There are unconfirmed reports that Google, the giant behind Android OS, are in the final stages of buying smartphone manufacturer, HTC. The question I am asking is, what has changed and what would Google do different this time? Let us look at a few facts:
- In 2011, Google acquired Motorola’s smartphone business.
- This raised concerns among Android smartphone manufacturers who felt that google had now become a direct competitor. Of course, there is the angle that in reality, Google purchased Motorola for the patents).
- For this reason (and perhaps others), Google did not push Motorola smartphones as hard as it probably could.
- All said and done, Google was never able to run Motorola profitably.
- In 2014, Lenovo took Motorola Mobile off Google’s hands – at a big loss to the Android OS developer.
So, Google’s acquisition of Motorola (like Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia Mobile) ended on a sour note. And three years later, Google is said to be looking at buying HTC. For what? Again, to push its own stock Android smartphones (read Pixel) as a standard for others to follow?
If so, here is another question: In all the years that Google owned Motorola and in all the years they have pushed Nexus and Pixel smartphones, how many smartphone manufacturers have followed their lead? None. Zero.
Okay, let’s give them Nokia – the new HMD Nokia (or is it Nokia HMD?) that started off this year. Oh, and Lenovo recently made the switch to stock Android too. So, besides the new Nokia and Lenovo, no-one else seems interested in pushing stock Android Google phones. Everyone else keeps going in the direction of custom Android flavours – even those who started out with stock Android (read: TECNO, Infinix, UMIDIGI and many like them). In the end, each manufacturer wants to stand out, and the OS is the easiest way to do that.
Good Luck From With HTC
So, good luck to Google with HTC this time, if the rumours turn out to be true and the deal happens. HTC sure needs a bailout of this sort – they have been making losses since Adam ate the apple in the garden of Eden.
HTC have cut costs, laid off staff and changesd focus but continued to record losses. But if Google’s antecedents with Motorola is anything to go by, nothing will change for a Google-owned HTC. But then, miracles happen.