Google literally just announced that it is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for an estimated $2.91 billion, which is less than a quarter of what Google paid for Motorola a couple of years ago. The purchase, which seemed like a plus for Google, turned out to be the opposite with Motorola losing money and market share. As a result, a lot of tension accumulated between Google and other Android makers, particularly Samsung.
Not only did tension grow, but these other companies decided to start developing their own software and services as opposed to getting the ones from Google. This only further fragmented Android’s place in the mobile market, which Apple saw as an opportunity to take
center stage. Unfortunately for Apple that all may be about to change.
Without Motorola dragging it down, Google can now start focusing on doing what it does best, making operating systems and apps that are far above every other company. In addition to that, Google can also start to fix its relationship with Samsung, which has suffered severely. What this means is that Apple may not have such an easy time winning over customers like it has done in the past.
According to Analyst Avi Greengart with Current Analysis, “Getting rid of Motorola helps Google, and anything that Google can do to create a more cohesive user experience across vendors is competitive to Apple.”
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However, Google isn’t the only threat to Apple. As far as smartphones are concerned, Samsung has been the only real challenger to Apple’s iPhone. Sure the Windows Phone and other smartphones, like ones from HTC or Droid, have come out with remarkable devices, only Samsung has posted the sales numbers and the hardware to challenge the iPhone.
When you combine Lenovo and Motorola you get an entirely new beast that could take a sizable chunk out of Apple’s pie. Obviously it won’t come anytime soon and it certainly won’t be an easy fight for Lenovo/Motorola, though Lenovo has a tendency to dominate almost every market it enters into. For example, shortly after buying PC operations from IBM, Lenovo became the largest PC maker in the world.
In China alone Lenovo is already the fastest growing smartphone maker with the company becoming last year’s second largest smartphone vendor in mainland China. As a result, Lenovo boosted its position in the global market in 2013, giving it the fifth spot behind Samsung, Apple, Huawei and LG. Apple has only been able to watch as its market share in China has dropped.
As usual, Apple has offered no public statement about this purchase by Lenovo but I think it’s safe to say that if the company isn’t careful, we could very well see a Lenovo/Motorola device on the top of the international smartphone market instead of an iPhone.