Google has just been full of surprises lately, haven’t they? Today Google CEO Larry Page announced that the company has agreed to terms with Lenovo to sell Motorola’s handset business for $2.91 billion dollars. That figure is a significantly smaller sum than the $12.5 billion Google paid for Motorola less than two years ago in 2012. And if you’re curious, it’s also a lot less than the $7.4 billion dollars Microsoft is going to hand over to Nokia once that deal is finalized.
It seems as though Google valued Motorola’s patent portfolio more than anything else, as Lenovo says Google will retain the “vast majority” of the patents. However, Lenovo isn’t being left behind with a lemon — the deal also throws in a license for all of these patents for the manufacturer. In addition, Lenovo will get to keep 2,000 patents for itself and have the right to use the Motorola Mobility brand name.
So what does any of this have to do with Microsoft? Well we don’t know if you know this, but Lenovo is kind of a big deal. After all the Chinese manufacturer is the top PC manufacturer in the world. While that may be common knowledge by now, the fact that Lenovo is the 4th largest smartphone manufacturer in the world isn’t something most people know either. That means they’re holding all of the cards right now, and Lenovo’s strategy from here on out will have a dramatic impact on both Microsoft and Google. The effects could be especially amplified in the United States and Europe, where the company now owns a Motorola brand that has just been thoroughly revitalized.
While Motorola has been associated with Android for most of this modern smartphone era, the fact that Lenovo is involved could open the doors a bit for Windows Phone to sneak in. Could a Motorola-built Windows Phone come to fruition as a result? Rumors have persisted that more smartphone manufacturers will start producing Windows Phonesat some point, and is it really that much of a stretch to think their most valuable PC manufacturer would join in that cause?