Official: Lenovo buys Motorola from Google for $2.91 billion


Motorola a Lenovo Company

According to sources from Reuters and China Daily, Google is preparing to sell off Motorola’s phone business to none other than Lenovo. A deal that is reported to be worth $3 billion, this would give Lenovo a much better chance at breaking into the lucrative mobile market in the US, an area Lenovo simply can’t compete.

If it sounds like Lenovo could be getting themselves a deal, it’s because they are. Feels like it was only yesterday Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion and even though it appears they’ve done a good job at turning things around for the struggling manufacturer, business is business.

Google Lenovo shake

UPDATE: Annnnnnnd… it’s official. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside revealed the news via the company blog, saying with Lenovo now at the helm, Motorola will now be in a better position to attack the global smartphone market. As for Google, they were able to keep the vast majority of patents they acquired from Motorola, with Lenovo also receiving a good 2,000 patents in addition to the Motorola brand and trademarks for a cool $2.91 billion. Everyone wins?

[The Verge]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Wtf?

    1. Well, I was thinking of getting a Moto X. Maybe I will switch to the iPhone.

    2. Googles net cost for Motorola mobility was really only about 1.5 billion dollars. Not only are they keeping the majority of the patents they’re now turning a profit on the original purchase. That 12.5 billion dollar figure is a media number with no accounting for cash on books, tax offset, enterprise value or cash on sale of other divisions that were acquired with the purchase.

  2. NOO

    1. This is the saddest day in the latest history of mobile technology. Google, you let me down :-( I’d rather see Motorola trademark disappear eventually than see it under Chinese ownership. Sad, sad day. I’ll just go order Moto G, just for the sake of keeping the last phone ever built by Motorola.

  3. I seriously hope this isn’t true.

  4. Bet that American plant here in Texas is gonna shut down real quick and go to china… Bastards.

    1. Why would it? Lenovo has a production plant in North Carolina — they don’t seem to be any big hurry to vacate the U.S.

      1. I am purely speculating but it seriously wouldn’t surprise me. I just hate how all tech is made in China. I’m a manufacturing laborer myself and am proud of the quality products I make ( oil rig parts ) and want to see some more phones made in America and price really isn’t an issue for me. I hope they keep the plant open I really do but I guess all we can do is wait and see.

        1. Designed in America
          Manufactured in China

          Welcome to 2014.

  5. When did April arrive so fast?

  6. Does Google keep all the patents that came as part of Motorola?

    1. If they don´t get to keep them they just wasted several billion dollars.

      I like the new Moto, but I don´t like the proximity it had with Google. If lenovo can keep the moto x-g train going I don´t mind this )though I highly doubt things won´t deteriorate’

      1. No, they can’t. What happened with Thinkpads? Exactly – nothing. Lenovo just keeps riding the corporate client train that IBM has built the tracks for. No innovation whatsoever – and that is what will happen with Moto phones.

    2. Yes.

      1. No. They keep some but Lenovo gets over 2,000 of them.

  7. If this is true, then Motorola will suffer somewhat. Having Google to directly influence the direction of the Moto X was just a taste of what Google could do with its definition of Android. Lenovo, Samsung, HTC, LG, and Sony would not even have the audacity to concentrate on user experience. Everyone is worried about specs and gimmicks. How about optimization of the hardware/software is relation to how a person uses the smartphone? Until then, let’s stay tuned…

    1. I dont think there was ever definitive proof that Google directly influenced anything to do with the Moto X or G aside from their name being on the door. Google would never put out subpar devices and say its because its a “better user experience”, You can have a high end device and still have awesome user experience. Costs of smartphones dont matter as most discount the price or allow you to make installments over time. Cheap is cheap, thats the bottom line, period. Google was smart to dump a bad investment.

