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Google: We’ve acquired Motorola Mobility (googleblog.blogspot.com)
196 points by JOfferijns on May 22, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 139 comments

Google builds a search engine, forces the competition to start improving.

Google buys a webmail service, forces rapid improvements in the competition.

Google builds a browser, forces rapid improvements in the competition (Firefox).

Google buys a smartphone OS, competition already doing ok but probably tweaked some things.

Google starts building an inexpensive fiber network, makes incumbents sweat a little.

Google buys a smartphone manufacturer, forces competition to improve.

Next up, probably a mobile telco provider.

Google's thing seems to be improving the transfer and display of ads. Somehow they've turned that into a benefit to technology as a whole. It's a business model built on disruption.

"Google buys a smartphone OS, competition already doing ok but probably tweaked some things."

Android played a huge role in pushing the mobile web to consumers. How long was the iPhone exclusive to AT&T, like 3 years? Without Android all those other wireless providers would be hawking much less functional Blackberries, Windows 6.x, Nokia handsets.

Nokia handsets were quite functional at the time iPhone appeared. E.g. Python for S60 is older than iPhone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Python_for_S60). Apple brought a lot of innovations to smartphone market but functionality is not one of them.

I think it's pretty cool to participate on a site where "functional" is defined by someone as "having Python"!

That said, my guess is that for the average consumer, things like that are far less important than having lots of easy to get apps, and a general look and feel that work well.

And I have to say that from that point of view, my cheap Samsung Android phone is just night and day ahead of the Nokia with Symbian that I had. The Nokia had Google Maps, Gmail, and some other stuff, but it was extremely clunky in comparison.

If only there were a struggling US mobile provider looking to be sold that already had a large Android user base...

I wonder how long they could play that game before running afoul of antitrust legislation.

As long as they wanted, as long as they weren't anticompetitive.

... and operated below the market share (70%) that attracts antitrust scrutiny.

In mobile OS, I think they can avoid being classified having 70% or anywhere near it since Android is technically open source and anyone can fork it, and several flavors such as the kindle version of Android aren't under their control.

In the carrier space, they'd be far from owning a lot of market share.

They just need to make sure that if they acquire such power that they restrain from anticompetitive practices afforded to them by their position.

That would be a very interesting move if Google bought T-Mobile. I'd rather see Google buy T-Mobile than AT&T.


That's the joke.

Google builds a self-driving car, forces competition to, um, I have no idea.

The less time people spend driving, the more time they'll spend on other things. And if the rest of Google is doing things right, at least some of that time will be spent looking at Google ads.

So no doubt we can look forward to Google Self-Cleaning Toilets soon.

I know you're joking, but these exist! In New Zealand and Australia, some public washrooms are automated and self-cleaning.

http://www.exeloo.com/ is the company that makes them.

They're competing with the sorry state of transportation in the US. Private cars disrupted carriages. Public trains and buses disrupted cars. Better cars disrupted buses and trains. Self-driven trains of public cars are the natural next step.

"Cadillac To Release Self-Driving Cars By 2015" (no joke)

One reference: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/126841-cadillac-promises-...

Under some conditions (good visibility, easy-to-see lane markers, etc.)

Wasn't Gmail built on internal 20% time, not bought?

Maybe I was thinking of something else.


I hope your last prediction comes true. We are in dire need of a telco provider that doesn't rape you.

I hope Motorola sets a new course towards premium iPhone territory.

I've always found raw naked Android much nicer to use than the silly re-skinning every manufacturer wastes time adding. Sense and blur are bad, but Sony's Timescape was absolutely the low-point.


One thing I learned from HW manufacturer is that they absolutely don't get SW development

Zero, zilch, nada, NULL

Hence, this results in wasting (a lot of) time with BS projects, lots of NIH syndrome, design by committee, etc

I've heard and seem a lot of stories, I've worked in certain companies and I vowed never to work again there.

They waste million of dollars thinking CrapCase and other "irrational" tools are ok.

And that's why Cyanogenmod releases upgrades quicker than the manufacturers.

I previously worked for a (small-time) handset manufacturer, and have done product testing for several others. I also have friends who work or have worked for some of the major names.

None of the companies have any clue whatsoever when it comes to UI design, software development, etc. The majority of the process is usually centered around putting some kind of brand-specific skinning on the OS as a "differentiator". It only gets worse when the carriers request their own specific branding on a handset. Usually the designs are put together by one or two designers and the emphasis is often on visual impact as opposed to usability. Flash tends to win over function, and often times things are redesigned for no good reason between product releases.

It's no surprise then that Apple is eating their lunch, at least they have a coordinated effort.

Couldn't have said it better myself

>They waste million of dollars thinking CrapCase and other "irrational" tools are ok.

Oh God, yup. The last place I interned for was using CVS, and the devs wanted to switch to Git. This desire percolated up a few levels, and a couple months later it's announced that we're switching to ClearCase. Two months before a major version of our product drops. Cue 3 weeks of mayhem as ClearCase manages to mangle everything, then the same people who made the ClearCase decision are furious that we are so far behind target and begin to "question the competency" of the devs at out site.

Yeah, thanks but I'm staying the hell away from HW companies in the future.

Why would the developers even go along with such a switch? Why don't they just create facts? Put up a centralized git repository somewhere and get coding?

The repo was being monitored; lack of activity on it would have raised eyebrows.

But hey, ClearCase is from IBM, so it has to be good, right? It was made by a team of experts, not some pudgy Finn. Clearly the codemonkeys just don't understand business, which is why we're building our web app in Java over their objections. Java is what Enterprise uses, and this is Enterprise software. Makes perfect sense.

Could you setup a mirroring system? Run a nightly cronjob that takes all commits to the git repository and syncs them to ClearCase? I've never used ClearCase, so I have no idea if this would work, but a similar system is used at Google where we have a wrapper around git that creates a Perforce changelist out of our commits.

Could you setup a mirroring system?

And then some manager will find out and fire someone for wasting valuable company time and resources hacking on some irrelevant side project or hacking the companies security system or something.

Some places are just broken politically and no amount of technical cleverness can fix it. At places like that your only option is to learn to live with it, learn to play the political game or quit.

The CC command line tool is a total piece of crap but it has all functionalities

So theoretically it could work, but you would waste some time

Not to mention people related to CC are usually rude, ignorant, afraid to be made redundant so they rely on blackmail and threats to keep their position (yes, I'm generalizing)

I think most security vulnerabilities for Android phones come from the manufacturers messing with the core Android code, too, and not from Google.

I really hope the "new Motorola" will use only stock Android from now on. It doesn't even make sense to me to do it otherwise.

Citation? Or is this a hunch?

I'd love it if that were true, sounds like an excellent rebuttal to the usual 'android gets spam' retort.

As I understand it most of the time the problem is the user themselves, the app requested some permission and the user granted it.

It isn't really a fair comparison; Cyanogenmod has no legal liability for releasing flawed upgrades.

In addition, I haven't found CM to be perfect and awesome either. It has things I find annoying or frustrating, and I don't particularly think its "look" is much better than some of the manufacturer's. Just my opinions though.

And Cyanogenmod doesn't have to get carrier approval.

Do carriers? The contract I signed with AT&T was pretty onerous.

Do carriers? The contract I signed with AT&T was pretty onerous.

For you. For AT&T, it says they can come into your house and take any and all children of yours whenever they want. They wrote the contract and you have no choice but to agree, so they're certainly not going to go out of their way to be nice to you. (Their logo is the frickin' Death Star, after all!)

That's my point. They've set up the contracts so they don't have much more legal liability for flawed upgrades than Cyanogenmod does.

Even if AT&T isn't held to certain liabilities, if an OTA bricks peoples phones and they don't do anything about it it would be a media shitstorm.

i remember at a conference (ETech, a while ago) there was a geohackers BOF and some dude from a handset mfg said they wanted to work with us, and the way to do so would be to create proposals for them to evaluate, and then they would decide.

they actually told a roomful of hackers to ask permission.

fuck that?

Specially Android ICS. Removing Sense from my HTC Sensation and going to a rom that has an almost native ICS not only gave me a much better iphone-like experience, but it's also way faster the the stock android from HTC. WAY WAY faster and smoother

Android isn't bad at all, but you need to understand why it's so popular - it lets just about every phone maker produce incredibly cheap handsets. Despite the iPhone having a 22% share of smart phones it commands a significantly larger percentage of revenue, so high that Samsung, the android leader, won't reveal revenue figures for their android business. (Samsung reveal that their entire mobile division has 17B revenue, Apple's iPhone devision, excluding iPod/iPad is 23B.)

Apple are very good at making premium products, they have a greater than 94% market share for computers over $1,000USD. They all but own the tablet space despite their significantly higher retail price. The only competitors that succeed against Apple are the ones willing to have razor thin margins producing commodity products - this is where Android comes in, the bulk of Android devices are budget conscious. Google tried the premium Android approach originally and it failed enough for them to abort the approach completely.

It took Apple a long time to connect good design with something that could take a big chunk out of a market. It won't be any different for its competitors. It's slowly happening with laptops. My Toshiba Satellite from a few years ago already looks great and has great usability. I'm sure newer models are even better.

How many years did it take non-Apple laptop manufacturers to figure it out after Apple proved you could make a nice laptop that people would buy?

"Apple are very good at making premium products, they have a greater than 94% market share for computers over $1,000USD"

Wait, what? Do you have a source for that? I'm pretty sure these numbers are not correct.

I'm having difficulty digging up the recent data, but here is the 2009 NPD source that shows their 91% share of computers over $1000


It always pays to check the fine print.

If you click through to the story this is based on, you find this: http://betanews.com/2009/07/22/apple-has-91-of-market-for-1-...

Two caveats:

1. They're talking about revenue-share, not a share of units. That 91% revenue-share is very likely to translate into a somewhat smaller share of units because Apple's Mac ASP is probably substantially higher than the overall Windows ASP, even when you're restricting both to the $1000+ segment.

2. They're talking about PCs sold "at US retail". I'm not sure what their definition of that is (I couldn't easily find the original report), but there are two things it almost certainly does not include: sales to businesses and direct sales from manufacturer websites.

I find that unsurprising. I think it would be hard for NPD to gather that sort of data. However, both segments are important in $1000+ Windows PC market. Business buy plenty of $1000+ PCs (I'm sitting in a room of them). And the best price for a $1000+ consumer PC is almost always at the manufacturer website. I strongly suspect that, for most manufacturers (except Apple), the majority of $1000+ PCs are sold directly from their website.

Android isn't bad at all

Who are you replying to? The comment you replied to makes the arguable point that vendor add-ons are a problem. That is a debatable point as each iteration of Android has essentially usurped functionality pioneered in those skins.

but you need to understand why it's so popular - it lets just about every phone maker produce incredibly cheap handsets

Gah! Where are all of these "incredibly cheap" handsets? ZTE? Huwei? The overwhelming bulk of Android handsets (edit: I realize this is worded poorly, but I mean relative to sales -- the top selling handsets are predominately the top tier devices) are priced similarly to the iPhone. And why are you making uninformed comments about Android on a board where the overwhelming majority of participants are very informed on the market?

And ignoring the fact that Samsung, HTC, and Motorola probably spend more on software developer, per handset, than a Windows Phone license, even if they went for Windows Phone licenses is that $5-$15 license fee going to really be the difference between "incredibly cheap" and not incredibly cheap?

This Android == the low end nonsense is garbage. It is hubris of the worst kind.

Terrible. Just terrible. I'm going full jerk now, threatening my glorious Avg:5 score, but save comments like that for Engadget stories.

Where are all of these "incredibly cheap" handsets? ZTE? Huwei? The overwhelming bulk of Android handsets are priced similarly to the iPhone.

Not even close to true. Having a look at my favorite purveyor of phones (www.katshing.se) I see that, by far, the most expensive phone they sell is the 64GB 4s and the only phones that are close to the price of a 16GB 4s is HTC One X, the Galaxy Note and the preorder for the Galaxy SIII.

In the half-the-price-of-the-4s category you have some pretty decent phones like the HTC OneV, Experia Arc S and Samsung Galaxy S plus. Halving the price again (~$250) and you can get a Samsung Galaxy Ace, HTC Explorer or Wildfire S or Motorola Defy Mini.

The simple truth is that probably half the people I know with android phones have android phones because they where a lot cheaper than the iPhone. The fact that you can buy a great smart phone from a brand name like Samsung for $200 unlocked and off contract is incredibly enticing to a large number of people, and Android helped make that happen.

Not even close to true. Having a look at my favorite purveyor of phones

I didn't put a specific disclaimer for Sweden, I suppose.

the most expensive phone they sell is the 64GB 4s

Incredibly few people buy the 64GB variant. Since we're so fond of anecdotes, I know zero people who bought the 64GB iPhone 4S. I see no reason, at all, why that data point has any relevance.

The top selling Android phones, worldwide, are the Galaxy Notes, SII's, Razrs, and other premium devices. Low cost devices -- despite your anecdotes -- haven't even made a dent in the top 10 yet. It is a completely irrelevant aspect, thus far.

That will change, of course, but when someone buys a Razr or an SII or a Note or a One X, they aren't choosing a discount option.

The top selling Android phones, worldwide, are the Galaxy Notes, SII's, Razrs, and other premium devices. Low cost devices -- despite your anecdotes -- haven't even made a dent in the top 10 yet.

