Mon Aug 15 2011

On Android, Google and Motorola

The big news of the day is that Google has made a bid to acquire Motorola. This deal has tons of implications and Techmeme is a great source of information if you’re looking for the financial background, patent discussion or punditry on this matter. But I couldn’t help but cringe for a number of other companies this morning. When I first heard of this announcement, I tweeted the following:>Google buying Motorola is a good move - unless you’ve been building phones for Android. In that case, this makes you a 2nd class citizen.

And it pretty much sums up my thoughts. A number of reactions from CEOs of phone manufacturers who have been betting on Android have emerged through official channels, but I can’t help but think that a slightly modified wording of ‘We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners’ isn’t exactly what these people have in mind. They have just become second class citizens on something they were betting hard on.

There’s no question in my mind that Google’s notion of open when it comes to Android has been weird for a long time, but I think this is another huge nail in that open casket (easy pun, I know). Are we supposed to believe that there’s going to be a similar treatment going into this division coming from Motorola and partners like HTC? I’d like to think so, but I have to admit my hopes are not up.

I love Google and I love the idea of Android, but I can’t help but feel like this was a bad move. Easily justified by the enormous patent portfolio Motorola Mobility comes with, but still. I’m not sure this shows “a commitment to defending Android and its partners”. Especially the partners.