All change at Motorola, once one of the biggest mobile phone makers in the world. Again. The company was bought by Google for $12.5bn in 2012 as a way to “supercharge” its Android business, and has since released a series of smartphones that, while praised by reviewers, haven’t set the world alight in terms of sales. Now Google is selling the company to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo for $2.91bn. “But the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo—which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world,” wrote Google CEO Larry Page yesterday, as the deal was announced. “This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere.” It sounds like a massive writedown on the price Google originally paid, although note that the company is hanging on to “the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, which we will continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem”. Patent warfare being what it is, $9.59bn for a bunch of smartphone patents may not be as bad value as it sounds.

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