But there are a million low-end models with little to differentiate them, so it's not surprising at all that none of them are in the top 10. That by itself doesn't mean that the "Non-Top 10" category isn't 99% of the market. (It's not, of course; I'm just saying that looking at the top 10 doesn't give you any more info on the total makeup of the market than the comment you're so vociferously responding to.)

I didn't put a specific disclaimer for Sweden, I suppose.

Looks like you did not put US specific disclaimer. A lot (most?) of people from outside the US pay full price for their phones. And price is important to them.

Also, I would like to see your source for the wordwide top selling Adnroid phones.

Look at the chart of device models: http://opensignalmaps.com/reports/fragmentation.php

While the top 10 most popular devices are all high end, just look at how much of the market the low-end, low-volume devices make up. It's at least a fourth of all devices, and I imagine if you count former top-end devices which sell for cheaper now, half the market was sold below the high-end. Even among the popular devices there at lots of cheaper ones in there, Samsung along have a raft of lower cost devices that are quite popular on there (Ace, Marvel, Galaxy Y)

As you've noted the 'top 10' isn't a good weathervane on what's actually making up the bulk of sales, top 10 is the statistical mode, not the average. The revenue figures for each company paint a clear picture of what their average phone sale is, and a better clue to where the bulk of the phones are predominantly sold.

A review of the IDC data shows that 'other' brands make up 27%, that's a share larger than Apple's, and testament to just how many fringe product brands there are out there, let alone the listless number of smartphone models that exist under each of those fringe brands.

Additionally, as you've noted top 10 is restricted to a certain time period, again not a good indicator for total sales of a handset.


Where "other" includes Motorola, LG, Sony, etc. Fringe brands? Give me a break.

The revenue figures for each company paint a clear picture of what their average phone sale is, and a better clue to where the bulk of the phones are predominantly sold.

Where is that picture clearly painted? You conveniently jumped a massive chasm in your other post, inventing numbers, and came up with "75% the price of an iPhone". Again, "incredibly cheap"? This is a ridiculous conversation.

The market reality doesn't align with your personal observation, all producers have their high end smartphone, but a simple review of revenue reveals the bulk purchases are cheaper smart phones. Just because your personal view may see a large number of expensive android devices doesn't reflect the reality of the population. The figures however do show us what is going on, the android sale is the 'cheap/low end' phone.

Samsung have a 29.1% marketshare of smart phones by volume. (IDC) Apple has a 24.2% marketshare of smart phone by volume. (IDC) The others don't crack 10% each.

Samsung won't reveal revenue for Android, for reasons that will become obvious shortly, but they do reveal their entire mobile division has 17B revenue. This division shipped 144.4M mobile phones, 42M of those were smart phones, a figure slightly lower than that belong to Android. We can be lenient and pretend that the bulk of the 17B revenue were from pricier Android devices, even though this would be fallacious.

Apple's iPhone business (not iPod/iPad) has revenue of 23B, already exceeding Samsung's entire mobile business.

Samsung lead Android sales commanding ~40% of the Android market share.

Meaning that the largest seller of Android smartphones, who sells more smartphones than any other producer including Apple is making 75% the amount of revenue of Apple, on not just their Android business, but their total mobile division where Android makes up a fraction of it. This can only mean one thing. The average selling price of those Android devices is well below 75% of the average iPhone sale. (Rather likely far lower when you consider that the 17B figure comprises of all of Samsung's sales.)

A note regarding the burial of the above because it's inconvenient:

These are the facts, they speak for themselves. The data is the latest from May IDC, and the revenue results are the publicly announced data from the last quarter from both Samsung & Apple.

The only thing you're burying is your head in the sand.

If anyone downvoted you it was because the presentation of rigor doesn't come anywhere close to being satisfied.

Samsung won't reveal revenue for Android, for reasons that will become obvious shortly

How very conspiratorial. So what, exactly, are they hiding? They want the price per unit to seem high? Or maybe they simply don't feel those are relevant numbers or numbers they want competitors knowing.

This can only mean one thing. The average selling price of those Android devices is well below 75% of the average iPhone sale.

I went along with your logic open minded, but you do realize there is a giant unknown in your claims, right? I suppose this links back to the conspiratorial claims about revenue numbers, however you have no idea what Samsung's average unit price is for Android phones. None whatsoever.

But let's pretend that the average Samsung smartphone sells for 75% the price of an iPhone. Does that qualify as "incredibly cheap"? That is a laughable notion.

I'm curious why you say that Sense is bad - not doubting, just curious.

