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Thoughts about Google's Acquisition of Motorola Mobility

- First and foremost, this is about securing patents that can protect the Android partnership ecosystem. The partners are, in official form at least, enthusiastic about this move. This provides some stability for Android moving forward on all fronts.

- Secondly, this may be about accelerating Android tablets and related in-home entertainment features. Unlike Android phones, Android tablets do not have a clear features-based leader. Samsung's problems in the EU with Apple's look-alike claims will slow down its ability to lead in features. In the meantime, the Xoom tablet, while decent, is not seen as having any distinct advantage over iPads. This may be a way to accelerate feature development that will help a Xoom model to really stand out at a better price point. Without that, Android tablets will continue to languish.

- One of the more interesting statements from the official blog post is this one: "Motorola is also a market leader in the home devices and video solutions business. With the transition to Internet Protocol, we are excited to work together with Motorola and the industry to support our partners and cooperate with them to accelerate innovation in this space." Specifically Motorola Mobility makes high-speed Internet cable modems, phone handsets and digital photo frames. Kind of a ragtag group of products, but especially thinking of the handsets and modems, perhaps there will be a push to have home handsets integrate better with Google Voice. That's one key gap in GVoice that needs to close.

But also thinking about Android Developers Toolkit and the plethora of devices that are likely to hang off of Android-enabled video devices using that toolkit, perhaps this is a move to have a finger on all of these devices via the modem/router capabilities. Example; what if your cable modem router had Android-based Google TV built into it?

- Finally, I wonder how permanent this arrangement will be. Motorola Mobility is doing pretty well, but it's been a few yards short of industry-dominating hit products for a while. Perhaps this is a move to secure patents, get Motorola back up to snuff as a U.S.-based supplier, get their high-speed, in-home Web strategies for the U.S. up to speed, then sell it off with rights to patents.
Kurt Schiller's profile photoNoble's profile photoJohn Blossom's profile photo
Good thoughts, John. I'm also wondering how this purchase will affect Google's relationships with carriers in the Android ecosystem. As an Android user, one of my biggest complaints has been that the overall experience of the OS gets sort of filtered and changed as it passes through the various hands: Google's initial design, the OEMs tweaks and alterations (some, surely, at the behest of carriers), and then the limitations and additions of the carriers themselves -- which makes for a muddy and confused UX. Could this allow Google to take a stronger hand in what gets sold to the end-user?
IMO - An anti-fragmentation play, with a hit of patent fortification. A dash of pressuring current Android OEMs to step their game up. Expect some crazy innovation in the coming years.
+Kurt Schiller Good points about the carriers, I was thinking about that also just now, especially in regards to how the carriers want to muscle in on the mobile payments business. Motorola has been very cozy with the carriers, and it's stifled the release of the most innovative cross-platform features that Android has to offer.
+Noble Ackerson Yes, I think that it's the innovation thing that's key, trying to keep the Asian handset providers focusing value on Android as Microsoft tries to buy friends for WP7, whilst positioning Motorola more strongly as a leanback tablet/TV leader. And don't discount the phone part, either - perhaps they can finally get mobile phones and cordless home phones worked out together properly, finally.
Good catch, thanks. My thought is that perhaps you just drop Android/GTV into the cable modem and your STB needs are largely done.
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