      1. Au contraire mon frere, who is to say that Google didn’t influence the Moto X/G? How does KitKat run on the X as compared to the higher end devices? And who is to say that Motorola was a bad investment when Google at least have a bevy of patents, produced a mid range phone with some high end features, which helped in the detente with Samsung? I think that Google proved that you don’t have to have an iPhone killer to be amazing. Bottom line, pay attention to the little details. That’s what make you remember the phone. Not specs that can become outdated within a month or gimmicks that doesn’t enhance the overall effectiveness of Android.

  8. No, God!!! No God Please No!!! No!!! Nooooooooooo!!!!

  9. Wait, what??? Google buys it for 12.5 and sells it for 3…What else is in the trade. This just doesn’t smell right.

    1. But the patents might be worth the difference

    2. The NY Times has a good breakdown on why Google *didn’t* lose money on Motorola:

    3. They also got 2.2 b for Motorola Home plus they are keeping the patents.

  10. Wait, they bought it for 12.5billion and there now selling it for 3billion… Google, do you just wanna throw billions of dollars at me?!

    1. I’ll even take some loose change ($1 million)!

      1. Come on, Google, dig in them couch cushions for us!

    2. They also sold part of Motorola already for $2.35 billion. Don’t forget about the set top box business.

    3. $12.5B was the valuation on the patent portfolio alone. They basically got the rest for free. As it stands, they’re up about 5 1/2 billion.

      1. No, $12.5 billion was the valuation for the ENTIRE company, including patents. The Motorola patents were “valued” (by Google) at $5.5 billion at a time when they thought they could sue Microsoft for $4 billion of that. Since they actually won only $1.8 million (with an “m”), their patent portfolio has lost most of its inflated “value”. Motorola has also continued to rack up debts of at least $3 billion in the time the Google has owned them.

    4. Motorolla was obviously a bad investment. Better to cut it loose at a loss than have it costing more in the long run. Google knew when to cut ties, theyre smart like that.

    5. Maybe the plan was to turn the company around and then sell it to make sure Samsung has some competition. Do this with HTC now please!

      1. The just wanted the patents, and they got them.

  11. Google & Samsung have recently formed a 10 year partnership to license each other’s patents. Google purchased Motorola for 12 billion dollars — largely for their patents but that hasn’t panned out as great as Google had hoped for. Now, it’s time to recoup some money — Motorola is hot at the moment because of the X & G phones.

    1. What up, G? I’m X. Moto X.

    2. Not as hot as you think. News stories on all major sites said google cited lackluster sales of Motorola handsets.

      1. Lol , Duh !

  12. Was just about to buy two Moto X’s for myself and my wife. Seriously rethinking that right now.

    1. Loving my new Nexus 5!

  13. But… moto was supposed to replace Nexus??

    1. Oh yeah? News to me. A lot of people just speculated that. A lot of bad people.

    2. In what universe was that ? Moto was the nexus for the poor ghetto people.

    3. Moto isn’t touching Nexus

  14. They did sell off part for about 2.5b previously so their remaining purchase price is 10b. If they keep the patents, that means they paid 8b for the patents, if you include the losses from the past couple years.

    If they were to have just bought those 17,000 patents it would have been a lot more than 8b. I think its a good deal for Google assuming they can monetize and protect themselves with those patents

  15. Eh… maybe a patent deal but I doubt it’ll sell Motorola so soon. Motorola still makes land line phones, right? Maybe they’re selling they home phone part of Motorola? Who knows…

  16. Might as well cancel my Moto X order and get a Nexus 5 instead.

    1. Should have just ordered a Nexus 5 to begin with. Realistically. Its like dumping Sarah Silverman for Kate Upton. Why wouldnt you have just went for Upton in the first place….. lol.

      1. Not everyone wants a Nexus 5.

      2. I’d rather Silverman, she’s probably got a better sense of humour.

  17. Hope not. They better go buy HTC

    1. Youre right, Google should buy HTC. Quality hardware with quality software would be a match made in heaven. Would be like a new NEXUS ONE. Actually if Google made an HTC Nexus now they probably would call it a NEXUS ONE. That would be awesome.

  18. Finally a nice American made phone, turned to garbage, if this is true

  19. Google originally bought Motorola for their patent portfolio. Now it looks like their going to sell Motorola and keep the important patents.

  20. i ended up with a moto g after returning a motox for christmas (waiting for higher end phone)
    anyway was on the phone with customer support for about a week and half trying to get a refund. wow cant wait till india call ctr deals with their new Chinese overlords.

    1. a G is lower end than an X. If you wanted a higher end phone you should have got a ONE or a GS4 or a Note 3

  21. What Google should have done is let Motorola make their Nexus line but they probably didn’t want to alienate their Android partners.

    1. I am Sooooooo glad they never got to wreck the consistent quality of the Nexus brand.

  22. I’m glad I got my Moto X. If this deal happens, that Moto X might be the last phone I buy for a long, long time.

    1. Really? ill be buying the next ONE from HTC when it comes out this year.

  23. It’s official. Larry Page says they’ve agreed to sell for 2.91B.

  24. So much for the Nexus line being dead….

    1. Nexus was always better, lets just be honest.

  25. #1 I also really want to know if google gets to keep the patents #2 this could help keep samsung on the android train, since they and other manufacturers probably didn’t trust google owning motorola. #3 I hate to see google sell it, but lenovo is probably the best company I can think of to buy them, lenovo is similar in many ways with their business laptops about function over form. Motorola I think has always missed the mark on not being more business focused. Now come on Moto x2 MAXX droid 5 (a moto x8 processor upgraded to use snapdragon 800 components, maxx battery and a keyboard :)lulz)

    1. Lenovo is a bad deal, to this country, that needed the jobs. watch what happens to made in america .(Google sold us out). Do you really think that was a good sell? I may abandon android, it’s un-american. Look what happened to IBM, jobs lost, stock and barrel here, not investing in your own people. And now google , selling us out to another country, at a loss!

  26. I dont understand this move. Google just bought Moto. Why would they sell it so quickly? Plus didnt they buy Moto for 12 Bill and sold it for 3 bill? WTF?

    1. 1. for the patents, and 2. because they realized there was simply no bringing Motorola out of the hole, despite the new image. Seems like it was unavoidable.

      1. They might have bought them for the patents but they then found out they were pretty much useless due to FRAND. Instead of taking a $10 billion dollar loss, they should have been more serious during the bidding in the old Nortel patent selloff. Now Rockstar is going to beat the crap out of them with those patents. The whole situation has me ticked because honestly, I do not like a single other manufacturer. I feel like this move was done is haste and only to placate Samsung.

    2. They just wanted the patents Haha They got what they came for :P

  27. “Made in America”

    1. Expect “Designed in America” like the iPhone.

  28. What about project Ara?! What the F Google!

      1. Thanks Chris!

  29. Mark my words. Since Motorolla is no longer a Google company watch sales drop and the hate for Motorolla begin. The nerds only started liking Motorolla after they were bought by Google. I predict the hate will rise to Droid-era motorolla. Cant wait to see the tide turn. Motorolla sucks people, always did, you were just blinded by that “A Google company”

    1. Thats BS. I know a lot of people that loved the Android phones Motorola made wel before Google bought them.
      In the end they often got forced to buy other brands simply because either it took 6months+ for Motorola to release their latest device in our region or they never released it in our region except for some big countrys.

      1. I loved Motorola before Google acquisition. The only reason I bounced to samsung was because I loved the N3 hardware. But moto has some Damn good radios

    2. With the exception of the camera, the Moto X is a great phone and it’s only second to the Nexus 5 in my opinion.

      I and many others originally trashed the phone even though it was a Google company but I changed my tune once I got the phone.

    3. I liked Moto back in its Razor days and then again when Google bought it. But here is what your missing… Most people that liked Motorola after Google’s acquisition Is because of its future potential not its current products.

    4. It was impossible to get an Android update on a Moto phone prior to Google buying them, but Moto’s build quality has always been tough to beat.