I recently got the HTC One X and have been very happy with its usability and performance, but then I don't have access to a stock Android ICS phone so I can't make the comparison.

I enjoyed the shortcuts HTC added to the HTC Desire, and easy way to get to last running apps, settings, some regular settings as well. I haven't looked at ICS, but HTC definitely add to the regular android experience.

So-called skins have a very poor reputation primarily because of their influence on slow update times (whether real or overblown). From a pure usability perspective, it is really only hardcore "nerds" who have such an issue with skins: While they have less and less importance as Android itself refines, during earlier generations they were a critical element in bringing the platform to the mainstream.

My issue is that manufacturers try to reinvent the wheel and end up breaking things because they suck at software.

Manual set up of Exchange accounts was flat out broken on my Droid 4 the first 3-4 months it was on the market, despite being something that works perfectly fine in vanilla Android. The breakage happened because Motorola decided to implement their own "corporate account" feature rather than just use the one that was baked in.

It is only fair to note that Motorola added ActiveSync (Exchange integration) to their Android builds long before Google added it.

Sure, but Exchange support had been part of the AOSP trunk for over two years by time the D4 was released.

I thought this acquisition as was just about patents. As much as I would love to see some true "Google hardware," I suspect it will be business as usual.

I still think this is the primary consideration in this acquisition. That being said, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. When I was at Google there was a lot of challenges to creating any sort of hardware (the most capable of the groups was the Enterprise group that made the appliance and they still had a hell of a time at it). It is a very different discipline than 'iterate rapidly and ship early.'

For Google's sake I hope they can successfully run this business, or recognize early enough that they can't. If it turns out that it isn't in their DNA to run a hardware biz then it is important to re-spin it out before it dies from mismanagement.

This is kind of what I was thinking. I've worked at a HW / Consumer Electronics (One of the big ones) and in many ways all of the comments around here about HW companies not really getting SW are 100% true. However, I don't think it's any less true that many of the SW folks around here have almost no understanding of how HW development works.

What do you think a SW person interested in creating hardware as well would be best served to learn? Is it just the results of the release cycles being so much longer, or is it deeper than that?

It's a lot more than that. Developing and maintaining a supply chain, shipping finished product, different testing strategies, different pre-release design and prototyping strategies, regulatory approval (for anything that has a radio, among other things)... and that's just a few things off the top of my head.

It probably is.

However, this could also be a first step in a process of Google creating a vertically integrated phone offering.

Larry Page seems to be borrowing from Apple's playbook recently - first by focusing on a set of core products and cutting away Labs and other experimental peripheral stuff, second by integrating all of Google's offerings with G+ as the hub.

Adding a vertically integrated Android phone that competes directly with iPhone on design, UI/UX, build quality, etc. could be the next step in that.

Google can leave Android licensing as is for a few more years, but if their vertically integrated offering succeeds in the market, they may even eventually end the licensing deals, similar to how Apple ended deals with the clone makers when SJ returned as CEO.

Not saying that will happen, just observing that the Moto purchase could allow them to take that route in a few years if they so choose.

I suspect you're on the money here. Android is open source because Google wants everyone using ad-served google services.

Not because google suddenly wants to start making margin on the phone business. (That failed the first time, and they definitely didn't need motorola to try it again.)

It wouldn't surprise me to see Google licensing "Motorola" branding for the next generation of feature phones.

> I thought this acquisition as was just about patents.

This, IMHO should be the top comment here.

Most people here focus on the handsets but Moto Mobility's business that currently turns a profit is home (set top boxes and cable branch office equipment) where Motorola is big. I heard that Google is trying to use this advantage to boost GoogleTV but cable companies said they would boycott set top boxes that are Google branded, since they see it as a great threat.

So the question is: will Google sell the Home division? If they do, this may have huge ramifications for the US cable landscape.

In Kansas City, Google is laying it's gigabit fiber to the home.

Earlier this year, Google got regulatory approval to offer video over their fiber service. [1]

Google TV and their fiber service could be a pretty amazing combination. Getting to integrate the Motorola knowledge may make it better.

Or, Google could try to push Google TV onto the companies who buy the Motorola boxes (through discounting/subsidies).

[1] http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2012/03/16/kansas...

It looks like they're putting in place some serious hitters in the Moto executive suite alongside Woodside. If it weren't for all the focus on patents, I would think these guys are serious about building hardware/consumer products.

I suspect other phone manufacturers will be less eager to invest in Android as a platform. Symbian's ownership was a huge problem back in the day. We will see a repeat of the drama I am afraid.

