The deal shakes up the Android world. For the first time, Google will have a direct hand in the mobile business that it has fostered from a distance. While it provides the Android software critical to running millions of smartphones and tablets, it has yet to get into the design and manufacturing business itself, aside from a few experimental models with handset partners such as HTC and Samsung Electronics.
But the company has struggled recently. While the Atrix featured heavy promotional support from AT&T, it wasn't a breakout hit. Its first tablet, the Xoom, failed to make a dent in the market, even after a price cut. And the company's long-delayed Droid Bionic for Verizon Wireless isn't expected until next month. The 4G capability for its Xoom is still unavailable despite hyping the feature at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Google Chief Executive Larry Page said on a conference call that Motorola will be run as a separate unit of the company.
Google, however, attempted to maintain its neutral stance in Android land even after the deal.
"Our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community," said Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google. "We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices."