Exciting news today (edit: oops, it’s that late, so it was yesterday), as probably everyone has heard already, Google announced to acquire Motorola Mobility, the mobile devices business unit of the U.S. technology company. The acquisition valued $12,5 billion is the biggest Google has done so far.
I won’t repeat the news, but instead I’ll summarize in short what has been commented after this:
- Google will get a very strong mobile and wireless patent portfolio (over 17 000, and about 7000 pending) valued probably of several billions of dollars which will help in IPR negotiations against Apple and Microsoft. Especially Apple has sued Android vendors like HTC and Samsung.
- Google will get tighter co-operation on building user friendly and powerful Android devices. However, they have already had co-operation with HTC (Nexus One) and Samsung (Nexus S), so this isn’t necessarily so revolutionary.
- Android will remain open and licensed to the competitors of Motorola, Google promised.
- But what will other Android vendors, especially Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson do? Probably they won’t hurry to do anyhing. In the long run they might feel insecure to focus too on Android from now on.
- Research Manager Francisco Jeronimo from market research company IDC commented immediately after the acquisition announcement other Android vendors might now become more interested in Windows Phone 7 to decrease dependency on Google.
- HTC, LG and Samsung have already developed and shipped a few WP7 phones too. Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE are also interested in WP7 even though they have focused on Android as their smartphone platform until now.
- Thus this deal may indirectly benefit Microsoft and Nokia, if Windows Phone gets stronger support from mobile phone vendors. At the same time it would mean more competition for Nokia and the need to really differentiate in Windows Phone hardware and software.
- Even though Google’s move probably came as a surprise to most people, Motorola has been espected to give up its mobility unit ever since and even before the company was split into two companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions (focused on enterprise services) about eight months ago. Motorola also sold its network business to Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).
There’s a lot of news coverage on this, and it’s easy to find on Google News. Also worth reading is the Business Insider article where Google co-founder Larry Page explains why they’re buying Motorola Mobility.
Google and Motorola also held a conference call for investors to which there’s a link in the end of the press release. I still couldn’t watch it today, because it wouldn’t load (maybe I should blame OS X and its Flash / Windows Media support), so I have to try it again in the morning.