According to several sources (update: and now confirmed by Google) Lenovo is nearing a rather stunning deal that would put Motorola's cellphone business in its back pocket for roughly $3 billion. Google snatched up Motorola in 2011 for $12.5 billion. Since then it's slowly broken the company up, scaled back its device lineup and added its massive pile of patents to its legal arsenal. Now, after losing money for several years straight, Mountain View is reportedly preparing to offload the division on Chinese computer giant Lenovo. The purchase of Motorola will probably also put to bed rumors of Lenovo purchasing BlackBerry... at least for a little while. The company has been looking to step up its mobile efforts for the last couple of years, and Motorola's existing infrastructure, patent library and brand recognition should help it make a dent here in the US.
The deal hasn't been officially announced yet, but when (and if) it is There are bound to be plenty of questions. For one, how will the sale of Motorola to a Chinese firm affect the company's recent efforts to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US? And how will this impact Google's own expanding manufacturing plans in the future? Or course, we may have also just figured out how exactly Google convinced Samsung to start putting more focus on Play Services.
Update: Well, that was quick. Google has confirmed the deal, which will see Motorola Mobility change hands for $2.91 billion. Most of that money will be in the form of cash or a promissory note, but it will also include roughly $750 million worth of Lenovo shares. The deal will also cause more than a few cynics to shout, "I told you so," as Google will be maintaining ownership of "the vast majority" of Motorola's patents. Though, the deal does include a license for that intellectual property and Lenovo will take ownership of Moto's brand and trademarks.