Monday, August 15, 2011

Google Acquisition of Motorola

Google announced today that it was going to acquire Motorola for $12B+. I am reading a lot of speculation about why Google was interested and the future of Android, some of which appeared quite dumb, so let me, for the record, put in my predictions:

- Google mainly acquired Motorola for its patents and to stop Apple and Microsoft from slowing down the spread of Android.
- Google has no real interest in making its own phones/hardware devices. They benefit if a lot of hardware manufacturers adopt Android and have no interest in jeopardizing that. If they could have got the patents without the hardware business, they would have taken that route, but I am sure Motorola refused that deal.

- After some futzing, the acquisition will be approved by the regulators. Google will be required to build a wall between the Android group and the Motorola group (a wall that already exists between Android and the rest of Google, just because Android is so hot (and snooty ;-) )!).
- Google will be happy to leave the Motorola group to its own devices. In a year or two after the acquisition, Google will try to sell off the Motorola part of the business to someone who might want it.
- Google will work hard to keep Samsung and HTC happy - it is more likely the the next few Nexus devices post merger will not come from Motorola at all.
- Google might use Motorola to design other, more experimental Android devices that it has a hard time getting other manufacturers to develop - e.g. Google TV players, Chromebooks, etc.