Could Google sell Motorola handset division to Huawei?


Quickly closing in on a year since Google announced plans to acquire Motorola Mobility the deal remains unclosed. But getting the necessary approvals and finalizing the $12.5 billion purchase is really only the beginning. The jury is still out on what Google plans to do with Motorola once they assume control of the company. The decision to buy the company was made mostly on patents — Motorola’s 17,000 or so would be a big help in defending Google and its Android operating system from legal attacks that seem to be coming from all directions — but there has been much debate about how Google will handle Motorola’s hardware division.

Some see Google making a legitimate attempt to enter the OEM space, others believe the tech giant will allow Motorola to continue operating more or less independently. Still others see a mix of the two with Google taking advantage of Moto’s manufacturing ability to toy around with new product ideas and services while Motorola continues to churn out their own products. Central to discerning what Google will do is the notion that the company doesn’t want to alienate other Android manufacturers by playing favorites with Motorola. A few insiders see Google avoiding the decision altogether and selling Motorola’s hardware division to a third party. Some even claim they know who.

According to sources speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Google is already in communication with Huawei to discuss a potential sale. People close to Google deny that any such discussions have occurred and remain mum on Google’s plans. The move would make sense, at least. Huawei is an up-and-coming manufacturer with strong backing in China. They could certainly use Motorola’s worldwide reach to create an even stronger brand or reach into new markets. Of course, the idea of selling an American company to a Chinese firm wouldn’t sit well with some folks.

The bottom line is, no one is quite sure what Google will do and we likely won’t know until after the initial deal is approved. That could happen soon, but given how long the process has taken we may be waiting a while longer before learning the extent of Google’s plans.

[WSJ via IntoMobile]

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. I REALLY hope that isn’t Google’s plan, that’s just a slap in the face on so many levels if they did that.

    1. How is that a slap in the face? Did you honestly believe Google was going into the hardware business?

      Naive you are.

      1. I didnt think they were, but i was hoping they would

  2. One could only hope.  Dump Motorola’s hardware division quick while they are still worth something and claim a capital loss if possible.  Motorola rode the success of the OG Droid and since have produced nothing but utter crap in terms of devices.  Not to mention the sheer flood of phones coming from them.  

    1. Give this man a cookie. I agree 100% with you. Motorola have produced nothing but terrible devices! Even the Razr Maxx thing is rubbish

      1. Any particular reason you hate the maxx? I’m considering buying the gsm version once its out so any honest feedback would be appreciated.

      2. shut up

    2.  Bahaha…the braying of two lone donkeys

  3. Well, if that happens, I think Ferrari should sell their auto division to Hyundai.

    1. Might as well. Fiat had controlling interest in them at one point. (Might still?)

      1. Still do. While we’re at it, Ford almost bought Ferrari back in the 60’s.

        1.  Chrysler owned Lamborghini in the 80’s and 90’s. My how times have changed.

  4. I kinda hope they don’t. It would be great if the cyanogen mod team bought it. They wouldn’t have enough though.

    1. Lol your so naive.

      1. how’s that naive? he said he knows it won’t happen, we can all dream

  5. Just role on the Atrix 3, lets see what Motorola has to offer.

    1. I’ve been waiting for an Atrix 3 with a Maxx like battery and 32gb memory along with NFC and bluetooth 4.0.  It would be enough to be my phone for years.  The only reason I want to get rid of my original Atrix is lack of NFC because I’m really hoping/thinking mobile payments will take off here soon.

  6. why post baseless rumors ?

  7. Once again, for those fools who thought you’d see a Moto Nexus, your dream is dead.

    This was all about patents but the Moto fan boys couldn’t help but think otherwise. Fools.

  8. I think that would help both moto and huwai. Huwai to break into the larger us markets and moto because huwai makes some nice nearly stock devices

  9. No way this would happen.  Whoever bought Moto would have to pay licensing fees just to use and sell their own products they are making since Google would take all their patents way from them.  That would be ridiculously stupid.

    That and lets outsource more American work to the *#$%ing Chinese!!!

    1. 1 – In all like sales, including purchases of just patents from companies, the original company retains lifetime usage rights to the patents they once controlled.
      2 – Motorola doesn’t build a damn thing in America.  They build their devices at Foxconn… you know… that Chinese company.

  10. I wouldnt mind seeing Moto sold to Huawei, I think they could do good things with it. Anyone know how to pronounce Huawei? 

    1. Hwa-way is the way they’ve said it in commercials?

      1. That’s correct.

  11. It makes sense, but I’m not sure what the value would be without the patents.  I suppose the manufacturing and R&D facilities have value.  I suppose they’d keep the purely hardware related patents, as well.

  12. Huawei?  Really?  How the hell does Huawei even have enough money to buy Moto?

    1. They’re backed by the chinese gov’t.  They have the cash.

    2. wiki
      “Huawei is the largest China-based networking and telecommunications equipment supplier and the second-largest supplier of mobile telecommunications infrastructure equipment in the world (after Ericsson)”

      They have the $$$ to buy Moto.

    3. their revenue is about 5x that of Google’s and their profit almost matches Google’s entire turn over. they have the money

  13. if they do, I’ll switch to windows. I have had enough of the selling of America to the communists

    1. Stupid comment! There is nothing communist about the current Chinese economy except that one party rules the country. It’s economy is as capitalist as any other country on earth.

      1. In the USA, UK and other parts of the world, you can criticize the government in public. This is also true in China, where you can publicly criticize the USA, the UK…


  14. Ifbtey do, I will switch to windows phones. I’ve had enough of the sale oAmerica to the communists

  15. sell the mobile division, keep the set-top box division for Google TV, keep the department that made the dock for the atrix and make a better dock that is usable by ALL (especially nexus devices) android phones

  16. The Motorola Triumph on virgin mobile is already a rebranded Huawei device so we know the relationship is there. Also, that could mean unlocked bootloaders.

    1. As long as moto continues to make great products :)

  17. I hope this is not true, I hate Huawei due to being a Chinese company that has close ties to its government. This would be such a shameful thing to do

  18. Kevin…  How can u not connect the dots…

    Story from March…

    “Google’s deal to acquire Motorola Mobility for
    $12.5 billion is still waiting for approval by China’s antitrust agency.
    The deal has already received clearance from the US Justice Department,
    the European Union, and other jurisdictions around the world, making
    China the last hurdle. However, Chinese regulators have added another
    round of investigations, which could bring further delays.

    In a regulatory filing made today by Motorola, it
    was revealed that China’s antitrust agency had extended the second phase
    of its invesitgations. Google and Motorola still expect the transaction
    to close within the first half of this year, but they could not provide
    any assurances that the transaction will be approved by China. ”

    And in April u start seeing rumors of Moto being sold to China’s Huawei…  Gee…  I wonder why…  I hope it’s just a bluff from Google…  If this turns out to be true then Google is more full BS then I previously thought…

    Love Android… Not so thrill about Google…

  19. I’d rather have ASUS buy Motorola than Hwaway.

  20. Sell it off to Microsoft or Nokia so we don’t have to see any more clunky Motorola DROID phones.

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