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Google CEO Larry Page just announced on Google’s official blog that the Mountain View based company will sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for a cool $2.91 billion. While other specifics regarding the deal were not revealed by Page, it seems that Google simply wasn’t prepared for the level of competition that exists in the mobile hardware arena:

But the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo—which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere.

While Page did not come out and say this, I wonder if part of this decision is due to pressure from hardware giants like Samsung and HTC, who probably didn’t like competing with the very company that provided the OS for their mobile devices.

Interestingly, Page did say that Google will continue to produce other types of hardware, including wearables and home automation products. After all, we’ve been expecting a Nexus smartwatch for quite a while, and Google did just finish purchasing Nest.

As a side note, this does not signal a larger shift for our other hardware efforts. The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry. We’re excited by the opportunities to build amazing new products for users within these emerging ecosystems.

Lenovo plans to keep the Motorola brand alive, while Google will keep the majority of Motorola’s patents, which it will continue to use to defend Android from future patent wars.

I sure didn’t see this one coming.

[Google]