Motorola's future is still just as bright as ever

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: January 30, 2014

Well, that was quick. No, I'm not talking about my going back to iOS (I didn't, I'm just kidding). I'm referring to Google dumping Motorola, as a company that builds things. Or wants to build things. Yesterday, we got the news that Motorola would no longer be owned by Google, and that the whole Android ecosystem had taken a spill, and nothing would ever be the same . . . 

Oh, it didn't happen like that? You mean everything's actually kind of okay? Oh, good. Phew. That was a close one!

Okay, but what about the brass tacks? What does this mean for the future of all the companies involved? After all, let's not forget who Motorola was sold to: Lenovo. I know, right? Who saw that coming? But here we are, dealing with the aftermath of what this all means, and what's going to happen to the next Moto X or Moto G.

The truth is, we have no idea. Not yet, anyway. There's never been any doubt about Google's purchase of Motorola almost two years ago. It was about the patents. It was never about creating smartphones, becoming the next Apple, or making every other manufacturer that uses Google's mobile OS angry. Motorola's purchase was about the patents, and that's exactly what this sale to Lenovo proves. Google's keeping the patents (along with Project Ara and other things), and Motorola's moving houses.

In essence, nothing's changing for Google. Quite honestly, I wasn't surprised when this news broke, simply because Google's enthusiasm for Motorola's efforts under the Google Company brand just wasn't there. I feel like this was always the plan, one way or another. Keep them long enough to secure the deals behind-the-scenes to keep the patents needed/wanted, and then dump the rest.

Lenovo, for its part, is probably going to repeat its IBM PC Division purchase from several years ago. You'll see the Motorola brand for a little while longer, and Motorola's ability to manufacture phones is going to get a big boost from Lenovo's manufacturing arm. So, we could actually see more Motorola-branded phones in the next year or two.

But, eventually, the Motorola brand will be killed off, and there's a very strange future where we start seeing Lenovo-branded smartphones running Android out there in the wild. It would actually work to the strengths that Lenovo has utilized in the past, actively avoiding the high-end of high-end markets -- something that Motorola has also shown an interest in lately.

Basically, as it stands right now -- long before this purchase has been approved by all the faculties it needs to be approved by -- nothing here is all that surprising, other than maybe the buyer. Motorola's future is potentially very bright, still, and it could be an interesting future indeed. Google, on the other hand, is just following the course.

2014 is just going to be a fun year.

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