The mobile world was a bit shook up recently when Google announced its intentions to purchase telecommunications company Motorola Mobility, who just recently split off from their parent company Motorola back in January of this year. With the developers of Android now owning and operating an Android licensee, what does this mean for Motorola? More importantly, what does this mean for the competition?
This can only mean good things for Motorola. With big daddy Google watching out for it, expect all of the latest Android updates and patches to come to Motorola phones first. And that won't be all they're getting.
Chances are Motorola will take over development on the Nexus series, Google's flagship phone. HTC manufactured the Nexus One, then Samsung co-developed the Nexus S; it stands to reason that instead of taking bids from other OEMs, Google will just let Motorola take the reins from here.
Multiple Google representatives have stated that the acquisition will fuel the fires of innovation and competition, and while that may very well be true, with Google saying stuff like the buyout “will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem,” one could argue that Motorola now has a major leg up in said competition. However, according to Google, leaders from Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, and HTC -- all Android licensees -- are very much in favor of the deal.
Collecting Patents, But Why?
Google insists that the move is simply to avoid Android patent litigation, but the amount of money involved -- $12.5 billion -- has people forming alternative theories. One of those theories is that Google is looking to become a hardware/software developer similar to Apple. Someone has to give Jobs a run for his money and maybe Google is just that someone.
Another source suggests that Google is looking to make Android proprietary somewhere down the line, which doesn't make too much sense. Android is the world leader in smartphone operating systems and it's all thanks to keeping Android open. Making the system proprietary could greatly hurt Android's standings.
With Great Power Comes...
I don't think Google wants to make Android proprietary. And I think it's too early to tell if Google is gearing up to take a run at Apple.
At this point, I just think Google wants more control over Android and purchasing Motorola, whose current smartphones exclusively use Android, is a great way to do just that. And I think this may be good for the consumers too, at least those who like Android. We might be getting a better experience than we were before. The eventual release of the Droid Bionic may tell us if I'm right about that one.