The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.
Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”
This could be the start of a fundamental shift in Google’s strategy with Android. Until now, the company has made a few “Google phones” — such as the Nexus S — with partners, and have allowed other companies to go crazy with Android.
The reason for this was simple enough — Google couldn’t do hardware.
But now, with this acquisition, this isn’t true anymore. It raises lots of questions.
Will Motorola-built phones ship with stock Android? Will Motoblur be folded into Android? Will HTC and others still have access to updates as quickly as Motorola-built phones?
The biggest question, however is this — did Google just spend a ton of money to acquire Motorola Mobility for its portfolio of patents? (My guess is yes.)
Whatever the answers to these questions are, Google’s claim that Android is “open” is simply harder and harder to believe.