Google Motorola Mobility Deal Leaves Android OEMs HTC, Samsung, And LG Out In The Cold

Earlier this morning, Google announced its intention to buy Motorola Mobility for 12.5 billion in cash or $40/share.  There are three broad justifications for the deal:

  • Access to the Motorola patent portfolio which it could then license to partners like HTC and Samsung to protect against the long arm of Apple's lawyers. 
  • An integrated hardware/software play to compete with Apple.  The problem with this logic is that the deal does not address the fragmentation on the Android platform, which is the bigger issue.
  • The set-top business to bolster its lagging Google TV offering.

This said, the deal leaves Google in a very awkward position of being half-pregnant and trying to be a provider of an open source "environment" while at the same time competing with its "customers."  It also means that there are four integrated hardware/software offerings: Apple/iOS, HP/WebOS, RIM/QNX, and now Google/Motorola, and potentially a 5th if this deal emboldens Microsoft to pull the trigger on the long-rumored full takeover of Nokia.  The Apple story of simplicity and focused innovation at the app level has won out over complexity and innovation at all levels. Unfortunately, the deal extends the overall market fragmentation at a platform level well into 2013 to the frustration of developers.

So where does this leave the Asian OEMs HTC, Samsung, and LG? If Microsoft passes on the Nokia acquisition, this deal could throw Windows Mobile a temporary lifeline.  Forrester can hear Steve Ballmer and company pitching the Asian players on how Microsoft is the only hardware agnostic player left and that HTC, Samsung, and LG should increase their support for Windows Mobile as protection against Google favoring its own hardware play.

Comments

"Open" is dead

Consumers don't care that Apple's iOS is "closed" -- all they care about is that it is simple, operates seamlessly, offers lots of apps, and lets them get their work done easily and quickly.

Google is figuring this out and is about to defacto take Android into "closed" land via the Motorola acquisition. Expect Google to create a "super" Android that tries to emulate Apple's approach and in the process sticks it to HTC, Samsung, Dell, et. al.

"Open" is Dead

I agree with George. I look at my own behaviour. I buy iphones because the hardware/ software combination is outstanding. I aspire to Android, but who wants to own a piece of plastic junk even if the software is great. Interestingly Motorola is the potential exception here with their Atrix line. That is not lost on Google.

A related point is that google can see the phone manufacturers are more interested in layering their own software interface on top of Android. This is not dissimilar to the PC model where you have Dell/ Lenovo software layered over windows. It is not just annoying to sophisticated users, it is confusing to the masses, and frustrating to the software strategists.

Google will continue to support the other handsets but expect an iphone quality phone suite from Motorola. This space is where the excitement for handsets will be enacted.

Finally expect major disruption with the rest, and watch Microsoft. They have cash too.

Android Phones

Android phones are now the future of cell phones. Google, htc, apple are now working on this to gain maximum mobile phones market.

Love HTC

HTC is now launching HTC omega soon which I am waiting for..

read it here http://cellphonesattraction.com/htc-omega-%E2%80%9Cradar%E2%80%9D-specs-...

very interesting article

very interesting article ....