May 20 AT 2:50 PM Sean Riley 25 Comments

Google’s acquisition of Motorola receives approval in China with one big stipulation

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Just a little over three months after Google got the green light from the US Department of Justice and the European Commission they have finally received the blessing of Chinese regulators to acquire Motorola Mobility.

Google did have to agree to one fairly major stipulation in the process however — Android must remain freely available to other manufacturers for the next five years. Now it seems likely that this is exactly what Google has in mind anyway, but this should assuage any lingering doubts for other manufacturers.

According to WSJs sources the purchase could be finalized within the week. What, if anything, we will see happen once the deal goes through has been a bit of a mystery ever since we first heard of the planned buyout over nine months ago. There’s been no shortage of rumor and news surrounding Motorola’s future with a shake-up at CEO, a potential sale to Huawei, a complete firewall between the two companies and now a potential US importation ban in the coming months. The only seeming guarantee is that it is unlikely to be a boring year where Motorola is concerned.

We’ve asked you before, but now that we are in the home stretch for this purchase it feels like it’s an appropriate time to ask again. What do you think Google should be doing with Motorola? Should they be a full-time Nexus manufacturer? Should Google allow them to continue as a separate entity? Should Google allow them to continue as a separate entity but insist that Blur and any otherwise named permutation of it be killed off? (I’m only slightly kidding.)

Source: Wall Street Journal

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 4 years and covering mobile for the last 5. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • Yonas

    Personal opinion : I think Google should take over them.

    • SanzaBlancoAkA2C

      I agree. I’d love to see a manufacturer devote themselves to stock Android and that’s what I hope Google does with Motorola. Give me a Razr Maxx and Droid 4 running stock Android. Give me a laptop dock running ChromeOS. Give me a proper Xoom update running stock Android. The Motorola acquisition comes with tons of other entities such as bluetooth headphones, car adapters and hands free….I’d love to see Google go all in with this. Only time will tell what will happen.

  • Bryan Stoner

    I would like them to stay as a separate entity but follow a few, very important, design principles that Google has in mind. I have no clue what they might be :P

  • Christian

    I think they should be kept mostly independent, with the exception that Google force stock Android and fast updates. Maybe the pressure will be enough to get other manufacturers in line with updates.

  • Sir Wally

    I think that Motorola should become the reference platform for Android devices i.e. the Nexus line. They should scale back the number of phones and time their release with the latest iteration of Android. They should also start leveraging Motorola DVRs to push GoogleTV.

  • Jorge Vieira

    It would be awsome to see a 100% google developed phone. But motorola does a great job already by itself so i think theyll let them continue with them checking in every now and then.

  • cthonctic

    I’m sure there was much wringing of hands involved on Google’s side due to those draconic stipulations. “Oh noes, we have to keep Android open and freely available just as we have in the past. Whatever shall we do, forsooth.”

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      Yeah it’s pure paranoia, but everyone seems to worry that Google is going to pull the rug out from under them.

  • yahya lazrak

    I think they should use Motorola to manufacture several Android@Home devices and show the other manufactures how it should be done

  • Aaron_301

    In my opinion Motorola should be left as a separate entity for the most part. What I would like to see Google do is, either kill off or make Blur lighter, have them to leave their boot loaders unlocked, and make them offer upgrades to more devices and in a timely manner. Though I have my doubts that Google will do this since they don’t want to show favouritism.

  • Ironzey Lewis

    I wonder if this will end Motorola’s belly-aching about updates?
    I’m hoping for the end of (don’t call it) Blur.
    I’m excited to see how this effects Android devices.

  • Jiltedae

    It’s good to see confirmation that google doesn’t plan to lock Android to its own phones. For me, one of the major strengths for android is the range of devices that it runs on and the wide pricerange of the devices.

    If Android were to be locked to google-associated phones, it would remove competition amongst android phone manufacturers and the price of the devices would rise quickly.

    What I wouldn’t mind seeing, though, would be google taking over updates. The current crop of cell phone carriers are falling down on the job of updates and patches.

  • Pat

    I think or at least hope that Google will take the patents, hardware, and whatever else they need to just manufacture its own hardware solely Google-branded with the beautiful stock Android experience. Maybe they could let Motorola do its own thing while (Google) taking what they need from Motorola to make and then sell through the Play Store. That way nothing will hold Google back from making awesome phones and tablets.

  • Rockstar323

    Google needs to take them over and release 1 Nexus phone 1 Nexus tablet a year, let the other manufacturers skin it. Love them or hate them, apple did it right. More control and more time to focus on getting those 2 devices perfect(ish).

  • ThatGuy

    Here’s what I think Google should do: use Motorola to show that pure android is the way to go. Don’t really interfere with their design process, just simply insist that they do away with Blur and locked down bootloaders. Don’t give them access to the next build of Android earlier, but show that shipping with stock android can lead to faster updates by pushing them to update their devices asap once the source code drops.

    In short, show that it is possible for a high-quality non-Nexus to get updates fast and the other companies will follow soon once they see that users want this.

  • Ardrid

    I stand by my original sentiments when we first learned of this deal: Google should use Motorola to create the perfect vertically integrated version of Android. That doesn’t mean shutting other manufacturers out or closing the Android ecosystem, but rather providing consumers with Google’s idea of a pure Android experience, from the hardware down to the software.

  • Yonas

    why Google should take over them ? more variety of stock android phones FTW !

  • mipd1980

    Google should use Moto to release a Nexus style Phone and Tablet a year with all the bells and whistles with a nice line of accessories from moto also….I would buy one of each every year….Why Not? Take my Money Google/Moto!!! Come on Take it.

