Well, it’s complete, Lenovo has completed it’s assimilation of IBM’s x86 market and now has moved onto the mobile market in the US through buying Motorola Mobility. This move makes a lot of sense for both Lenovo and Google (as well as IBM). From the Innovator’s Dilemma perspective, we have a company that is focused on building produts at a good price with all sorts of efficiencies buying a much lower on the priority source of revenue from Google and IBM.
What else does this mean? Well, it’s likely that Lenovo will begin to experiment with unique products to take advantage of their full technology stack. They are one of the few companies that have successful lines of business in Laptop, Servers, and now Smartphones. They obviously will be quickly filling any gap they have in the tablet space – which they already have offerings. Now, they can take mature technologies from Motorola Mobility and implement them in their broader product portfolio. In the sale, Google kept most of the patents, but they are sharing the patents with Lenovo. This is a big deal for Lenovo as they can freely use those technologies with no cost which means they can experiment with those technologies in unique products.
For Google, it’s a good move because they don’t need to manage a legacy manufacturing and design firm that they never really integrated. This is especially true since they were partnering with other companies to develop their Nexus line up. It simply made no sense to hold on to a company like Motorola when you weren’t planning on truly using it. Plus, Google makes most of it’s money from ads still and from their ecosystem. They do better if there’s strong competition in their operating system ecosystem. In fact having Lenovo as a partner now will likely help them more than owning Motorola ever did.
Lenovo will be able to put more money into their smart phones and will likely offer unique products that mix their laptop capabilities and servers with the smart phones. What could we see? Well perhaps a fully docking phone/tablet that truly replaces a laptop and maybe even a desktop. With the small server capabilities they may even figure out how to mix those capabilities by selling a smart phone that can connect to a “personal server” that allows you to access more power and storage while on the go.
I’m excited to see stronger cometition for Samsung and Apple in Lenovo and look forward to interesting products from the company to compete and push the market in a new direction.