Lenovo is now the world’s No 3 smartphone maker – completes Motorola Mobility buy

30 Oct 2014

The Motorola Moto X

Chinese consumer electronics giant Lenovo is now the world’s third biggest smartphone maker after completing the purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google for US$2.9bn.

“Motorola is in great hands with Lenovo, a company that’s all in on making great devices,” said Larry Page, CEO, Google.

In January this year, Google revealed it was selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for US$2.9bn – just two years after acquiring the company for US$12.5bn.

The deal was comprised of US$660m in cash, US$750m for Lenovo shares and the remaining US$1.5bn in the form of a three-year promissory note.

The acquisition will put brands such as Moto X, Moto G, Moto E and the DROID series firmly in Lenovo’s hands.

Lenovo said it will operate Motorola as a wholly owned subsidiary and Motorola’s headquarters will remain in Chicago.

Some 3,500 Motorola employees, including 2,800 in the US, will design, engineer and sell Motorola devices as Lenovo employees.

Lenovo wants to capture market momentum with Motorola unit

“Today we achieved a historic milestone for Lenovo and for Motorola – and together we are ready to compete, grow and win in the global smartphone market,” said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO, Lenovo. 

“By building a strong No 3 and a credible challenger to the top 2 in smartphones, we will give the market something it has needed: choice, competition and a new spark of innovation,” Yuanqing said.

Liu Jun, Lenovo executive vice-president and president of Lenovo’s Mobile Business Group, is now the chairman of the Motorola Management Board. Rick Osterloh, a Motorola veteran, will remain president and chief operating officer of Motorola.

“Motorola has already built solid momentum in the market, and their recent results show consumers are excited about their exceptional products that stand out for their design and simplicity,” said Liu Jun. 

“With the complementary strengths of our two companies, we expect to sell more than 100m mobile devices this year – including smartphones and tablets – by leveraging the Lenovo brand’s leading market position in China, our shared momentum in emerging markets, and Motorola’s strong foothold in mature markets like the US.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years