The mobile industry is so volatile and dynamic that every now and then a player throws in something that changes the playing field. That is exactly what Google has done with the acquisition of smartphone vendor Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.
Ladies and gentlemen, this changes everything. Again.
Here is an excerpt from Larry Page’s announcement on the official Google blog:
This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.
The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences.
Finally, Google joins the exclusive club of companies who control both the software and hardware ends of their mobile products. Others include Apple (iOS), RIM (Blackberry), Samsung (Bada), and HP (WebOS). Nokia, who have been a part of this club till date with Symbian, are actually exiting the club with their dumping of Symbian and Meego in favour of WindowsPhone.
Did Nokia make the right choice letting go of control of the software end?
How will the other Android licensees respond? HTC? Samsung? LG? Sony Ericsson?
If this is the future, and I suspect that it is to a large extent, then perhaps we should actually be looking forward to a Microsoft acquisition of Nokia someday? Blasphemy? Perhaps. But like Nokia is, Motorola was once the world’s largest mobile vendor. Who would have thought that they would one day end up in Google’s pockets?
In the meantime, Android is the only one of those mobile platform in which the developer now has hardware control as well as licensees. All other things being equal, this should mean better days for the Android OS – if the other licensees don’t panic and start looking elsewhere. And who would blame them if they did that?
I’m still reeling from the shock of this news. Help me, someone!
Read the official statement: Supercharging Android: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility