3 days ago the news that may or may not change the mobile scenario.
On August 15th, while most of Catholic world was on holiday, Google has announced the biggest news of this season, something that may completely change the mobile scenario we’re living: with a $12.5 billion deal Google acquired Motorola Mobility. So what’s going to happen next? Keep reading for a few possible futures.
The Official Google Blog post states that Motorola will be run as a separate business, at the same level of other Android licensees. On the other hand, Motorola and Google will work together to create “an amazing user experience” (thank God, Motorola has already abandoned MotoBlur!), and I can imagine that the other OEM as HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson will feel on a lower step.
An important part of the deals are the 25,000 patents owned by Motorola, which will definitely help Google and Android in the legal battles with other big players as Microsoft, Apple and Oracle; but how can the mobile industry change in the near future?
With Motorola run as a separate business and the 25,000 patents under Google’s control, the company may continue to lose ground. In the past years Motorola fell down from a top 3 mobile manufacturer to be barely included in the top 10, releasing some ugly device and the already mentioned Motoblur; its sales out of the USA are practically zero and even their only good smartphone (the Atrix) wasn’t well accepted out of its motherland. Some predict Motorola will slowly disappear, and Google is not new at this with previous acquisitions, or the manufacturing may even be sold to another player (Huawei has been looking for a hardware acquisition in the USA for a while already). This scenario would definitely keep things as they are now, removing an (irrelevant) player from the field and making Android stronger with its new patents pack. And this is what I personally wish is going to happen!
But at the same time Google may think to revamp its original Nexus plans and directly jump into the hardware manufacturing, following what Apple has been doing since the iPhone launch, and what Microsoft may also plan to do with its Nokia partnership despite its other loyal OEM. While it may make sense, this possibility would destroy years of partnerships with the Android licensees, and in my opinion be deleterious for the Android ecosystem. While the Android fragmentation issue doesn’t exist and it’s only a pretext by Apple and its fanboys to justify their lack of device choice and configurations, a flat range of devices won’t satisfy most users and consequences for other manufacturers would be pretty negative too as there’s no space for more operating systems (someone please tell HP! UPDATE: who did?). While such scenario would give Nokia’s Stephen Elop choices more credit, how would the Android OEM react?
What do you think it’s going to happen? Will Apple manage to achieve exactly what they wanted to destroy 27 years ago?