like $1 per handset.

  26. YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! {infinity}

  27. Suck it up Rockstar Alliance. Ranger planned it all along, and you lost this poker game. Where will be you with you pitty Nortel patents, when Google owns the portfolio that belonged to the Mother of all cellphones!

  28. OK, this is good news I think. This means that Moto has been working on something that will be the Nexus Prime. All Moto really needs is a better display to be competitive.

    1. No, it doesn’t mean that. This is about patents, not devices.

  29. Wow, didn’t see this one coming. It really looks like Google was forced into this by all the patent lawsuits and the lack of control over the Android partners. I’m guessing Google will use this as the ultimate stick to “influence” the Android ecosystem. If Motorola sells stock Android phones with unlocked bootloaders, Google search, and opens it’s patents to Android’s defense, then maybe the others will too.

    It remains to be seen how their partners will react to this though, we could definitely see a negative reaction from at least one of them.

    1. I doubt samsung and HTC will be too fussed if it means that google now own patents that they can help them vs the apple litigators.

      It strengthens android considerably.


  31. Death to Moto Blur please.

  32. Great marriage as Motorola builds solid hardware but sucks at software. Maybe now Motoblur will disappear from my Atrix and the sync will start working correctly. Typical of Motorola’s software design is the fact that their Corporate Sync (read: business) gets the photos for contacts not from the Exchange Server but from Facebook. How dumb can you get?

  33. Look at it this way Sammy and HTC. Its like your parents adopted another kid and you’re all “this sucks”. But then you realize that the kid is 6 foot 4 and goes about 275 lbs. n can be totally bad ass when you need him to be. So now you’re all “bring it” to that bully Steve that has been givin you shit for the past 4 years.

    1. Sounds like you’re describing me except add 2 inches and subtract 20 pounds lol.

      This was an awesome move by Google.

    2. I find this comment particularly funny because I’m 6’4 and 270lbs. :x

  34. All of you complaining about Moto Blur.. Yeah it sucked. But it’s already gone, the Moto applications platform on the new Moto phones is MUCH better. The photon is actually a VERY fast phone and it has the Moto Application platform on it, and it is silky smooth. The days of BLUR are gone forever! If Google implements some of the cooler features into the next build of Android it’ll be AWESOME!.

  35. i like Moto as a company. (yes their phones are not the most aesthetically pleasing to look at) but i find it hilarious that Motorola Mobility is less than a year old and they just made some serious cash on that turn-around…and HTC (i like htc as well) thinks that getting on the Beats bandwagon is a serious accomplishment. grow up guys

    Motorola’s the Godfather of cell phones and cell phone technology. good for them for making this move. not only does it help Google out, but in the event that Apple feels the need to try and rape some money out of someone else, im sure with the more than 17,000 patents Motorola surrendered to google, theyll have something to throw back at Apple. maybe someone can finally put those whiny little brats in their place..possibly even suck some money out of their gold-lined pockets.

  36. Now if Google would just buy Verizon.

    1. I think Verizon is bigger then Google. I think Google would have a better shot at buying t-mobile honestly.

    2. Google isn’t anywhere close to being in the “Let’s buy Verizon tax-bracket”. As Kevin Haller stated, it would be more realistic (financially) to buy T-Mobile. However, I wouldn’t want to EVER see Google buy a carrier. It sounds like a good idea at first, but it would actually be a bloody disaster for Android, not the “ushering in of a golden era for Android” as some people think it would be. Normally, I’m pretty long-winded in my posts, but I’m not even going to start on that.
      I do think that Motoogle, or Googorola (whatever – the purchase) is a brilliant idea. Regardless of what your opinion of Moto is, the simple fact is that Moto doesn’t have a patent portfolio, they have an entire library. I don’t think that HTC, Samsung, Sony, et al. really care. If anything, I think when the news broke, Apple said “Oh SHIT! Our patent trolling just got a hell of a lot harder! Whip the lawyers into making up some even more obscure and bizarre patent lawsuits!”.

  37. Back in July, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn suggested that Motorola sell off its patents http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20081542-94/icahn-pushing-motorola-mobility-to-sell-its-patents/ and one comment in that article was made that both Google and Motorola merge. Fast forward to now and boom, it becomes a reality. Then when Sanjay talked the other day at the Oppenheimer conference, he gave hints of whats to come, with talking about patents and committing to Android. With the patent wars ongoing, I was left to wonder if it would make sense for Google to buy out the patents. But thinking that Motorola being so big, I didn’t think it would happened. Well I am glad I was wrong in that assumption. This gives Google plenty of ammo against Microsoft and Apple in the patent wars. It also means that good things are coming down the pike. With Motorola committing to providing unlocked bootloaders as shown recently with the recently leaked Photon one and reducing the “in your face” Motoblur, I see the company making headway not only with developers but also with customers who want a very good product. This is very good for both companies as well as the community at large.
    Purely Awesome Stuff.

