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Motorola’s Project Ara and Advanced Technology Group Moving to Google’s Android Team

As noted thanks to a brief conference call held by Lenovo following the announcement that it would acquire Motorola from Google, the acquisition will not include Moto’s Advanced Technology and Projects group. The team, lead by former DARPA director Regina Dugan, will reportedly move over to Google’s Android team, led by Sir Sundar Pichai. 

For those not familiar with the Advanced Technology and Projects group, we’re talking about moonshot-like projects that Google has made headlines with time and time again over the last few years. The fit seems perfect, since this Moto group is no different with ideas like tattoo security sensors, vitamin authentication pills, and of course, Project Ara, the modular phone concept. Thanks to Google’s resources, the project could be accelerated.

See, this new parting of Motorola from Google isn’t all bad.

Via:  The Verge
  • br_hermon

    Here’s my question about all this, amongst other things… Google kept the patents for their value, BUT aren’t judicial systems cracking down on companies that own patents but aren’t using them? With Moto being owned by Google, they say without question that they were using this patent or that patent. Without the ownership of a hardware company Google can no longer make that claim. Sure they might be licencing the patents but they themselves aren’t directly using them.

    This is probably a non issue, but wanted to get others’ thoughts.

  • Xiria Seven

    Is that an iPod Nano?

  • sarat chandra

    MOre @http://efyo.weebly.com/1/post/2014/01/google-gives-away-motorola.html

  • adudeapart

    I’m going to try and give the benefit of the doubt that this won’t absolutely kill Motorola as a viable OEM. However knowing how these deals normally work makes me strongly believe that at CES next year we get to see a bunch of Lenovo devices rebranded as Motorola. It doesn’t make sense for Lenovo to relinquish those patents if they wanted to continue on the trajectory that Google had started. They simply allowed Motorola to get gutted of anything important and bought a brand whose name recognition would allow them to move in to the North American market.

    • Kelly

      Lenovo got a license to that entire library of patents with the acquisition, though, which is probably the best they could do. Google really wants to keep those patents in-house, so they definitely weren’t for sale. Lenovo got ~2,000 patents (probably the ones least pertinent to Google’s defending of Android and most pertinent to Motorola’s own device development) and a license to use all the rest.

  • Edward

    Yeaaa……. I really don’t know how to feel about this…. I mean Motorola .. You know I’ve stuck with them since the Original flip RAZR … Had almost all the droids and now the moto x (last?) … I just hope lenovo doesn’t kill Motorola. I can’t settle with other phone companies. Samsung is all plastic buggy interface (IMO) and somewhat expensive compared to moto .. LG is somewhat the same, HTC is just doing their own little things and I love their devices but not their interface. Sony isn’t even sold here (At least on Verizon) … All this is just my own opinion and what I truly hope would be a better Motorola … ✋✋

  • Bharath Kannan

    Is there going to be a droid life show today?

    • DoctorJB

      At this point it would just be people crying on loop.

  • ZeeX1

    It’s the Sanjay Jha’s curse!!

  • fred

    I have owned different Motorola phone’s over the last 10 years and I am deeply saddened by this sell. I tried to hang around after Google came in but this is to much. I am done with Motorola.

  • fred

    Hello sammy 🙁

  • bkosh84

    Remember with Google, this project could also never see the light of day.. Or become a epic failure ala Google Orb.

  • Brady KEITH

    when is the next DL show? i want to hear everyone’s take (especially Ron’s) on the sale.

  • VBM

    So, then when the modular phone concept is ready for consumption could that be the final Nexus “phone”?! You know, with the constantly interchangeable parts and all.

    • Chris

      For it to work in the real world and not run in to any software issues its gonna take some time.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      I don’t think a consumer version of that device is anywhere near.

  • Tony Byatt
    • VBM

      LMAO! Right?!

