In confounding twist, Lenovo rumored to purchase Motorola away from Google (confirmed!)
So far, the news today has been no stranger to whiskey tango foxtrot moments, like that unexpected rumor that Samsung could be taking a major step back from its heavily customized, own-app-laden take on Android in favor of a more Google-driven look. But that might have nothing on this next bizarre tale, as reports come in that Lenovo is finalizing a deal that would make it the new owner of Motorola Mobility, buying the company from Google.
Motorola only just started showing a new side to its lineup last summer with the release of the Moto X, and it’s shocking to think that it could be ready to change hands already. Nevertheless, Reuters reports Lenovo may be nearly done with the deal, which would include some degree of Motorola’s patent profile, in addition to the smartphone business itself.
Certainly, Lenovo has been getting more attention for its mobile devices in the West lately, like all the excitement we saw this morning when it opened sales of the ThinkPad 8 tablet, but that doesn’t make this story any less shocking; we’re less surprised to see Lenovo making moves like this than we are to hear that Motorola is the target.
A formal announcement could come down the pipeline as early as today, in a deal that may be worth as much as $3 billion – though that’s a lot less than the $12.5B Google paid in 2011.
Update: Well, that was fast: Google has formally confirmed the sale. While Lenovo will get some, Google will keep “the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio.”