Aug 17, 2011
In a bold move that took the tech world by surprise, Google announced on Monday, August 15 that it would be buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.
In the press release, Google CEO, Larry Page, said that, â€œMotorola Mobilityâ€™s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers.â€
It seems clear that this attempt to “supercharge” the Android ecosystem is in response to several of Android’s woes, including the steady stream of threats from Apple Inc. over the Android operating system and the devices that run it.
In a game of corporate saber-rattling, Apple has been threatening patent infringement lawsuits over certain devices such as the Motorola Xoom tablet. Now, Google has the leverage it needs to counteract those threats and even the playing field. Google puts itself in a better position to continue making Android competitive.
Of course, this purchase goes beyond defanging Apple. Google, through Motorola, now has the ability to manufacture the very devices that will be running Android. Like Apple, having control over the hardware means the ability to choose components and design features that have a much tighter integration with the operating system, ensuring a much smoother blend of technologies, better performance and support, overall.
However, this doesn’t mean the end of “open” platforms, as Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, said, â€œ… our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community. We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices.â€
That’s good news for other manufacturers, such as HTC and Samsung, which have been experiencing a significant amount of success with their own Android devices.
As can be expected, the transaction is subject certain conditions, including regulatory approvals in the US, the European Union and other jurisdictions, and the approval of Motorola Mobilityâ€™s stockholders. If all goes smoothly, Google expects the transaction to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.