With Motorola Mobility Buy Complete, Partners Expect Lenovo To Give Competitors A Run For Their Money
Lenovo Thursday completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google for $2.9 billion.
Under the deal, Lenovo now owns Motorola's mobile product lines including the Moto X, Moto G, Moto E and the Droid series, as well as future Motorola products, while Google retains a majority of Motorola Mobility patents.
Two years ago, Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.
"Lenovo got a $10 billion savings," said Grant Nadell, executive director of enterprise technology for DynTek Services, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based Lenovo partner. "It gets Lenovo into the U.S. handset market. Look what they've done with the PC business that IBM sold them. They've climbed the ranks with that. Now in the handset business, we all know smart devices have been blown up. I think Lenovo is going to do great things with a manufacturer like Motorola."
Lenovo said the acquisition of Motorola Mobility positions the company as the third largest smartphone vendor in the world.
In its third-quarter report, research firm IDC said Lenovo currently is the fourth largest smartphone vendor in the world in terms of market share, behind Samsung, Apple, and Xiaomi.
"It's a big deal. I think Google has left Lenovo in a really good spot with its stellar product lineup," said Robby Hill, founder and CEO of HillSouth, a Florence, S.C.-based Lenovo partner. "Lenovo has played to their strength. I'm excited about Lenovo taking over. I think it could give Samsung a real run for their money. I think this move has to be about going against Samsung in the business market."
Samsung, currently the leader in the worldwide smartphone market, and has been for quite some time, has been losing market share over the past year, according to IDC, largely because of Chinese vendors such as Lenovo edging out the Korean conglomerate in the Chinese market. With Lenovo entering the U.S. handset market, the company may be looking to do the same in the states, and it could be a huge opportunity for channel partners.
"I hope that it means that Motorola products becomes more channel-friendly," Hill said. "Lenovo is a good channel player, and I feel confident that they'll align this acquisition with the rest of the IT business that they do. I think Motorola has excellent mobile products but they're poorly marketed. I'm looking forward to Lenovo expanding the customer base of this company. We'll see under this acquisition the Lenovo brand continue to grow in both consumer and business because they'll market the brand on both sides."
NEXT: Lenovo's Push Into The Mobile Enterprise
Some partners say that behind the strong Motorola Mobility brand name, Lenovo will be more appealing to mobile enterprise customers.
"I think it's obviously a great move for Lenovo," said Jamie Shepard, senior vice president of strategy and health care at Lumenate, a Dallas-based Lenovo partner. "Google doesn't play well in the enterprise. From a channel perspective, Google is not a marquee approach for us and our customers. Lenovo is more enterprise-class with their servers and PCs. It'll be good for both in the enterprise space. I already know that Lenovo is aggressively going after new channel partners right now. I think this is just going to help that. The good thing about this is that it just extends your reach into your customers. Companies like myself want our customer base to mature, and this is going to be a way to provide more value with what we're selling. We can have the Motorola Mobility discussion with them. It's another move in the tech industry that is evolving faster than we've ever seen anything right now. It as challenge to keep pace. We'll see how they articulate that to the channel. That'll be key."
Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing called the deal "a winning combination" as he looks to expand the company's position in the global market.
"Today we achieved a historic milestone for Lenovo and for Motorola and together we are ready to compete, grow and win in the global smartphone market. By building a strong No. 3 and a credible challenger to the top two in smartphones, we will give the market something it has needed: choice, competition and a new spark of innovation," he said in a statement. "This partnership has always been a perfect fit. Lenovo has a clear strategy, great global scale, and proven operational excellence. Motorola brings a strong presence in the U.S. and other mature markets, great carrier relationships, an iconic brand, a strong IP portfolio and an incredibly talented team."
PUBLISHED OCT. 30, 2014