May 22, 2012
Google Closes Motorola Mobility Deal
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
With the transfer of $12.5 million dollars towards the acquisition of a struggling company, Google has become one step closer to being a direct Apple competitor as it becomes more than a software company. Google can now sell hardware as well.“I´m excited to announce today that our Motorola Mobility deal has closed,” said Larry Page, announcing the acquisition on Google´s official blog.
“And as a company who made a big, early bet on Android, Motorola has become an incredibly valuable partner to Google,” he continued.
Google doesn´t only get the title of “hardware maker” from their acquisition: They also get access to a trove of nearly 17,000 Motorola patents which have been accumulating since the 1980s and the days of the StarTAC, one of the world´s first and most recognized mobile telephones. Armed with these patents, Google can now go boldly into battle in patent wars with Apple and Microsoft.
On the consumer front, this acquisition will allow Google to make a 100%, pure and unadulterated Google phone, much like the original 2010 HTC Google Nexus. As they possibly prepare to take on Apple directly as a phone software and hardware manufacturer, will they also decide to display as much control over the content on their platform as Apple famously has?
After all, Google has already put their foot down when it comes to carriers and phone manufacturers wanting to tweak and create their own style of Android. If carriers and manufacturers want to get early releases of new Android software, they have to have their plans approved by Google first.
For now, Google is still saying they will allow other manufacturers, such as HTC, LG and Samsung to use Android, and will even continue to work with them on Nexus devices.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google plans to release 5 such devices this fall running the latest version of Android 5.0 or Jelly Bean. Motorola may be just one of those manufacturers behind the Nexus devices.
Like Apple, Google has also been making moves to break into the television business. As Motorola is also a manufacturer of set-top boxes, it´s likely Google may take advantage of this arm of the business, though Page did not mention TVs in his blog post announcing the acquisition.
As Motorola moves underneath Google´s umbrella, CEO Sanjay Jha will be stepping down. To replace him, Page has appointed “long-time Googler” Dennis Woodside to take over as CEO of Motorola Mobility. In a piece by Bloomberg Business Week, Larry Page had reportedly kept Woodside at Google despite a poaching attempt by Apple by promising him the CEO position last fall. In his blog, Page wrote:
“I´ve known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he´s been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google´s biggest bets. One of his first jobs at Google was to put on his backpack and build our businesses across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. More recently he helped increase our revenue in the US from $10.8 billion to $17.5 billion in under three years as President of the Americas region.”
This acquisition is an interesting one, to be sure. Now we only need to wait to see how these “smartphone wars” get on during the next year. Will a Google+Motorola partnership challenge the current Apple and Samsung dominated battle?