Google + Motorola = Pre-Apple?


By now, you’ve heard that Google plunked down US$12.5 billion to purchase handset maker Motorola Mobility .. both boards have approved the purchase, and regulatory bodies aren’t far behind.

Now that this story has been echoed and re-echoed, one must ask: what does it mean?

  • Better Android devices? Sure. A deeper level of cooperation / collaboration across mobile and tablet devices just spells feature goodness for the consumer.
  • A Motorola-only (like Apple) manufacturing monopoly? No. Google claims Android will remain open; current manufacturers (including my favorite, HTC) can still build for the platform.
  • Better price competition? Don’t bet on it. Here in The States, pricing tends to land in the mobile carrier’s domain.

So, except for service, the consumer should do well: better devices, better features .. I doubt we’ll get much love from the carriers .. remains to be seen.

Despite a public altruistic sheen, Google didn’t make the buy for the consumer. While the hardware and feature opportunity will likely make for a better device, Google had all the device manufacturers clamoring to provide devices, at ever-shrinking margins. What were they thinking?

In a word: patents. The purchase brings a portfolio of an additional 17,000 patents under the control of Google, significantly diversifying their IP and creating myriad opportunities for them to capitalize on others’ efforts.

The best article I found supporting this story was one of the first to be released. ExtremeTech: “Google buys Motorola Mobility, begins transformation into Apple” .. well worth a read.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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