  • Rob Mahlert

    Kellex . I have to disagree with “See, this new parting of Motorola from Google isn’t all bad.”
    It’s a historic AMERICAN company, that created the cell phone, being bought by a Chinese company. The company that was first to place a linux/java system on a cell phone. (Granted I know the components are made overseas, what the heck isn’t made there now?)
    It was an American company.

    • hateLenovo

      10000000x this. I am truly disappointed in Google right now.

      • DoctorJB

        Google didn’t have a choice, either they give up Moto and Nexus or Samsung walks. Samsung wins and we should all just start saving for our $700 GPE GNote 5s.

        • Eric R.

          S5****, sounds like you’re saying Samsung is copying Apple

          • DoctorJB

            Sorry, that was meant to be plural.

        • zee

          Wait. Did I miss something? Did Google give up Nexus too???

          • DoctorJB


            given credence by the Moto sale and no denials from Google.

          • zee

            Okay. Phew. I thought they officially did it. I had read that, but from what I understand that is at least a year out… I hope. Or never. I’m okay with never.

          • TILIS

            Give me another source than the crap spewed out at BGR, the words are no good

      • hero

        Agree, this is horrible in my opinion. Makes me feel negatively about Android even at this point, maybe those feelings will subside but I don’t like this at all

    • sonicyoof

      An American company that sucked enough to not stand on its own, and that, like you said, doesn’t make anything in America anyways. No biggie. Now if they were just here in the USA minding their own business, churning out American-made products that make us proud, then sure this would be a shame.

      • RBI411

        They were still assembling the Moto X here. Gotta take your concessions where you can get them.

        • sonicyoof

          Sure, I’ll take the concession. But to lament the loss of a great American company (that doesn’t make anything here) is, to me, kind of pointless.

          • ‘Merica

            This is Like Chevrolet Being Bought By China, to the rest of us

          • KleenDroid

            Yes Obama basically gave GM to China.

            I am surprised people have not realized that the US now almost fully bows to China. They have purchased us by allowing us to use their endless credit card. And the few US businesses we still have will soon be theirs.

            The Democrats would love to get control back so they can first ban most guns. Then get the few of us not on welfare switched over to government dependence. Then the US will be a democrat utopia just like they did in Detroit. Then make minimum wage $20 an hour for brainless unskilled labor. Life will be great!

            Na, just kidding.

          • Joshua Lockhart

            when did Ted Nugent become a android enthusiast? Good lord man, not everything is a conspiracy.

          • RICK RUDE

            Your mom’s a conspiracy.

          • KleenDroid

            Ha Ted Nugent!

          • sonicyoof

            So you buy nothing from China, right?

          • KleenDroid

            That’s a silly statement. We no longer have a choice. I think you do not understand what I wrote.

          • sonicyoof

            If Chevrolet were just a shell of a company in the US, but made everything overseas, who cares?

    • IcerC

      I don’t understand reminiscing over it. Who cares if it’s a Chinese company? There are a lot of American compaines and always will be.

      • KleenDroid


        • IcerC

          Really. If they are able to make Motorola a profitable company and become a serious competitor that’s a win for everyone who wants to buy quality products and see innovation in the industry.

      • aburke

        Who care? How about a majority of the employees that work at Moto know that now have to work for a Chinese company – that matters. It is very different working with the Chinese, at least from what Moto employees are use to.

    • mcdonsco

      Totally agree

    • KDs

      Wasn’t the IBM an American company? Bought by same Chinese Lenovo.

      • Razma

        Lenovo only bought IBM’s Consumer Computer division, IBM still exists on it’s own

      • Drew Galyen

        Technically, IBM wasn’t bought, they just did the same thing and sold their PC unit. They just transitioned into new business.

    • Jason B

      Are you still an American company when your primary investors are from China or the Middle East?

      Said companies have a fiduciary responsibility to its investors (and creditors).

      There’s a lot of gray area there.

