Aug 22 AT 4:18 PM Dustin Earley 47 Comments

Are manufacturers prematurely leaving Android after Motorola acquisition?


As the aftermath of Google’s acquisition of Motorola continues to play out, different manufacturers are handling the news in entirely different ways. Samsung has made a commitment to bolstering their software department. They’ve already hired Steve “Cyanogen” Kondik, and rumors of a MIUI partnership are making headlines again. HTC has gone all out in support of the merger, with CEO Peter Chou making several public statements supporting Google’s decision. One smaller manufacturer — INQ — is already thinking about dumping Android and going the Microsoft route.

Om Malik of GigaOm has put up an article today that shows what kind of effect the merger is having on some companies. Frank Meehan, CEO of INQ, has said:

From a group perspective at Hutchison Whampoa, we have worked hard at bringing Android to consumers across our operations. However this year there has been a dramatic increase in the way companies are looking to maximize the potential revenues of IPR (intellectual property) holdings, and the trend for many companies is now to concentrate on litigation rather than innovation. The advantages with Windows Mobile is that the legal issues and resulting costs seem to be much less. It is telling that the Motorola Board decided that they could get more value out of 15-20 year old patents rather than use their huge R&D to create new exciting technologies over the next 10 years which is what Motorola used to do very well.Frank MeehanINQ

Meehan says that since Android is the fastest expanding mobile OS in the market, it has become the biggest target for legal troubles. Microsoft doesn’t face those problems now, although it’s something that could be right around the corner. According to GigaOm, Meehan isn’t alone. Other manufacturers are heavily considering making the switch, but none have been brave enough to go on the record with their thoughts.

Exactly how the acquisition will play a role in the distribution of Android has yet to be seen. As far as on-the-record remarks from Google goes, manufacturers have been promised that nothing is changing, Android is merely better protected now. Apparently, that’s someone like Meehan’s main concern.

Are companies like INQ prematurely jumping ship if they abandon Android now? Considering Android’s market share and phenomenal growth rates, I don’t think many manufacturers would walk away from that kind of momentum. Then again, legal suits can scare companies into making some rather rash decisions. If you were an Android manufacturer, what would you do?

Source: GigaOm

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

    Most Tweeted This Week


    Premature.. Never react this fast to anything.. May come back to bite them where the sun dont shine

    • ChaosKiller

      And that comment of you is why we vote you down.

      • DroidSamurai

        Ha ha!

      • donald rumsfeld (iPhone 4 holder of power, american)

        And that is why i return. Secretary of power!

        manufacturers leaving android. there you got it. proof.


        • luiek20

          How much is Steve Jobs paying you iPhags to troll all android blogs/forums?

        • jonathan

          actually your the one who is lonely

  • CJ

    I’m sorry, who is Frank Meehan and what does his company make? Oh, that’s right, nothing that anyone has ever bought!

    Steve “Cyanogen” Kondik was being courted by Samsung before anyone even knew of the Google/Motorola purchase.

    So, I’m confused as to what companies have jumped ship O_o

    • Jes


    • Don

      Nice CJ! :-)

  • Healthy

    I would make the best phone ever and tell everyone to blow me.

    honestly it all comes down to dollar and cents (euros and euro coins?). manufacturers flocked to android because there was no license cost, if that changes due to microsoft or apple or others threatening lawsuits then yeah, the OS is no longer free to use as a manufacturer. It may certainly change some people’s plans.

    if google is able to head things off at the pass, by doing things like this moto buy, then great, but if you are a small manufacturer and the hammer happens to come down on your head, then it doesn’t matter if you will win or lose in court. often times the costs to mount the defense are prohibitive in an of themselves. the fact that google made the move and bought moto simply admits that it is a threat there.

    little guys can’t hang their hats on faith that things will shake out. some will choose to go to the more “sure thing”. i don’t agree that that means microsoft, but to each their own.

    my next phone was likely not an INQ anyway.

    • Yogesh

      Euro and euro cents*

  • Dennis

    Who cares?

