Well that was quick. Just eight months ago, Google announced plans to acquire Motorola, and all the patents they own, for $12.5 billion. In that time, Google has gone from country to country getting the acquisition approved with great success (China is the only country that hasn’t approved the deal). But for what? To keep Motorola afloat, pumping money into the once-mobile-giant until they can get back on their feet? To eventually totally merge the two companies, creating real, honest-to-goodness Google manufactured Android devices? (Rubin promised this wouldn’t happen, so don’t bet on it). Or is Google simply looking to off Motorola as soon as the acquisition is complete? If the latest rumors out of Asia are right, Motorola might be a Huawei-owned company before long.
According to an article from the Wall Street Journal today, no one at Google really knows what to do with Motorola. Or the 20,500 Motorola employees working in 92 facilities across 97 countries.
While Andy Rubin says the two will operate as entirely different companies, Larry Page is “excited about the opportunities” Motorola would bring to Google. Other rumors suggest that Google might be looking to sell Motorola to Huawei, who has been hell bent on breaking into the smartphone market in a big way. Which one do we think makes the most sense? If the price is right, Motowei is a definite possibility.
It’s no secret why Google really wanted Motorola: for the patents. It’s also no secret that Google makes their money by giving out free software to distribute their ads. Google couldn’t give out free software to make money on ads if they were being sued into oblivion. So they bought a bunch of patents to use as a security blanket. The way they see it, the patents alone are worth $12.5 billion. If Google is able to sell Motorola, while still keeping the patents, it’s a theoretical win-win.
Not only do they not have to worry about managing a sinking ship, they get back some of the money they spent on patents. Of course if Google’s real intentions are to use Motorola’s hardware division to make their own handsets, selling wouldn’t make sense. But there’s a very slim chance that will happen.
We’ve been waiting for some kind of sign indicating what Google will end up doing with Motorola, and selling to Huawei makes quite a bit of sense. What would you like to see happen to Motorola?