In my vision, these companies (Samsung, HTC, LG, etc) did not "invested" in Android. They used free Google software to actually save their own skins. What chance any of them would have in the smartphone transition using their own home-made software? I dont think they have much options now, the Windows Phone choice is not giving good results for Nokia and I think the only choice they have to compete against Apple is to have an unified environment so the users can benefit of more apps, and this is exactly what Android gives to them, for free.

"the Windows Phone choice is not giving good results for Nokia"

Nokia's problems have nothing to do with Windows Phone. They're still offering lots of Symbian handsets [http://www.nokia.com/us-en/products/products/] to compete head to head with iOS, Android, and WP7. A renaissance for the brick format or Symbian was no more likely a year ago than it is today.

For me, it's hard to see how betting on a MeeGo app ecosystem would have given them a growing market share over the long term.

Android rose because it was cheap and available as an alternative to iOS. Google realized a first mover advantage in the "not Apple" segment of the market. Now with Motorola Mobility purchase, they have the opportunity to bring more of the profits back in house.

I suspect that Google's long term hardware strategy, if they have one, is to go head to head with Nokia in the developing world by deploying the next generation of feature phones and collecting data in rapidly developing markets like Africa.

"For me, it's hard to see how betting on a MeeGo app ecosystem would have given them a growing market share over the long term."

I think the implied alternative was Android, not MeeGo.

If Android, then Nokia would be in the same boat as HTC, Samsung, etc. are today...paying Microsoft to use Android and facing the prospect of going head to head with Google's house brand.

Note how Motorola and Sony do not pay Microsoft for using Android.

All the other Android vendors license Windows for some other area of their business. These two do not and Microsoft has no leverage to force them. (Yes, I know about Microsoft suing Motorola and Motorola suing Microsoft back).

You realize Sony is one of the top 10 largest manufacturers of PCs running Windows, right?

Up until February this year, Sony didn't manufacture any phones.

They used to, my first cellphone was a Sony, on Sprint network back in the late 1990's. Similar to this one:


Android benefits from the lock-in effect of Google Play and the apps distributed by Google, like GMail and Google Maps. It also benefits from all the improvements that Google is pushing at a fast pace.

Amazon may have the strength to open its own app store for the Kindle. But it can only do so because the Kindle is just a means to a purpose, which is consuming stuff from Amazon's store.

Apple may have the strength to build their own alternative to Google Maps, but they are Apple.

On the other hand, did anybody here ever used the Samsung App Store? (http://www.samsungapps.com). I didn't think so. And what's an Android phone without Google's apps and Google's Play? It's just a shitty smartphone.

Actually I think it's great news that Google buys Motorola, because maybe, just maybe, these phone manufacturers will drop those silly enhancements and start getting in line with the official updates.

Samsung at least seems to have far too much invested in Android now to consider dropping it (hell, they're making the best-selling android phones on the market).

This isn't a surprise for anyone, though. They have been working towards this purchase for a while, so if any of the manufacturers were likely to baulk at it, they already would have done so.

Here's hoping that google puts out some great handsets, and makes this a real game-changing move.

Samsung have always hedged their bets with OS's. Even while making the Galaxy S and SII they also made phones using their own OS (bada) and Symbian OS. They are currently producing a Windows phone (Samsung Focus S) in addition to Bada and Android devices. They are also involved with Tizen.

This is purely for their own phones too, not mentioning the parts they produce which go into others (original iphone processor etc.)

Samsung is however also investing in Tizen. So while I doubt they have any plans of dropping Android, I wouldn't be surprised if they have people working on plans on to handle a situation where doing so becomes expedient.

Samsung makes great phones, but they suck at software and at creating a developer community around their software.

I don't see how this is going to change.

I had the impression that Samsung was readying themselves for this with Bada. There will probably give more weight to it from now on, while investing less and less in Android. It won't be an overnight withdrawal for sure.

Google doesn't have to treat Motorola specially. I think what Motorola gives Google is guaranteed buyin by at least one manufacturer to any of Android's initiatives. Think about the failure of last year's Android Update Alliance. I'm sure all the manufacturers were playing chicken to see if any other would actually invest the resources to keep their phones up to date. From now on when Android announces something similar, you can pretty much guarantee that Motorola is "willing" participant #1. I assume that changes the calculus of to what extent other manufacturers participate.

Mostly I think Google's gunning for the carriers at this point. Carriers seem to keep enjoying getting in Google's way.

What on earth will they use? Whatever windows mobile variant exists now?

