Google is selling Motorola Mobility  to Chinese megalith Lenovo for $2.91 billion, with the first Lenovo-branded tablets and smartphones hitting stores in 2015. According to a blog post  by Google CEO Larry Page, Google will retain "most" of the patents it gained in the 2011 acquisition, which cost $12.5 billion.
The timing of this deal is noteworthy. Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility was masterminded by Andy Rubin, then the head of Android and the search giant's overall mobile strategy. At the time, Google had two major motivators behind the deal: To provide Google with a hedge against lawsuits with Motorola's considerable hoard of patents, and to give the company a foothold in the market for Android devices that could be optimized from software to hardware for Google search and services (take, as a recent example, the flagship Moto X  phone).
At the time, the scuttlebutt was that Google had alienated most of its Android OEM partners with the Motorola acquisition. The entire point of Android was to provide a common, open source platform that wasn't under the control of any single vendor as an offensive strategy against Apple and the cult of the iPhone. Google was already under fire for keeping portions of Android's source code proprietary and out of the community's hands, and buying a handset manufacturer felt like a betrayal of the "All For One" attitude that had propelled Android into the mainstream in the first place.
See also: Lenovo is becoming a serious smartphone player 
In March 2013, Rubin stepped (or got pushed) out  of the Android captain's chair at Google, instead managing the search giant's foray into robotics. Sundar Pichai, Rubin's replacement, also leads the Google Chrome/Chrome OS division. This is conjecture, but without Rubin's influence in Google's mobile division, and accounting for Pichai's split focus between the device-agnostic, browser-driven Chrome platform and the smart device Android platform, it's small wonder that Google is looking to divest itself of that conflict of attention.
In a way, this deal gives Google the best of both worlds: A patent cross-licensing deal with Samsung, also announced this week , effectively amounts to a cease-fire with one of its biggest partners and means that the search giant maintains its legal defensive stance. And the fact that it's no longer in the hardware game could result in increased support for the platform from the Android ecosystem partners who may have been having second thoughts.
This is the second major hardware buy Lenovo announced in the last week -- last Thursday, the company said it would buy IBM's server business for $2.3 billion. Lenovo is the top PC maker in the world, and its smartphone business is growing fast.