    1. Motorola making it official required the actual video response. God, this sucks.

  30. that’s too bad I liked where things were heading with Motorola.

    1. If you look at the Lenovo devices that never really landed here they have some appeal. Vanilla experiance which is where we wanted Moto to go anyways and Sony like sleek designs. This could be an interesting convergence. I won’t hold my breath but I just bought an X for my wife and myself maybe we can by another and max XXX’s in my house! :)

  31. Thats a twist I did not see coming.

  32. I have never truely believed that Google wanted to be a smartphone maker. they are happy making their money from licensing the software. they can now just sit back and keep racking in cash and not worry about losing money on Motorola phones. This will also continue to make nexus devices desirable because they will continue to be the only true android phone.

    1. License what software?

      1. All the Google apps that get packaged in with the phones…. Anyone who’s installed a custom rom could tell you, Android is open source, but Gapps aren’t, that’s why they need to be flashed as a separate zip from the rom

      2. The Google network services that include playstore, Google maps, hangouts etc are all licensed. That’s how they make money on android, by including proprietary software that is near mandatory to be competitive.

  33. That’s terrible news.

    Here’s what you can expect for the Moto X2:
    Shitty Mediatek processor (Lenovo *only* uses Mediatek nowadays)
    Android 4.2 with no chance of updates (Lenovo does *not* do Android updates)
    Low resolution screen

    1. Isnt the Moto X made in the US? I wonder if they wil continue making it in the US or move fabrication to China.

      1. Doesn’t matter, no one will want Motorola phones when Lenovo turns them to crap.

  34. Rip googlrolla

  35. WOW Lenova is goin HAM!!!! First IBM now Moto…I wonder what they’re planning?

  36. Yikes. Well now the Moto X has uncertainty with its company to go with the uncertainty the hardware will keep you happy for two years.

  37. American company sold to the Chinese. Way to go Google.

    1. They are buying everything!! for security purposes, this worries me..20 years from now..China will have all our information!!!

  38. Lame, how does disqus not allow gifs?

    Plot twist.

  39. That`s another 1 or 2 thousand jobs lost in america.The phones will be built in china where labor is cheap.The depression is alive and well in america

    1. Lenovo has a HQ in North Carolina

      last time I checked thats still Murica

  40. There’s no chance in hell of me buying a Motorola phone in the future if this is true.

    1. Why not? And this is a serious question.

      1. I don’t like American companies selling out to the Chinese government which probably owns part of Lenovo they practically own us now with the amount of debt that were in to them.

  41. I really liked the direction Motorola was heading and Lenovo really was doing a bad job trying to get into the phone market so hopefully they will put the moto team in charge of most of those decisions. I know a lot of people are pissed but hopefully this will help Google’s standing with other manufacturers and their direction not changing much. I am hopeful but time will tell..

  42. its IBM computers all over again

    1. Then again, Lenovo ThinkPads are still some of the best laptops.

      1. I definitely agree there. wish I bought a think pad instead of a Toshiba last year

        1. That’s exactly why I’m slightly disappointed, but not yet worried about Motorola. In my eyes, Lenovo has been a good shepherd of the ThinkPad since their acquisition and I’m optimistic that they’ll do the same with Motorola. And while I loved what Motorola was doing, if selling Motorola means better Android compliance from Samsung, I’m all in.

  43. You know, I’m sad about the sale but at least Lenovo knows manufacturing. They make good laptops. If they keep the american based design teams and keep on the direction they are going, they can be a big player. I absolutely love my motomaker x . The active display and other features, combined with great ergonomics, looks, and form factor is causing my nexus 5 to gather dust. The 5 is absolutely faster with a better screen, but the x is just more handy and useful for me. I would kill for an encore x with a 4.7 1080p rgb amoled (only for the active display), a proc upgrade, and wireless charging. As an aside, my 5 gets more extreme battery life at times than the x, but the x has a consistently higher life on average for my use. It only has peons with standby with the active display.

  44. And in one fowl swoop what is probably my favorite Android phone ever is dead. RIP Moto X.

    1. It is a fell swoop, fell as in terrible, destructive, Savage, etc. A bird swooping may cause harm to a person but highly unlikely to force a consumer company to crumble.

      1. Lmao

  45. Was really on the fence as to which phone I’ll go with when my contract is up in a few weeks, Moto X or Nexus 5… Nexus 5 it is.

    1. The Nexus line is about to killed off.

      1. That hasn’t really been confirmed. It’s just a rumor.

  46. The ThinkPad comes to mind. Shitty news.

    1. My thoughts exactly. Ugh

  47. A lot of hate in the comments. Just because Lenovo now own Motorola doesn’t mean they’ll change the way Motorola operate – for all we know they’ll allow Motorola to operate as their own company and Lenovo will look to use their screens, processors etc. to better their own brand.

    EDIT: Just to add to that:
    “Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s “distinct brand identity.””

    Taken from an article on Droid life.

    1. Umm…sounds good except for the fact Lenovo has been trying desperately to bring out a smartphone in the US. The bigger question is how many people in the US are going to loose their job now. With Google in control Motorola adopted the “made in the usa” montra now with Lenovo, let’s see if that holds true,,

      1. FYI Lenovo makes ThinkPads in North Carolina.

      2. still could be made in the usa, like various car companies from japan with manufacturing plants in the us

    2. I think the hate comes from the fact that Googs was making strong headway in turning around the brand image of Moto, with the X and the new DROID family, not to mention the speed at which those devices have been receiving updates.

      Wonder how all those Moto X factory workers in TX feel…..

  48. Sloppy seconds

  49. I cried a little

  50. WTF???????

    There goes Motorola

  51. Google exchange Nest for Motorola. In the coming 5 years I will purchase 10-15 android phones (most likely ), 4-5 android tablets, 1-2 ipads, and 0-1 nest devices. In our nest we are 4 birds. You do the math.

  52. Damn Google just pissed me off. I love Motorola was american company now Google sold out to China wtf.

    1. My thoughts exactly.

  53. Much rather give my money to Japan rather China..Sony or bust

  54. OMG Should I return my Moto X? I have like 8 days.


  55. I am so tired of all this jingoism/nationalism/isolationist crap. If you want a factory job building phones, be better and cheaper at it then any other country. labor too cheap? Than you better learn to innovate with technology to stay competitive.

    Besides most of these companies are multi-national companies. They may have a head office in one country or another, but for the most part it is meaningless. Your Toyota is built in Alabama, your BMW in South Carolina, your Ford in Mexico, and your GM in South Korea. Trying to define how “american” a product is ridiculous.

    When we had dumbphones and you raved about your indestructible Nokia, did you care that it was Finnish? No, you bought it because it was the best made phone available. This is how capitalism works. Even China learned this, after years of only allowing people to buy Chinese made crap (and since they had no competition it truly was horrible), they realized people want the best regardless of what country the brand belongs to.

    Moto X’s are being produced worldwide right now, not just in the u.s.a. and I bet you’d be hard pressed to tell which one was made where.

    I really like Thinkpads, I don’t think Lenovo taking them over changed them at all. They are definitely one of the top laptop brands out there.

    Also from an economics stand point it’s horrible for your country to produce things they aren’t the best at producing, all it does is waste resources (including workers) and money, and reduce GDP. You wouldn’t try to grow orange trees in Alaska, but you probably still would drink orange juice.

    Not to mention all of the “American” tech companies we love, like Google and Motorola, employ Indian,Chinese and a host of other people, both at home and abroad. Many of whom may even be sending income overseas. Speaking of overseas all of the tech companies are legally allowed to run profits through other countries to save on taxes, so saying the profits return home, is kind of bullshit.

    We live in a global economy, deal with it.

    p.s. Sorry for rambling
    TL:DR – Buying american is pointless.

  56. I don’t get it. Moto should have been incorporated I to the nexus line

    1. Google doesn’t want to be a manufacturer. They’re a software company.

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