It remains to be seen if Lenovo is up to that task, but to suggest it won't be easy is an understatement. Motorola may retain an iconic brand name, but the time when its sexy Razr phone was the envy of every tech lover's eye was long ago, back in the middle of the last decade when American consumers as it happened were just getting to know Lenovo.
NEWS: Google agrees to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91B
More recently Motorola, under what will turn out to be a rather brief Google ownership, hasn't come close to matching the success of global rivals Apple and Samsung, even with the company's Moto X flagship phone generating mostly positive reviews, including from yours truly.
I suppose Google can shrug this whole Motorola chapter off as a failed experiment, but in making this deal with Lenovo it holds onto most of Motorola's patent portfolio, which is supposedly what it wanted in the first place. And Google also retains the advanced research group that is led by Regina Dugan, former head of the federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Motorola never got most-favored nation status from Google anyway, which was of course the way it had to be — Google is invested in the success of all of its Android partners, including of course Samsung.
But the deal does appear to make sense for Lenovo, which has had designs on the North American phone market for awhile, even as its been slow to bring versions of the phones it already sells overseas to the States. As recently as this past fall, Lenovo was reportedly interested in BlackBerry.
S! o yes, the challenges for a Lenovo-led Motorola are substantial. But given Lenovo's past success with well-known U.S. brands, I wouldn't bet against them.