It’s a huge day for Android today as Google just announced that they’ve acquired Motorola Mobility.  Yes, that Motorola.  New CEO Larry Page just put the word out on the official Google blog that they have opened their wallets up to the tune of 12.5 billion in an effort to ‘supercharge’ Android.  Of course this also means Google gets Motorola’s patents all the relevant IP that comes with owning a company who has been around nearly a century.  According to Page, this move will have no impact on how things work with other players in the Open Handset Alliance, nor should if affect their other mobile partnerships.

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.

This is perhaps one of the biggest moves in the history of the mobile industry and we’ll not likely feel the full impact for some time.  Buckle up kids, this is gonna be one wild ride.


Supercharging Android: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility

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 toacquire 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.

Posted by Larry Page, CEO

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  1. This doesn’t make sense to me. If I’m one of the other phone makers, why would I want to sell an Android phone now that Google is a direct competitor? Does this hurt Android or start a mad dash for buying handset companies? I’ve been saying I think Microsoft will buy RIM, now I think they don’t have a choice if they want to stay in the market.

    • Motorola was already a competitor, that hasn’t changed.. Others may fear special treatment, but that will only become visible over time.

      On the other hand, Google now have better weapons for and bigger reasons to continue with android. That’s good news for competitors.

    • This could get very interesting, but maybe this will minimize the current fragmentation that is ruining Android as well as help strengthen the Windows Mobile platform.

      • why do people still claim that fragmentation is a problem. Look at the numbers! Sure, it something you want to keep as small as possible. But at the moment it seems to work out for every person involved!

        • I’ve not had a problem with fragmentation personally, but yes look at the numbers. There is so many companies trying to add their own spin on Android it does tend to create some issues. I love Android and only meant that this could help eliminate any of these minor fragmentation issues.

    • Everybody sees the pathway to great mobile devies since Apple’s success. Can’t be mad at them though. Gotta play to win. Best of luck to the green robot, but  iEnjoy my Apples.

  2. The purchase makes sense to me under one condition – if Motorola’s existing patents and patent-swap agreements effectively weaken or nullify some of those Apple/Microsoft patent litigations. Otherwise – otherwise.

  3. Business wise it makes sense since Apple and Microsoft have started the IP wars. I think the biggest loser tho will be HTC.

  4. umh…this is huge. I don’t know if I like it or not. leaning more toward not cause I just don’t feel good about all the information/power that flows through this powerhouse called Google. Love android. iffy on Google’s ultimate intentions. 

  5. Google have to fight back. Good on them. Microsoft and Apple shouldnt have that much power over open source just because they are afraid of losing market share.

  6. This is huge news and changes everything. While I think it will be great overall for Android, I think there is a risk that Google could scare Samsung, HTC and other Android manufacturers that Motorola will get special treatment. If Google can avoid the temptation for Motorola receiving special treatment (i.e. they truly do run it as a separate business) then this is going to be great. I can certainly see every future Motorola device coming out as a Google Experience device.

  7. This will definitely change the way the Mobile Game is played. 2 huge things will come from this. 1. Android will have it’s own mobile hardware company that’s been around longer than most and with an excellent proven history on mobile devices. 2. The slow demise of Apple mobile as we know it, bye bye iPhone / iPad.

      • Since I’m not clear on which part you were questioning, I’ll shoot for the Apple comment. Apple has to eventually fall off like every other techno-anything. It’s increasingly threatened by Android and now that Android will have its own hardware just as the iPhone / iPad has all along, it will become the demise of Apple mobile as its currently known. If you were talking about my other comments then just read them again.. 

  8. Asymco says: “a licensor that is also a licensee makes other licensees uncomfortable. The supplier is also a competitor. This is classic channel conflict and never ends well.”

  9. I just paìd $22.85 for an ìPad 2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.78 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $625 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, CentHub.còm

  10. This is great for several reasons: (1) Google acquires much-needed IP; (2) a major handset maker may now release a base-android phone-no UI Makeover; and (3) give more competition to the other handset makers. I sense open bootloaders and other good news…

  11. I Can’t care less about the hardware division of Motorola Mobility. This is all about patents. Motorola has been in wireless for 80+ years. Plus, they are being sued by Microsoft over something related to mobile.

    I have 3 words for Google: FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

    I hope this move does not burn bridges with the other Android hardware vendors.

    What happens next? Microsoft buys Nokia?

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