  • Laurel laurel25

    I think they should start to manufacture stock Android phones & tablets. I guess I think they should remain mostly a separate entity, but that they should be focusing on following the Google design elements and the direction that Google wants Android to evolve in.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    Blur should be killed off — put simply, if there’s anything useful that Motorola can come up with in the OS, it should be part of the Android open source project.

  • Jake Gall

    Hmmm not sure, I never had a Motorola android device, the last smartphone I owned by moto was the Q9M, which was a decent phone, but been with HTC since upgrading to the Ozone.

    • Jake Gall

      I do like the droid razr but I’m still preferring the HTC phones.

  • aranea

    I think motorola should be a semi-independent company under the direction of google. Google should make sure that motorola produces only one high-end and one low-end smartphone and tablet a year and keeps updating them for at least 3 years with pure android experience.

    Google should still let other companies to make Nexus devices to keep the choice aspect of android up. Vanilla android line from motorola can have a different name. But it has to be pure and it has to be updated regularly.

  • spazby

    about time

  1. Personal opinion : I think Google should take over them.

    • I agree. I’d love to see a manufacturer devote themselves to stock Android and that’s what I hope Google does with Motorola. Give me a Razr Maxx and Droid 4 running stock Android. Give me a laptop dock running ChromeOS. Give me a proper Xoom update running stock Android. The Motorola acquisition comes with tons of other entities such as bluetooth headphones, car adapters and hands free….I’d love to see Google go all in with this. Only time will tell what will happen.

  2. I would like them to stay as a separate entity but follow a few, very important, design principles that Google has in mind. I have no clue what they might be :P

  3. ChristianGuest 3 years ago

    I think they should be kept mostly independent, with the exception that Google force stock Android and fast updates. Maybe the pressure will be enough to get other manufacturers in line with updates.

  4. Sir WallyGuest 3 years ago

    I think that Motorola should become the reference platform for Android devices i.e. the Nexus line. They should scale back the number of phones and time their release with the latest iteration of Android. They should also start leveraging Motorola DVRs to push GoogleTV.

  5. It would be awsome to see a 100% google developed phone. But motorola does a great job already by itself so i think theyll let them continue with them checking in every now and then.

  6. I’m sure there was much wringing of hands involved on Google’s side due to those draconic stipulations. “Oh noes, we have to keep Android open and freely available just as we have in the past. Whatever shall we do, forsooth.”

  7. yahya lazrakGuest 3 years ago

    I think they should use Motorola to manufacture several Android@Home devices and show the other manufactures how it should be done

  8. In my opinion Motorola should be left as a separate entity for the most part. What I would like to see Google do is, either kill off or make Blur lighter, have them to leave their boot loaders unlocked, and make them offer upgrades to more devices and in a timely manner. Though I have my doubts that Google will do this since they don’t want to show favouritism.

  9. I wonder if this will end Motorola’s belly-aching about updates?
    I’m hoping for the end of (don’t call it) Blur.
    I’m excited to see how this effects Android devices.

  10. It’s good to see confirmation that google doesn’t plan to lock Android to its own phones. For me, one of the major strengths for android is the range of devices that it runs on and the wide pricerange of the devices.

    If Android were to be locked to google-associated phones, it would remove competition amongst android phone manufacturers and the price of the devices would rise quickly.

    What I wouldn’t mind seeing, though, would be google taking over updates. The current crop of cell phone carriers are falling down on the job of updates and patches.

  11. I think or at least hope that Google will take the patents, hardware, and whatever else they need to just manufacture its own hardware solely Google-branded with the beautiful stock Android experience. Maybe they could let Motorola do its own thing while (Google) taking what they need from Motorola to make and then sell through the Play Store. That way nothing will hold Google back from making awesome phones and tablets.

  12. Google needs to take them over and release 1 Nexus phone 1 Nexus tablet a year, let the other manufacturers skin it. Love them or hate them, apple did it right. More control and more time to focus on getting those 2 devices perfect(ish).

  13. ThatGuyGuest 3 years ago

    Here’s what I think Google should do: use Motorola to show that pure android is the way to go. Don’t really interfere with their design process, just simply insist that they do away with Blur and locked down bootloaders. Don’t give them access to the next build of Android earlier, but show that shipping with stock android can lead to faster updates by pushing them to update their devices asap once the source code drops.

    In short, show that it is possible for a high-quality non-Nexus to get updates fast and the other companies will follow soon once they see that users want this.

  14. I stand by my original sentiments when we first learned of this deal: Google should use Motorola to create the perfect vertically integrated version of Android. That doesn’t mean shutting other manufacturers out or closing the Android ecosystem, but rather providing consumers with Google’s idea of a pure Android experience, from the hardware down to the software.

  15. why Google should take over them ? more variety of stock android phones FTW !

  16. Google should use Moto to release a Nexus style Phone and Tablet a year with all the bells and whistles with a nice line of accessories from moto also….I would buy one of each every year….Why Not? Take my Money Google/Moto!!! Come on Take it.

  17. I think they should start to manufacture stock Android phones & tablets. I guess I think they should remain mostly a separate entity, but that they should be focusing on following the Google design elements and the direction that Google wants Android to evolve in.

  18. Blur should be killed off — put simply, if there’s anything useful that Motorola can come up with in the OS, it should be part of the Android open source project.

  19. Hmmm not sure, I never had a Motorola android device, the last smartphone I owned by moto was the Q9M, which was a decent phone, but been with HTC since upgrading to the Ozone.

  20. I think motorola should be a semi-independent company under the direction of google. Google should make sure that motorola produces only one high-end and one low-end smartphone and tablet a year and keeps updating them for at least 3 years with pure android experience.

    Google should still let other companies to make Nexus devices to keep the choice aspect of android up. Vanilla android line from motorola can have a different name. But it has to be pure and it has to be updated regularly.