Over the last 18 months, Apple, Google and Microsoft have competed on the mobile phone market for dominance. Since Google has developed and released the Android phone in 2007, Apple and Microsoft have banded together to try and get Google out of the race by filing patent infringement cases against the search engine tycoon.
Most consumers might be surprised that Google bought Motorola Mobility, but this has been a partnership in the making since Motorola began utilizing the Android operating system in 2008 as the only platform for its emerging smart phone lines. This not only makes the buy a smart investment for Google, it makes the perfect fit for Motorola.
What does Google Gain from this acquisition:
There are two major reasons why this acquisition happened:
- End the majority of patent attacks against Android operating system
- Create a new partnership to make the Android line even better
End the majority of patent attacks against Android OS
The rivalry between Apple, Google and Microsoft has come to an all-time high. Apple has teamed up with Microsoft to go after the patent, copyrights and licenses behind the hardware and software related to the Android platform. For the common consumer, this means that every time Apple and Microsoft win a suit against Google, it makes it that much harder for them to compete.
It is almost unheard of for two technology giant such as Microsoft and Apple to team up to go after a competitor. Normally, they all go their own separate ways, come up with new technological advances and this is what draws consumers in. The threat that the Google Android operating system poses for both companies is so large, the only way they can get ahead at this point is to attack Google where it will hurt the most.
Most in the industry will agree that this was the primary reason behind Google buying Motorola Mobility. By acquiring Motorola Mobility, Google has protected itself in a way Apple and Microsoft did not see coming. This gives Google access and the legal rights over every patent registered by Motorola Mobility and makes it so Apple and Microsoft cannot sue them in court of them. The $13 billion dollar deal ensures that Google is protected for the time being. In the long run, this may prove less expensive than having to continuously show up in court to defend themselves.
Create a new partnership to make the Android line even better
Mobile phone technology evolves quickly. Most consumers find that by the time they are eligible for an upgrade, the mobile phone they are using is far behind what the current technology is on the market. Android finds itself in a similar position where various versions, hardware and other factors are contributing to it being fractured on the market.
When a mobile phone is developed, there are hardware and software considerations that have to be hashed out. This means that Google’s operating system has to find compatible technology whether it is from Motorola, Samsung, HTC or other phone makers. Microsoft was able to solve this issue with the Windows PC operating system. When they cut deals with just about every manufacturer out there, they were able to dominate the OS market to this day. Google has been able to accomplish the same feat by acquiring Motorola Mobility.
This means that from this day forth, Google will be able to develop the Android operating system specifically for hardware that is used in a vast majority of phones. With Motorola Mobility already opting to use the Android operating system, this is the perfect working relationship to not only make Android phones more available but to also develop new technologies that make mobile phones even better than they are today.
Could this deal go south for Google?
Just like any business investment, Google could stand to lose a lot more than it hoped to gain. Immediately, Google gains patent protection from the onslaught of attacks from Apple and Microsoft. This partnership gives them the opportunity to focus on creating rather than defending the Android platform.
Motorola was not the only hardware developer that was using Android. HTC and Samsung just saw what might be their hopes and dreams go down the drain. Publically, these companies are praising the move and looking forward to moving ahead. However, behind the scenes, other developers that are using the Android operating system are going to lose out on sales because Motorola-based products are going to be the forefront of Google’s plan from here on out. If this deal goes bad for them, they may lose out on support from those that gave it to them to begin with.
Another issue that has nothing to do with the mobile phone market Google now has to deal with is integrating 19,000 employees from Motorola Mobility into the fold. Google itself only has a work force of about 29,000. In one day, Google increased its company size by just under 60%. In most acquisitions, this is unheard of. Does Google have the tools in place to manage such an increase? Will they be able to cope with bringing in Motorola Mobility’s people while maintaining its high standards of work and development? Only time will tell if the Google/Motorola Mobility merger makes or breaks Android’s stake in the mobile phone market.
What do I think of Google’s buy?
From the moment the news broke that Google bought Motorola Mobility, all I could ask myself was, “What took them so long?” Google has been fighting tool and nail to defend Android from Apple and Microsoft for months now. It has become almost a joke that two companies such as them have to resort to this type of underhanded tactic to stop Android from growing. I would match rather watch the three companies best each other with new hardware and software developments than watch them squabble with one another in a courtroom.
Technology, no matter what type we are talking about, is something that should be innovative and something that inspires us to invest in the new developments. We should be reading about new cell phone technologies rather than the way Apple, Google and Microsoft are trying to compete against each other. I think Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility is a great step in the right direction for them to truly begin focusing on innovation rather than worrying about what their competitors will be trying to take them down with next.