What would you do if you had a spare $12.5 billion in cash lying around?
If you were Google and it was today, you’d buy Motorola—or at least the half of Motorola that was split off last year to be in the cell phone and SmartPhone business.
If this wasn’t Google, it would boggle the mind. As it stands, it just … makes sense.
Google, they of search-engine near-(but-not-quite) monopoly status, signaled their desire to be a player in the SmartPhone business when they released the NexusOne early last year. The NexusOne was a flop, never rolled out in the way Google had hoped, failed to “change the phone business” as Google had hoped, and despite receiving great reviews and an even-better follow-on phone in the Nexus S, was widely thought of as one of Google’s non-success products.
That all changes today.
Google has bought Motorola Mobility, and as Kara Swisher points out, this completely blows up the mobile phone business. This news is all over the wires, but as usual, Ms. Swisher reports in a way that gives me genuine pause, and should make you think, too.
When Google got together with Verizon and Motorola almost two years ago to release the Droid, they kick-started their push into SmartPhones and mobile connectivity and search. Google’s become so powerful they don’t have to care about fragmentation, don’t have to care about pesky little things like completeness of data sets, and now that they’ve bought a very large SmartPhone manufacturer, Google needn’t care about other manufacturers.
Sure, Google’s extended the proverbial olive branch to all the other SmartPhone companies that put Android in their devices, promising that it’ll be business as usual and that they won’t allow
Motorola Mobility the Google Phone Division a leg up on anything Android-related. And maybe there’ll be some official position and written process defined to provide The Goog a paper trail showing that they’re playing “fair”.
And I have a lovely bridge connecting Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
Google is now a huge SmartPhone manufacturer. Count on the fact that soon they’ll be a phone company, too (did I hear someone say “Google Voice”?).