Why Google bought Motorola only to sell it within 3 years?

Why Google bought Motorola

An interesting game which Google played very cleverly.

Many of us were wondering why Google bought Motorola if they planned on selling so quickly. Early adopters of android used to be HTC and Samsung. During the time when Nokia was the undisputed king in the smartphone market, Android provided a good opportunity for Samsung which was lagging behind Nokia in smartphone market share. It was a win-win scenario for both Samsung and Android as both helped each other to grow in no time. Soon Samsung grabbed the market share from Nokia to become the number 1 smartphone seller in the market.

Why Google bought Motorola?

Why Google bought Motorola

As Samsung started gathering a huge market share, it started using android as a core and built heavy skin Touchwiz on top of Android – to a point that it felt like undermining Android’s performance as well as visibility. Then it started pushing its own apps replacing stock android apps like Phone, Mail client, Contacts, Calendar, Music player, Video player etc. Also, another smartphone OS was in the making which looked very much like a samsung-skinned android. Why? Because going forward pushing smartphone users to adopt in-house Tizen OS by Samsung would be easier in the upcoming phone launches.

Google noticed this and acted. Bought Motorola.

On 15 August 2011 Google announced it had bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn in cash. Two new phones were launched by Google under Motorola branding – Moto G and Moto X. Positioned as midrange and flagship phones respectively at a highly subsidized rate. They had android in purest form (stock) and had excellent specifications resulting in a very good user experience. The value for money was so good that it started to eat up Samsung’s smartphone market share immediately.

A fatality move by Google.

Samsung realised that its a mistake to undermine Google’s hard work by hiding Android under Touchwiz. From Samsung Galaxy S6 onwards the excessive skinning and the bloat started reducing significantly. And for some reason 😛 Google also lost interest in running a smartphone business. On 29th January 2014, Google announced the sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo.


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