Whats the worst thing that could happen? All the manufactures drop Android? Good, then we will get an official, not messed with, Android phone directly from Google. I see only good in this.

If that happens then Androids market share will quickly drop below that of WP7, most developers will react accordingly, WP7 will be the new Android and Android will be the new Meego. You might see that as a good thing, but I think many will disagree.

This is an extreme worst-case scenario. I think the next purest "worst case" would be that suddenly the world explodes, exterminating all life in an instant.

A more likely worst-case is that we get more companies supporting alternative OSes, marketshare evens out a bit from second place on down, and generally the world keeps on turning. If people like Android now, people won't stop liking it because Google is now making it themselves. Even in a worse-case scenario.

You're grossly underestimating how many "Android" fans are out there, how many blogs promoting Android, and so on. The Android ecosystem is quite large. About as large as Apple's. They wouldn't just "leave Android". If anything people will treat Google even more like a cult, as Apple users treat Apple and their products.

If the Google Glasses are successful, that sort of loyalty to Google will only increase, like it did for Apple with the iPhone, then with the iPad, and so on.

See I'm honestly not that sure that there are than many true Android fans out there. While Android phones probably outnumber iPhones among my circle of friends by a good 3:1, I don't know if many of them are really fans. Certainly not in the way people are fans of their iPhones. Most of them (including me) bought Android because you got a pretty good smart phone with a good ecosystem for a lot less than an iPhone, or because they preferred the hardware (larger screen, smaller screen, keyboard etc.), or often some combination of the two. "Android" is just an incidental detail that enables the above.

> not in the way people are fans of their iPhones

I think this whole Apple Cult thing is pretty overblown. Sure there may be a noisy minority who give that impression but I sure don't know any. I have an iPhone because I considered it the best choice but I'm hardly a raving iPhone zealot. I hate the closed ecosystem too, and resent that I have to chose between a high quality user experience (by my taste) and a more free environment.

I don't really know anyone who fits into the stereotype of an unconditional raving iPhone fan, and this amongst a social circle which is basically exclusively iPhone.

I actually got myself into some trouble when I said that a Blackberry isn't really a smartphone by today's standards at a friend's party. Someone else there was apparently pretty proud of her Blackberry, and seemed willing to defend to the death her Blackberry Curve that she got for free on contract. I had to back down from that statement for fear that I would be bludgeoned to death with an outdated business device.

This has almost nothing to do with your point, just that there are rabid fans for everything you could think of.

Well, it's overblown now, but there are definitely unconditional apple fans.

I'm an Android fan. I prefer the UI to iPhone, and I love the fact that I'm not locked into a single app store.

If Windows Phone wasn't locked down I might give it a try, but until there's an alternative phone that's at least as open as Android I'm not moving.

Congratulations. Most people buying Android are not, they just want to be able to do what their mates with iPhones can do, but cheaper. And they can.

This is purely speculation. If they wanted a cheap iPhone they could get an iPhone 4 or 3GS, why do people still choose Android?

Of course, the iPhone 3GS was only available on AT&T, which leaves out all Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile customers. The iPhone 4 is still $100 for an "old" phone, where they can get a new one for the same $100, or less.

Among my less technical friends, Android and iPhone devices are more or less equal.

Because people are still getting "a new phone," not a new phone that happens to be last year's model.

I don't think that really follows well from the claim above. If they wanted an iPhone they could get an iPhone 4. Getting a Bionic or Razr instead is user choice.

Where did you get this idea that Android is more affordable? Compare similar spec'd Android devices to the iPhone and they cost just as much as, if not more, than the iPhone.

Example: iPhone 4s 16gb AT&T - $150 subsidized HTC One X AT&T - $200 subsidized

Sure, there are cheaper Android phones, but there are also cheaper iPhones (3gs/4).

Believe it or not, there are real Android fans. I used to be one, not so much anymore. The carriers and manufacturers have ruined it with their delayed updates, bloatware, and modifications to the UI.

If Apple raised the iPhone screen to at least 4", I would consider getting one. If Microsoft released a WP7 device with good specs, I would get that. But at the moment, Android has the best balance of hardware and software.

Sure similar specced phones cost similar amounts, but with Android I can choose slightly lesser specs a lot less money in a way I can't the iPhone. Even the cheapest iPhone they still sell (3gs 8GB) is $100 more than some pretty good Android phones like the HTC One V, Samsung S plus or Sony Xperia Arc S and 3 times the price (unlocked) of a cheap Android phone (for example a Samsung Galaxy Mini or Galaxy Y or ZTE Blade). And when I buy an unlocked phone I don't get screwed on the contract, saving me even more money in the long run. Sure those cheap phones are technically not as good as the iPhone, but they're still fully functional smart phones that do everything many people need and want.

