Jack Gold, the principal analyst at J. Gold Associates, Northborough, Mass, said in an email that the deal puts Lenovo in line to take on HP and Dell as an end-to-end IT vendor. "At $3 billion it's a relative bargain," he said. "Lenovo is amassing its acquisitions to be a full line player; it has HP and to a lesser extent Dell directly in its sights. IBM could be next. I don't think Lenovo is done yet with acquiring markets and market share companies."
George Brown, president of Brown Enterprise Solutions in Dublin, Ohio, a Lenovo business partner, also characterized the deal as a "steal" for Lenovo, which instantly becomes a force to be reckoned with in the smartphone market. "Lenovo had said they planned to enter the smartphone market here for some time, and this speeds up that plan considerably," he said.
Lenovo partners already carrying the company's PC, laptops and entry-level servers said the deal paves the way for them to enter the smartphone market working hand in hand with Lenovo.
"This is going to be good for partners, as we will be able to simplify our offerings by one-sourcing more [with Lenovo]," said Douglas Grofield, CEO of Xylotek Solutions, an Ontario-based solution provider and Lenovo partner. "It is volatile in the mobile space, requiring rapid changes to take advantage of emerging opportunities. As a partner I admire Lenovo's gutsy approach!" He said Lenovo's "crazy like a fox" move gives the company a robust North American smartphone footprint.
Brad Rutten, vice president of technical services at West High Point Networks, a Fargo, N.D.-based Lenovo partner, said up until now his company has been without a wireless offering from Lenovo, selling instead Aruba and ShoreTel VoIP systems. "I see Lenovo bringing that [Motorola Mobility business into the channel], branding it and executing it properly," Rutten said. "They have been good to us so far and the product line has been good, so I don't see how they can go wrong with this move."
Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo, said in a prepared statement that the "acquisition of such an iconic brand, innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately make Lenovo a strong global competitor in smartphones.
"We are confident that we can bring together the best of both companies to deliver products customers will love and a strong, growing business, said Yang Yuanqing. "Lenovo has a proven track record of successfully embracing and strengthening great brands -- as we did with IBM's Think brand -- and smoothly and efficiently integrating companies around-the-world. I am confident we will be successful with this process, and that our companies will not only maintain our current momentum in the market, but also build a strong foundation for the future."
Google CEO Larry Page, for his part, said Lenovo has the "expertise and track record to scale Motorola Mobility into a major player within the Android ecosystem. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere."
Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside said he sees the deal as putting the mobility unit on a "rapid path to achieving our goal of reaching the next 100 million people with the mobile Internet. With the recent launches of Moto X and Moto G, we have tremendous momentum right now and Lenovo's hardware expertise and global reach will only help to accelerate this."
Additional Reporting By Kristin Bent, Rob Wright and Robert Westervelt
PUBLISHED JAN. 29, 2014