Lenovo has quickly become a smartphone player by tackling emerging markets as well as China, while strategically leaving the U.S. untouched. That strategy is changing: Lenovo is buying Google’s Motorola handset business. Google confirmed after markets closed on Wednesday that Lenovo has acquired Motorola Mobility in a deal valued at $2.91 billion, just two years after the search giant bought it for $12.5 billion.
Google Inc’s experiment making Motorola phones has ended after just 22 months, with the company unloading the handset business to China’s Lenovo Group Inc. for $2.91 billion but keeping a valuable trove of patents. The deal unwinds the Internet company’s costly move into smartphone hardware after it acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in May 2012. Google has struggled to compete in the cutthroat phone-hardware business—its share of the world-wide smartphone market fell to about 1% last year from 2.3% a year earlier, according to IDC.