Google just bought Motorola for $12.5 BILLION! :O
With this massive acquisition, Google has bought approximately 20,000 employees. And, not to forget, about 24,000 patents (everyone knows that Motorola has the patent of the cell phone!)! And, last but not the least, Google has bought an enormous market share which is going to make Steve Jobs pee in his iconic blue jeans.
Since the humble launch of Android in 2003 by Andy Rubin and the acquisition by Google in 2005, Android has not been as strong in the hardware department as it has been in the software department. Google had earlier relied on HTC and Samsung to make the two Nexus phones (Google phones). But, this has all changed with the latest Motorola acquisition. Google has now become the second largest manufacturer of Android handsets!
Even though this deal comes after a huge loss of around $56 million in the second quarter of Motorola, Mr. Larry Page said-
Motorola Mobility’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. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.
So, what is next for Googorola?
Even though this is most certainly going to improve the bond between the hardware and software of all Android handsets coming out of Page’s factory, Motorola will still remain a licensee and so will the other companies. It will be interesting to see whether Google manages Motorola as a standalone business or incorporates it into the ‘family’.
What does this deal mean for consumers like us?
- End of Fragmentation: Google has received constant complaints from Android users that their devices become unsupported after a year or so, unlike Apple. The only reason that there are less developers for Android (when compared to iOS), is the variety of devices! The developers cannot test their applications on each and every Android device out there. Same goes for every new software update. Most users can’t get a taste of the latest OS made by Google just because their device doesn’t have the requisite hardware (Thank God for XDA).
It would be much simpler if Google sent out a word to all the companies using Android to implement a single screen resolution/device size etc.
- No More Custom Skins?: With so many Android devices in the market, each and every company has implemented their own flavour of Android atop the OS to compete in the market. Samsung has TouchWiz, HTC has Sense, Sony has UXP and Motorola had MotoBlur.
Google has also announced that this acquisition marks the end of MotoBlur and all devices henceforth will be running pure Android i.e. vanilla Android. Personally, I feel that this is a good move on Google’s part since it would look really bad if their own devices were running another skin of Android rather than the pure Android experience (which Google advertises with the Nexus S).
This is going to be extremely interesting as this will force other manufacturers to step up their game. Will the other companies ditch their custom skins and go Vanilla Android or will they strengthen their custom skins to make them look better than the pure Android experience?
- Faster Updates: Since Motorola is now a direct part of Google, it is obvious that the devices manufactured by them will be the first ones to receive the latest software updates. If Google wants to retain that 30% market share, they will surely provide the OS updates to its users. This would also help in the device sales since it would make more sense for the consumer to buy a device which is insured for the future.
This would also burn the fire under other manufacturer’s asses since they surely wouldn’t want to be known as the company that doesn’t give frequent updates to their devices.