  38. Well it looks like Google was serious when they said that they’d ‘make sure HTC won’t lose’.

    Take that Apple.



    1. Except that now Samsumg, HTC, etc. all have to find another OS strategy. Build their own or tie up with Windows Mobile (until Microsoft “zunes” their partners too).

      Android no longer has a shot at being the “Windows of mobile”.

      Aside from Android’s patent issue, which this will likely clear up, this really has nothing to do with phones and everything to do with tablets. Google thought the browser was the way to make an end-run around the ubiquitous Windows. Apple showed us it was actually the tablet. But Android tablets are getting no traction without the subsidies from the carriers which is driving Android adoption.

      1. The Tab is doing pretty good in america and in europe before the ban.

      2. r u kidding me with this comment? wow man. you are so wrong that it embarrassed me.

      3. why would they need another “OS Strategy” ? both will continue with what has made them successful, Android. The purchase of Motorola Mobility has nothing to do with them being the preferred OEM and more with their patent profile. Samsung, LG, and HTC all welcome the acquisition. There is no better OS than android right now, a new one would never take off in this market.

  40. All I can say is WOW. At the same time, it wasn’t about buying a manufacturer. It was getting a bigger patent profile. I see this as a win win.

  41. Ok. I’m happy they have the patents. Now save Tmobile and buy them from under AT&T. Sad to think the company that has supported them the longest will be gobbled up by the company that is the worst.

  42. Shrewd move by Google. From the other side, now we have to wonder if making M attractive to G was part of the original reason for splitting Moto in the first place.

  43. Motorola has 3 times the patents Nortel had. Lol! Take that Apple,Rim, and Microsoft!

  44. solid pick up goog…

  45. Wasn’t expecting that! Best of luck to all the people from Motorola working for Google now, wonder really how separate the businesses will be.

  46. Motorola phones actually seem kool. It’s just the whole bootloader and MotoBlur and only-on-Verizon-and-not-Tmo that’s stopping me from trying one. I’d love to try out the Droid 3. I’m hearing good things about the keyboard.

  47. If people are other source, you that 1. Moto is going to be the same as always. 2. The other OEM was pleased with the deal. 3. The Nexus phone line is a bid system in who can give them the best hardware. 4. Android will still be open because google make their money with Ads and not sells.

  48. “ZOMG NEXUS BY MOTOROLA” is the first thing that went thru my mind. I will keep my hopes up. Since I have been vacationing in Sweden, I have convinced 3 people to buy the Nexus S.

  49. Also, Google could focus in low-end phones with Android, right now Samsung is the only one offer a lot of option in the low-end market with simple hardware and Android OS to low cost.

  50. Dies everyone understand how this helps all of Android’s manufactures? This patent portfolio us now available for all of Android. This could be the turning key for HTC’s and Samsung’s lawsuits vs. Apple.

  51. This is aimed squarely at Apple.

    1. and Microsoft.

  52. I will NOW start to buy Motorola phones now, they were off of my list before.. Thank you Google !

  53. I hope they sue the shit out of apple


    Seriously, Moto made the very first mobile handset and their portfolio is stacked with patents. When Neil Armstrong said those famous words as he stepped down on the lunar surface for the first time he said them on a Motorola radio. One reason I have always liked my Droid X is that even tho its made in China it is from and American corporation using an American proc from Texas Instruments.

    I hate to be cynical but I think this has been in the pipes for a while. Actually, its probably why the whole division in Moto happened awhile back. The main Moto company talked with Google about this move and decided to split off its mobile division so this very sale could take place. That way the mobile assests go to Google and Moto can keep its solvency as a company.

    Very far sighted on eveyones part.

  55. Ironic! My buddy and I were discussing THIS EXACT SCENARIO! Pretty much Google had no choice but to pad there IP Portfolio to protect them against the wolves (MS and Apple). Sadly, this is how our free market works. With this now Google can fire back with

    “If you drop your court case against patent dispute X we will drop our proposed dispute with you about patent Y”

    Id like to think Google wouldnt use these IP’s in a malicious way that the other companies are. But leverage is everything in business!

  56. I think everyone is missing the strategic ramifications regarding this purchase by Google of Moto/moto’s patents – from what I have read Moto also has a lot of patents related to home automation/networking – this will assist Android, Samsun, Lg, etc in defense against future patent challenges as they increase Android’s integration into the home. This is coming with the popularity of the tablets. Soon, you will be able to preheat your oven from work or turn on your crock pot at lunch so dinner will be ready when you get home, and you can already record your favorite TV show.

  57. Now, this acquisition will also grant Google the patent to create their own Webtop (a dock for smartphones). All they need to do is bake CHROME OS into these Webtops, and there you have it! Android meets Chrome!

  58. Will this mean quicker and more software updates?

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