Google sells Motorola to Lenovo

On the face of it, Google selling Motorola so soon after it bought the company seems like a strange move, especially as the sale indicates a massive loss when it passes ownership to Lenovo. But there's more to the sale than meets the eye.

I think we all expected the Google purchase of Motorola to herald a new dawn of Google-made smartphones under the Moto X and to be fair, the company has certainly got its moo back with the likes of the Moto X and the Moto G. But that was never the long term plan for Google.

Chinese hardware maker Lenovo has come in and bought the brand for around $2.91 billion, which is a fraction of the $12.5 billion paid by Google in 2011. But Google has retained the vital and valuable patents purchased in that deal, primarily selling the ownership of brand and trademark, which is perhaps what Lenovo really need - a recognised mobile brand to trade with worldwide.

Those patents will certainly help Google's balance sheet in the long term and could be useful as Google continues in the hardware market, albeit on the edges (with the likes of Google Glass) rather than as a phone maker. Indeed,. Google will also keep the Advanced Technology and Projects division of Motorola too, as it attempts to push the boundaries with the likes of Project Ara, the proposed customisable phone.

It might just help Android too. Makers seemed less than keen on Google's Nexus phones, finding it hard to compete at times. With rumours of Nexus phones coming to an end too, perhaps Google thinks it a good idea to stay away from phones and focus on the software, leaving that sector to rival tech firms.

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