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Bombshell

Yeah, we know. We can't quite get our heads around it either.

But it's true: Google has bought Motorola Mobility, the mobile phone business of Motorola, for $12.5bn.

Where to start making sense of this? First of all, let's be clear: Google hasn't bought all of the major telecoms hardware company. Motorola Mobility, the mobile phones business, was spun off into a separate company earlier this year after years of declining sales.

At a basic level, it's obvious what this is about: Android. Motorola is one of the main manufacturers of Android handsets - indeed, it doesn't make phones with any other software, unlike the likes of Samsung who have their own software and make Windows Phone handsets. Google can now use Motorola to make the best Android phones possible. As Google put it, "the combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences."

So does this mean that Google is going to become a phone manufacturer? Not exactly. Google say they'll continue to offer Android for free to other manufacturers. " "We will run Motorola as a separate business," CEO Larry Page says. "Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences."

Lots of clever tech types reckon the real reason behind the deal is Motorola's impressive collection of patents. Samsung and HTC are both defending lawsuits from Apple over Android's supposed patent infringements, and Google has long been believed to be deliberately building up its patent portfolio to defend itself against lawsuits. Motorola has over 17,000 patents, according to CEO Sanjay Jha.

Blimey. We're still trying to get our heads round this, and we'll tell you more as soon as we hear it.

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