It looks like Google did just that. On January 29, the New York Times announced that Google lost its "big bet" when it sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, the Chinese company that is already the 4th largest cell phone manufacturer in the world.
Google's gamble was to add hardware to their existing cell phone operating system, the very successful Android, in the hope of being more competitive with the iPhone. However, the sales numbers for Motorola were so disappointing, stock analysts and shareholders were quite troubled. The upside of this bet gone wrong is reported by both the New York Times and CNN. They say that Google will continue to own most of the patents for the Motorola phones. This could prove an important aspect in possible patent wars with Apple and Microsoft. In addition, instead of flailing around mobile phone technology, Google can now concentrate on what it does best, software and ads.
Regardless of who manufactures the smartphones we use, we'll still use Google for searching and we'll continue to watch videos on the Google-owned YouTube. Those actions put money in Googles coffers because they put ads in front of us! While many people say they don't pay attention to those ads, it's hard to find anyone who has resisted clicking at least one. Google's algorithms are impressive in how they put ads on your device that promote something you've previously purchased or explored online.
What does losing the big bet mean to us, the people who charge our batteries every day to use our cell phones? If you have an Android phone, a Chromebook, or any kind of computer for that matter, it means that Google is directing its research and development to improve what it's really good at - operating systems and search engines.
If the deal goes through, it seems that Google would lose $9.59 billion on their Motorola dealings. However, at second glance, the loss is not so great. The original purchase from Motorola included a cable box receiver which Google sold to Arris for $2.4 billion. And those patents are worth a bundle too, some say in the range of $5 billion. With that, the loss is only $2.2 billion and when the promised protection of the patents is also considered, losing the big bet and getting on with the business at hand seems quite remarkable.