Google is selling its Mobility unit to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, according to an official blog post by the search giant.
The Mobility unit includes any of the handsets and patents associated with Motorola Mobility, which Google bought for $12.5 billion back in 2011. Google sold the Motorola Home division shortly after the initial acquisition, and though the Motorola Moto X was one of our favorite phones last year, it's sales numbers haven't exactly shot through the roof.
Lenovo, on the other hand, is already the world's top PC manufacturer and has been ramping up its mobile efforts; it already sells more mobile devices than proper PCs, largely in Asian countries and particularly in China.
According to Google, the move will:
Carolina Milanesi, a consumer trends analyst, posits that the sale to Lenovo could have something to do with the Samsung and Google patent deal, which makes the rumors of Samsung's makeover of its gaudy TouchWiz UI that much more interesting.
The recent acquisition of Nest and Boston Dynamics would suggest that Google isn't totally steering toward a software-only venture--just that it's putting the physical Android phones into someone else's hands. We've reached out to Google for a comment, but it looks like there are some very interesting things on the horizon.