First thing first, the breaking news is: Google announced yesterday on its blog it has acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The importance of this acquisition lies on that Google is reaching now the same status as its main competitor (Apple) since it becomes at the same time both OS provider and device manufacturer.
Actually, Apple has enough reasons to fear such operation: Android is the most used OS on smartphones so far, and the only field that Apple overtakes Android is on the amount of devices sold (basically due to the fragmentation). The acquisition of Motorola Mobility feeds Apple’s fear of a future Android integration. However, it could also raise doubts on the other smartphones manufacturer using Android OS.
Surprisingly, most of these manufacturers have taken the news as something positive (at least that is what they have officially said).
“We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”
- J.K. Shin
President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division
“I welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”
- Bert Nordberg
President & CEO, Sony Ericsson
“We welcome the news of today‘s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.”
- Peter Chou
CEO, HTC Corp.
“We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”
- Jong-Seok Park, Ph.D
President & CEO, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company
These reactions are due to two basic reasons. First, Google has stated that Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android, and Android will remain open-source Google will treat Motorola Mobility as a separate business. Google says that it is meant to boost Android ecosystem and improve the competence on devices technology. Second, Google has announced that policy on the manufacturing of Nexus devices won’t change.
“We have this strategy where we have this Nexus program, and we have this lead device strategy. That strategy has worked quite well to help focus the team.
What we do is that we select each — around Christmastime of each year — we select a manufacturer that we work very closely with to release a device in that time frame. That includes, also, semiconductor companies and all of the components that go in the device.
We don’t expect that to change at all. The acquisition is going to be run as a separate business. They will be part of that bidding process, and part of that lead development process. And obviously Android remains open to other partners to use as they are today.”
Despite the initial calm with which the major manufacturers have received the news, there are two questions that are still a mystery, and that could be a cause for concern.
Although Google has worked closely with HTC (Nexus One), Samsung (Nexus S) and Motorola (Xoom tablet) with satisfactory results, the latter is probably the little brother regarding marketing and business growth. In other words, they haven’t taken advantage (at least not as the other two) of its relation with Android. Since Motorola is, let’s say, the ‘emerging’ company on smartphone and tablet devices, the operation of acquisition was probably easier than with the two others.
What will happen from now?
Despite Google says that “everything will stay the same”, this operation isn’t an accident. From now, Google will make their own products, that means: it will have control over the whole manufacturing process, from the hardware factory to the Android OS developing labs and it’ll hold thousands of patents. The advantage of these lies on that it ensures that all devices out there have been made exclusively for Android and they’re properly tested. Whether the other manufacturers like or not, Motorola will become the jewel in the crown of Google.
(Via our friends from elandroidelibre)