You didn’t see this one coming, did you? I’m surprised with the whole Google Motorola Mobility thing and I am still digesting the news. I am sure many tech journalists were surprised as well with the announcement of Google acquiring Motorola Mobility for a huge amount of $12.5 billion.
If you are following the news about Google and Microsoft patent wars as of late, the acquisition of Motorola Mobility is likely a wise decision to protect the Android platform from companies like Microsoft and Apple which have already sued some of Google partners over patent infringement. This is a big deal.
Larry Page has a very long post on why Google bought Motorola. Here are some of the highlights:
This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. 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.
Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.
Google and Motorola Mobility boils down to two things: Software-Hardware strategy and Patents.
Early this year, Motorola Inc. split into two companies namely Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. This gives Google the opportunity to just acquire the business of Motorola that makes mobile gadgets.
The software-hardware strategy is what Apple came up in 1997, the year Steve Jobs step up from an adviser to become Apple’s CEO and the genius behind the success of Apple products. I think Google is trying to pull off the same here. Can you see the trend now? HP – Palm, Microsoft – Nokia and now Google – Motorola.
This could mean that the entire ecosystem of Google software could be integrated with the entire line of Motorola’s hardware while keeping it open for other hardware manufacturers. It could also mean that Google can address the glaring problems of Android faster, like battery life and fragmentation, while allowing other players to use its mobile operating system on their handsets.
Now what about patents? Google also got access to a big war chest of patents that could be used to strengthen its defense against other companies that is ganging up on Android. Motorola has over 24,000 patents including the pending ones and at least 17,000 that now exist in the portfolio.
Of course we shouldn’t just look at a rosy-tinted glass.
Most of Google hardware partners have expressed positive comment on Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility but most of the statement released by HTC, Sony Ericsson and LG all sound the same, like they were all crafted by the PR people. We really don’t know how the big boss of these companies reacted to the news.
On the side note, HTC and Samsung already had a Nexus model and this may suggest that the next Nexus model will most likely come from Motorola since it is the most logical step to promote this Google Motorola Mobility deal. Love your own, right?
Business Insider posted the winners and losers regarding Google Motorola Mobility deal. You can also read here the transcript of the conference call this morning that Google and Motorola held for the announcement.
Who knows what other developments will follow after the marriage of Google and Motorola. Only time can tell how this will affect Google in the long run.