In an interesting twist of fate, as Microsoft prepares to absorb Nokia’s handset division, Google has just confirmed it has sold Motorola, which it purchased in 2012 for $12.5 billion, for only $2.9 billion to Lenovo.
In a statement, Google CEO Larry Page said the move will allow Google to put its focus back on the broader Android effort.
“Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola Mobility into a major player within the Android ecosystem,” page said. ” This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere.”
Google will retain most of Motorola’s patent holdings, with Lenovo gaining 2,000 patents.
The news is ultimately good for Windows Phone, as Motorola, devoid of a profit motive, has been selling cut-priced smartphones with high specs such as 720P screens and quad-core processors for ridiculously cheap. I suspect Lenovo will not be as generous with the smartphone brand, and will be looking to recoup their payment sooner rather than later.
Nokia’s well-funded handset division on the other hand will have a motive beyond making a profit – the strategic goal of expanding the platform and fighting Android, and will be able to sustain selling devices close to and below cost for some time.
In many ways the industry dynamic, which has turned negative towards the value proposition of Windows phone in the last 3 months with the introduction of the Motorola Moto G, has just swung back in Microsoft’s and Windows Phone’s favour.
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