Ever since Google bought Motorola less than two years ago, Motorola’s presence in Asian countries has been limited. The last phone that Motorola ever launched in China was a RAZR phone back in November 2012, and they also sold their factory in Tianjin a little over a month later. Under Google, the only thing Motorola seemed to be doing in China was maintaining limited customer service and a social media connection. Ironically, Motorola even promoted the Moto X in China, but the phone is not even available for purchase in the Chinese market.
Now that Lenovo, the number two manufacturer in China, has purchased Motorola from Google, it will be quite interesting to see exactly what happens. Currently, the Chinese market is torn between very high-end and very budget-friendly phones. There is very little middle-ground in their market as of right now. In six to eight months when the purchase of Motorola actually happens, that story could change drastically. It is entirely possible that the new Lenovo-Motorola mix could come out with a Chinese variant of the Moto X, or something similar in the mid-range with plenty of software features, and possibly take the market by storm.
The Chinese market has not had much in the way of customization of phones. The only efforts made were by HTC with the E1 back in April 2013, but it was executed poorly, and was not received well. It would be interesting to see if Lenovo keeps the Moto Maker possibilities and transfers them over to the Chinese markets. With their vast hardware manufacturing capabilities, they would be the ideal group to make customization happen on such a large-scale. However it is important to keep in mind that this deal is not just about hardware. As with most things as of late, patents are a major player. Google kept a total of about 23,000 of Motorola’s patents (8,000 registered here and 15,000 registered overseas) while giving Lenovo about 2,000 of them, while at the same time granting them a license similar to what Google will be doing with Samsung to give them access to the technologies.
Considering that Lenovo only paid about 25% of what Google didfor Motorola, it seems like they got a pretty good deal. Lenovo will also be taking all 2,800 of Moto’s engineering staff. With this new portfolio and new staff, Lenovo is in the perfect position to get Moto back in the Chinese market. Now I bet you are wondering why I am typing an article for a US website about Chinese market developments… and the answer is pretty straight forward. The Chinese market is one of, if not the biggest markets on the planet. They hold an extremely large portion of the world’s population, and thus their economic impact is major. If Android becomes a bigger success in China, then it can only mean good things for us here in the States. What do you think? Does Lenovo have a chance in China with Motorola? Let us know your thoughts and concerns in the comments!