Last year Google acquired Motorola's Mobility division for $12.5 billion, the biggest acquisition in the search engine's history. Turns out it was all about the patents, word is going around today that Google is trying to sell Motorola's former handheld division to Chinese telecom firm Huawei because the search giant has no intention of making hardware. Full details at WSJ.
Making devices—however cool they may be—is at best a barely profitable undertaking for companies not named Apple. Last year Motorola's operating margins were negative.
"Compared to what Google does, the smartphone business has horrible economics," says Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu. "The reason to buy Motorola was to strengthen patents. Now they have that, the logical thing is to sell the rest."
There are already reports that Google is sizing up the cable set-top box business for sale. From Asia, rumors have swirled around the handset business, suggesting that Google has already offered it to China's Huawei at a high price.