    • chris_johns

      my sentiments exactly…well said

    • AlexKCMO

      The Moto Google purchased was just the Mobile phone division. Motorola as a company is still around (they have a huge campus 30 minutes from where I live).

    • Jimmy Rustle

      and your point is…?

  • Alex Boro

    This would be in better hands with google come to think of it. After what they’ve done with self-driving cars, glass, and other cool concepts they definitely can pull this off. As depressed as I am about the acquisition, I would wait until next year or later this year to see if they’re heading in the same direction as they are now with Lenovo. I would hold off on any Moto purchase as of now until we can find out more details. I do know Dennis Woodside sees the importance of speedy updates, but I hope Lenovo doesn’t screw this up. Only time will tell my friends.

    • American Patriot

      Another sale to the Chinese, so, are the Ferengi involved in this deal as well?
      Please let it NOT be the Dominion!

  • Nikuliai

    All on a black tux for today’s show

  • jeff manning

    I just want to know who the frack is keeping active display

    • Thren3019

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  • Droid Ronin

    Good to hear that these projects will be getting some steam. Softens the blow a bit.

  • AbbyZFresh

    In other words, Motorola’s best members are going to the Android team. This makes me feel a bit numb.

    But this also suggests that Motorola is going to fail under Lenovo. Lenovo just recieved the not so stellar part of Motorola.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    All this makes me feel kind of weird. Google practically stripped Motorola of their future. Project Ara was supposed to be a Natural (BIG) transition from Moto Maker. Now Motorola is pretty much a dead company, unless Lenovo knows what they’re doing.

    All the promise that we were seeing in Motorola is now just gone. All the excitement about the 2nd Version of the Moto X and the future of Motorola is now up to lenovo… And who knows what Google will be doing with Project Ara. I just feel kind of weirdly sad about the situation.

    • George264

      I keep saying what..the..hell.. in my head. Like that. Google bought a struggling Motorola that was at least complete and a legacy formed years and years ago. They then began stripping it, selling its set top division, which, was alright, because that wasn’t going anywhere. Then under their influence the Moto X came out and all was well, Motorola had the resources of Google backing them, there were ads everywhere, etc. Now Motorola is broken, the “Motorola” division is going to Lenovo, with one of Google’s best execs, and the hope that quality doesn’t deteriorate, Motorola’s brand not to be lost, and the future support of the Moto X, my favorite Android device to date. My Moto X feels hollow now. Unless HTC impresses me with M8, I’m moving 100% to iPhone. I’ve honestly been really impressed with the iPhone, and I’m definitely going to get downvotes for this but it’s really smooth, the customization is gone, but the features are rich and it works well. I already have a ecosystem there from my past iOS experiences, so it won’t be a difficult switch. I’m still holding out to see what Motorola does. The Moto X is still the same phone, but it was going to be my better than Nexus phone(get updates real quick). Now it’s just a stock Android phone with some extra features. I just ordered a wood X to go with my custom one bought on Cyber Monday, but I think I’m returning that when it comes. Not taking the risk of being stuck with a phone that won’t be updated.

    • Tim242

      While I agree with you. There will still be a few phones from Google/Moto. Remember how long it took on the Moto pipeline after being bought by Google? But I wouldn’t buy one at this point

      • r0l

        If they have the same management as before (as press release stated) and you beleive there was a firewall between Moto and Google then it’s safe to assume the Moto X, G , etc was born out of the current management’s vision. Since they are still there there’s a good chance they will keep the plan moving forward.
        Your second point doesn’t make sense to me. If you are in the market for a phone today the Moto X is no better or worse under Lenovo ownership.

    • Brady KEITH

      the word you’re looking for is “scroogled”.

    • DoctorJB

      Lenovo failed at Android before. This was a rush dump to meet Samsung’s demands which helps to explain the firesale pricing.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Who’s to say that this group wasn’t founded by Google. As the article states, Google has its own special division where crazy ideas are the norm (Google X). Motorola doesn’t seem to have been doing anything like this before the Google purchase.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        It wasn’t a Google idea. Motorola and Phonebloks came together on this. Read up.

        • Jarred Sutherland

          Where did I say it was a Google idea? I said the group (in Motorola) was probably founded by Google, because Motorola sure wasn’t pushing the envelope on any thrilling products before Google purchased them. They were quite content to skin and pump out slow updates.

          On the other hand, Google has X Labs which this fits right into. Connect the dots a bit?

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            It was a Motorola department. Not a Google anything.

          • r0l

            I think his point, right or wrong, is the firewall between the companies may have had some holes in it, which included project Ara. His theory being this was Google’s baby being despite being under the Moto name.

    • r0l

      That making the assumption Google wants to get into the hardware business. The other option is they want to press it forward without giving up that IP to Lenovo and can simply license to them instead.

  • WCM3

    Makes me a feel a little better. But there is something I just liked about Motorola..maybe it was the whole underdog thing and the surprise after surprise. I was rooting for them HEAVY in 2014. Don’t know what to think anymore..

    • Justin Foster

      Well their respective 2014 lineup is unaffected by this so no worries

      • WCM3

        Thanks. Just read that in the other post after I wrote the comment. Well, let’s see how the moto x 2 does.

        • ki11ak3nn

          If the Moto X 2 is just slightly bigger than the X, but keeps all the features and maybe gets a bigger battery, then I’ll be all over it.

          • Riz Virani

            I, myself, will be waiting for the first Project Ara releases. Moto X (OGX) til then. 😛

          • abC

            that’s like end 2014 i think..

          • Riz Virani

            I think I’ll be okay using my Moto X til then haha

  • TSK

    I hate the be the debbie downer here, but it really seems like this is the end of the motorola as we know it. I have a feeling that Google was the primary force behind putting the people in place that were able to innovate the Moto X with the software and the creativity. Lenovo will probably keep the “motorola” brand around for a while, but I think that we will see more of an emphasis on the “DROID” brand now that Motorola is the sole maker. Lenovo probably wants DROID to be synonymous with Android. It will be a masculine “workmans” phone, just like their PC’s.

  • possomcrast1

    At least there’s this good news. Lenovo would most likely have just thrown the idea out.

  • Philip J. Fry

    I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a dud because I really want to see this happen

    • John Legere

      I hope not, it can be something awesome if they execute it right.

  • Chris

    Ara? Can a name get any more geeky?

    This should ease some of your anger though if I wanted Legos I’d go to Walmart for that.

    • Justin Foster

      Go ahead to a Walmart, we’ll still be here enjoying the future of mobile devices meanwhile.

      • John Legere

        Don’t feed the troll.

      • Chris

        Maybe you miss read the sarcastic remark. Not to mention Walmart sells cell phones as well but that’s besides the point

  • Scott

    Wish the best for moto in the future

  • Smeckle

    Holy crap, Android is led by a knight???

  • John Legere

    Give it to Google X.

    • Scott


      • John Legere

        Hey chris.

  • Jason Kahn

    I interpret this as Google kept all the parts of Motorola working on their next gen phone and will integrate them into Google proper? Could this mean a modular nexus phone? Who would make it?

    • Chris

      China in the form of Legos

    • Justin Foster

      Every major continent lol.

      “Made by everyone, FOR everyone. ” Rofl

    • Jason Kahn

      Better yet active notifications and system wide choice recognition

      • Tim242

        I do not want my display randomly coming on. That would not work for the ones using LCD anyway.

        • Chris

          For people like John Legere Philip J. Fry it would be “super cool” as they never leave the mothers basement. For REAL world situations and everyday normal people. Its crazy.

          I can just see it happening in a movie teater…


          • Philip J. Fry

            Why don’t you stop ruining every fuqing comment section on this site.

          • Chris

            Who’s forcing you to read my comments?

          • Philip J. Fry

            Just confirmed, Chris is a tween.