The 3gs is actually free with a 2-year contract.

I understand where you're coming from, and I'm not denying the fact that Android offers a wider range of devices in different price ranges. I just don't like this concept that many people seem to have stuck in their heads: iPhone = expensive. Android = cheap. All of the high-end phones are expensive, and high-end phones are what we should compare when talking about Android vs iOS because they are in the same price range.

So yes, there most definitely are Android fans out there, but they are most likely using a high-end Android device and not one of the cheap handsets that you couldn't pay me to use.

If all manufacturers dropped Android tomorrow, to make their own OS's or whatever, I'd still continue to buy Android phones made by Google and Motorola (if they can keep them competitive hardware wise, of course).

It's almost impossible that would happen, but I'm just saying I wouldn't miss them if they left Android. If they think they can just replace Android with Tizen or whatever, and people will follow them, they are very wrong. Google would just get most of the business then with Motorola, and it would get a lot closer to Apple's profits.

> All the manufactures drop Android?

[ ... ]

> I see only good in this.

This makes zero logical sense.

The comment " I see only good in this." is towards them acquiring Motorola Mobility.

If you recall that's actually how Google started in the phone business. It didn't work so open sourcing happened instead.

Closing the business to Motorola would simply make it trivial for Apple to walk all over them.

That's not at all what happened. Android was released by the Open Handset Alliance as open source before any phones were released. The HTC G1 was the first one and the first phone released by Google (the Nexus One) was much later.

Thanks for the correction, however I do stand by the original point. Google don't need Motorola as a premium handset producer, and they did try getting into the selling-phones business but it flopped quickly.

I doubt Google stopped studying the smartphone market when their first attempt failed. Producing Android and working with hardware manufacturers and application developers has given them a lot of knowledge they didn't have before.

Please correct me if I am wrong since I am not sure if I got all facts right.

Motorola is currently holding a patent on push technology. One of our courts in Germany stopped iCloud from pushing due to patent infringements. Now that Google bought Motorola Mobility do they own they patent?

If this would be the fact I would predict that we will see more lawsuits against Apple regarding this one patent. Sounds like a great weapon - forcing your competitor to kill one of the interesting parts of a service they use for advertisement.

Apple is currently suing all the major Android makers, including Motorola.

Best case scenario: Googles new weapons will lead to a series of broad cross-license agreements, which will end the mobile patent wars.

I think there is just too much money you can make if you win the mobile patent wars.

Wasn't Google making more money with patent payments from Apple than they make with Android?

Huh? Microsoft is making more off of Android than WP7 (almost surely based on easy rough math)

I wish that happens..Imagine how much more money can be pumped into next generation technology if Companies stop wasting time and money in patent wars.

None? Google and Apple are swimming in cash. They're already at, or even past, the point of diminishing returns for R&D spending.

I don't know. Powerful weapon? Sure. Good for the industry? I doubt it.

I want my Google MotoGlasses special kit for the GoogleCar now.

There aren't many more industries Google can buy into and conquer, or are there? Coming soon: Google Oil Co and Google Power. I wonder what happens once Google have run out of markets to enter? Lets face it, Motorola were a struggling company finding it hard to keep up with the likes of Apple, lets see what Google can do and only hope their efforts are better than the time they launched Google+ and tried competing with Facebook.

> Google Power

They have already made strong investments in developing geo-thermal power.

Ah, touché they have too. I forgot about their foray into both geo-thermal and solar power.

Lets hope, that Google stops Motorola to produce the most crappy androids. An android phone that is for the trashcan, at the moment you buy it, because its not possible to exchange the kernel to fix long known security bugs.

And lets also hope that Google allows to update Kernels of old Motorola phones, also.

I hope this means Android updates will no longer take 6-12 months to roll out to Motorola phones.

I expect some interesting announcement for Google I/O.

Maybe, but not because of the acquisition and maybe not due to Motorola: it is standard practice for companies that are acquired to operate completely independently until the deal closes and gets full regulatory approval, which would be today.

I like their header design/animation...

Didn't see it until you mentioned it. Good design. Could improve on their physics being applied to the ball motions and their bounce but cool stuff.

I spent longer playing with it than I did reading the article. It has a nice feel to it.

Looking forward to 'droids that raise the bar. Android/Sense bit rot is horrible!

Google bought Motorola just because ballmer said android isn't free? http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/03/android-isnt-free/

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