Google closes Motorola Mobility purchase: A daunting to-do list ahead

Google closes Motorola Mobility purchase: A daunting to-do list ahead

Summary: Google's goal is to take Motorola Mobility and create a bevy of new mobile experiences. But first there's a lot of integration work ahead.


Google has finally closed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, installed Dennis Woodside as CEO, thanked former CEO Sanjay Jha for his service and outlined a goal to create "the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives."

In other words, the fun is just beginning. Google CEO Larry Page outlined the closing of the deal and how the search giant is aiming to reach people in emerging markets who view the phone as their desktop.

Page said:

It’s a well-known fact that people tend to overestimate the impact technology will have in the short term, but underestimate its significance in the longer term. Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine, and the impact of that transition will be profound--as will the ability to just tap and pay with your phone. That’s why it’s a great time to be in the mobile business, and why I’m confident Dennis and the team at Motorola will be creating the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come.

Related: Google: We now own Motorola Mobility | CNET: Google closes $12.5B Motorola dealGoogle/ Motorola deal okayed: Time for Motorola Nexus line

That overarching goal sounds wonderful, but before Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition even comes close to changing our mobile lives, there's some heavy lifting ahead. Here's the to-do list:

  • Pick margins or manufacturing. Google will inherit more than 19,000 Motorola Mobility workers and manufacturing operations. Analysts have been saying for months that Motorola Mobility will hurt margins. Toss in Google's obvious Android device conflict with partners and it's not a stretch to see the search giant exiting the manufacturing game. Layoffs are quite possible.
  • Build that firewall---sort of. Google has said Motorola Mobility won't have favored device nation status, but it's hard to believe. How could Motorola Mobility not get the latest Android? With its own hardware, Google can push the experience it wants.
  • Work partners. Now that Google owns Motorola Mobility it will have to reach out to HTC, Samsung and other key Android partners. Google still needs the Android army.
  • Bet on the living room. Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition actually puts the search giant in front of the living room due to its acquired set-top box market share. Let's face it: Google had no shot of getting there on its own.
  • Software integration chores. Motorola Mobility also had a bevy of projects going on. I surfaced Motorola Mobility's vision of next-gen TV---search free by the way. And how will that Webtop look.
  • Fix Chromebook. Motorola's Webtop and smartphone/laptop connection could be Google's future Chromebook.
  • Utilize Motorola Mobility's enterprise heritage. Motorola Mobility has a lot of corporate IT intellectual property. These assets could bolster the security of Android in the enterprise as well as add up to Google Apps/Chromebook synergies.
  • Sue rivals. It's clear that Google bought Motorola Mobility largely for the patent treasure trove. Now it has a patent arsenal to countersue. Android may be protected on the intellectual property front. Google will strike back when warranted.

Topics: Mobility, Google, Security, Wi-Fi

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  • Unless Google strips Motorola Mobility of its patents and sells the husk

    However, given that Google paid such a high premium to acquire Motorola Mobility, its doubtful that a potential suitor such as Huawei would be interested in buying the company stripped of its patents (or even with the patents) at that same high price. Thus, it would appear that Google is now in the hardware business.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • FOSS needed an iron fist

    to defend against evil patent trolls like apple, M$ and Oracle as legal experts have proven:
    Now FOSS has a protector in google!
    The Linux Geek
    • OMG

      Fk off wit ur fking FOOSS . UGH
  • Interesting stuff

    Given it took Nokia about a year from when it announced they would use Windows Phone to release a Lumia, I would reckon the first Google-rola phone will take less time. It will be very interesting to see where we are in a year or two. Will HTC and Samsung have a reversal of heart and recycle Windows Phone 8 designs for Android 5.0/6.0+?

    I don't think we will really know the full impact of this for a while. I will be sad if Google lays off a bunch of US-based Motorola workers, being a US-based company.
    • This will be interesting

      I am looking forward to their new devices. Hopefully, we will see a smoother, bug free experience from their Android devices.

      I have lately had nothing but frustration with Android and many of my problems have been due to hardware issues (4G in particular). I hope that the combined company will have the resources to make a quality device.

    It's a great purchase. Now they have all the pieces to succeed on their own merits vs. Snapple rather than relying on their party manufacturers who may or may not be on the same page. Microsoft is now in the same position. I am looking forward to three great platforms, though I already bet on Microsoft for enterprise and Android for mobile a long time ago.
  • Layoffs are not possible theyre inevitable, regardless of whether google

    exits manufacturing or not. I'd bet the majority of those 19K US citizens will be non employees in fairly short order. And the remainder will be 2nd class citizens not given all the corporate benefits google gives its own employees. Moto employees are nothing more than a money drain on google. The smart ones already had their resumes out there ahead of HP's giant layoff, and that includes the ones working on stb. Look for motos stb share to plumet as cablecos wise up and want nothing to do with google.
    Johnny Vegas
  • You missed a very important point....

    Didn't anyone notice that Google expanded the Nexus program to 5 OEMs just days before the deal closed? That isn't a coincidence, OEM developers will be working out of Google's Mountain View office, in close collaboration with the Android team. So any stigma from this deal has already been taken care of.