Google Acquires Motorola Mobility: Android won't go down without a fight

Big news today folks: Google has just announced that they are going to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5B in cash (Google’s biggest acquisition to date). Sounds tasty right? Especially after Motorola’s CEO blatantly mislead everybody last week about his company’s plans to look into the Windows Phone platform as a viable ecosystem (or was he trying to get more $ out of the acquisition negotiation?). So what is this all about? Patents, patents and patents. As we have seen not long ago Google is desperately fighting a war that it probably can’t win against Microsoft, Apple et al because of its lack of patents so acquiring Moto is I guess for them, only one little solution to some of their Android problems. But people shouldn’t really over-estimate this move though. Motorola is already being sued by Microsoft and several other companies so this shows that even the handset’s manufacturer patent portfolio isn’t bullet proof. Interesting times ahead… What well other Android OEM’s think about this move? “2 turkeys don’t make an Eagle”.. right? Announcement after the break:

Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for users. Today, more than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide—with over 550,000 devices now lit up every day—through a network of about 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries. Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola.
Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today. Its many industry milestones include the introduction of the world’s first portable cell phone nearly 30 years ago, and the StarTAC—the smallest and lightest phone on earth at time of launch. In 2007, Motorola was a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance that worked to make Android the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. I have loved my Motorola phones from the StarTAC era up to the current DROIDs.

In 2008, Motorola bet big on Android as the sole operating system across all of its smartphone devices. It was a smart bet and we’re thrilled at the success they’ve achieved so far. We believe that their mobile business is on an upward trajectory and poised for explosive growth.

Motorola is also a market leader in the home devices and video solutions business. With the transition to Internet Protocol, we are excited to work together with Motorola and the industry to support our partners and cooperate with them to accelerate innovation in this space.

Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere.

This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.

We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.

The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences. I am confident that these great experiences will create huge value for shareholders.

I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.

So you guys prefer the Nokia + Microsoft combination or Google + Motorola ?

UPDATE: Here are some priceless official quotes from the other OEMs:

“We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”

J.K. Shin
President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division

“I welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

Bert Nordberg
President & CEO, Sony Ericsson

“We welcome the news of today‘s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.”

Peter Chou
CEO, HTC Corp.

“We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

Jong-Seok Park, Ph.D
President & CEO, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company

source: Google

  • Domenico A

    Motorola+Android = Danger+Microsoft

  • BucksterMcgee

    I understand that Android phones are selling like hotcakes at the moment, but I have this strange feeling that in a few years time it’s going to disappear, and people will think back, “hey, remember that old google phone os?”

  • Anonymous

    The other CEOs really sound excited ^^

  • Ian Guider

    Good for Google I guess… Although I thought it was hilarious how much trouble they got in for breaking patents. Motorola’s hardware, and even software, never came across my eyes anyway.

  • Ccmd_232

    The comments of the other OEM’s are just so funny, it’s like it was shoved down their throats and they had to say it. However, google has done the right thing I believe. Having it’s own Hardware portfolio will strengthen it’s ecosystem, just like Apple has been doing so far and that’s part of their sucess. Unlike the disaapointing WP7, which I got more frustrated with the new update Mango which for me, and the people I know, adds nothing since most services and features are only applicable in the US/Canada/UK (Europe in General) only. Plus, there are so many unstable areas in the OS, or at least that’s what experiencing. Even after the Nokia thing, although it is too early to judge, but Motorola has approved itself in the Mobile Market. Another problem is the distribution of devices, Nokia High-End devices will be shipped to some parts of the world and the other part can only enjoy kids toys. And yes Mango requires more processing power, or at least this is what I have experienced on my Omnia 7