Google announced this week that it’s acquiring Motorola Mobility, and tech pundits are weighing in on both sides of the debate. Is shelling out roughly $12.5 billion a smart decision for Google? Does the company really need a hardware manufacturer on its hands?
It may be too early to tell, but that doesn’t mean the internet isn’t abuzz over this story. Here’s a roundup of some of the commentary from around the web:
Google is now stuck defending & extending its old businesses – search, Chrome O/S for laptops, Google+ for mail and social media, and Android for mobility products. And, as is true with all D&E management, its costs are escalating dramatically.
Google just became another Qualcomm. You may not have noticed, but by buying the Motorola mobile phone portfolio, Google can now integrate its Android operating system with Motorola’s underlying mobile phone technology. This hardware plus software change means there is going to be a stronger licensing relationship with companies like HTC and Samsung. Which means Google will be able to collect more of their dollars in licensing fees.
For Google, the Motorola acquisition is a series of gambles. Google is gambling that regulators will approve the deal. It’s gambling that Motorola’s patents will be enough to force a stalemate in the Google-Apple-Microsoft patent wars. And finally, it’s gambling that it has the capability to create the software and hardware for a phone that can truly rival the iPhone.
I don’t know why Google acquired Motorola as opposed to simply licensing its trove of patents. My hunch is that it had more to do with fending off a threat from Microsoft than it had to do with Google’s hitherto unforeseen hardware ambitions.
…as people increasingly access the Web via mobile devices, the acquisition could also help Google remain central to their Web experience in the years to come. As Apple has demonstrated with its wildly popular iPhone, this is far easier to achieve if a company can control the hardware, as well as the software, people carry in their pockets.