  • Nick Gray

    I’ve worked at two fortune 500 companies over the past 8 years and can tell you that decisions like this don’t happen over night. INQ’s decision to expand their portfolio by offering WP devices was probably evaluated over a 3-6 month period.

    Regardless of all the recent news, Microsoft’s mobile OS would have gotten a huge boost this fall with the release of Windows Phone 7.5 and Nokia jumping on board. Samsung, HTC, and LG will all be releasing new Windows phone devices within the next few months which will bring a new wave of WP users.

    • Dags

      Considering WP7 only managed to grab 1.5% of smartphone sales for Q1 – and phones running Bada outsold it 3-to-1 – selling any phones at all would be considered a “huge boost”.

    • Androidawg

      INQ is not a fortune 500. It probably has less than 150 employees. In that environment there is one guy who makes decisions. And whatever makes him scratch his butt in the morning will determine the code you are writing by lunchtime.

  • Interpol91

    Companies should wait and see how it plays out. I believe not much will change in how Android operates since it owes its success to many companies coming together to get a product almost anyone can have. Google is not dumb enough to risk that

  • Kristian

    It has become very clear that journalists and analysts have no clue how Google makes money on android. To suggest that google will focus on making money on selling devices is preposterous. Google makes money on served ads and app purchases. They are interested in users, as many as they can get, and to get them they need happy and safe device makers.

    Get this into your head, just because android is free, doesn’t mean Google isn’t making billions of dollars on it. They are not waiting for the perfect moment to earn money on Android by closing it down and starting a monopoly, they are earning billions today!

    They purchased pattents to protect these device makers, and this entire war between apple, Microsoft, google, will end with patent cross-licencing agreements between all parties. We just need to make sure enough lawyers get paid first.

  • T1392

    Motorola has damn good quality build and if worse comes to worse i’d be happy with Motorola only Nexus devices. Though I’m positive it so stop android growth dramatically. It will stop Fragmentation but will see only one device a year like Iphone but could be built with different specs like Samsung’s galaxy S devices. Unless Google also make mid range Smartphones with Motorola so it could go either way. In all everything is up in the air but this could cause a big shakedown for Android.

  • Futureboy

    Unless you have something miraculous up your sleeve, why would you bet the farm on a stagnant or near failing OS? Show me a company that’s being lead by fear and I’ll show you a company that’s about to go under.

  • Vance

    If HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony, or the like announced that the Moto buy caused concern and that they were changing direction, away from Android, then I’d be concerned; but for the small manufacturers you really have two [smart] choices: increase your support for Android and expand your offering, or follow your analysis and your gut and move to and OS you feel more able and willing to support you. Is this the right more ABC, or XYZ, or whatever their unknown name is? The honest answer is it’s so insignificant that it can’t be right or wrong. It just… is.

  • Hyph3n

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this story wasn’t a PR plant from someone like Microsoft.

  • Richard Yarrell

    The way I look at it… Either support android… Or don’t… Android will be fine.. HTC will always support google because the future is bright. It looks to me either people will roll with htc or Samsung either way you will have great choices in the future. As for Motorola guess we just have to wait and see exactly what part they will play in the future. Android is android and I support that always…

    • Richardisnotafag.

      i (For the most part) Agree with you, richard. feels nice to say that. :)

  • chris

    First of all, who is inq and did I get their name Right? Why the idiot that wrote this article even posted this is beyond me. Fire this guy.

  • Henry

    If you’re going to jump ship, make sure you’re getting on the right bandwagon; because you won’t be singing when the music stops playing.

  • Michael

    He talks about Windows Mobile instead of Windows Phone? Now that’s an expert.

  • thaghost

    There is nothing to see here.

  • Snowbdr89

    my loyalty lies with whom ever teams up with cyanogen or miui, sense or anything else is garbage!! Kinda sad some homie living in his moms basement can make better roms then htc samsung etc.. Figure of speach : )

    • Richard Yarrell

      In spite of this TROLL always leaving USELESS COMMENT AFTER COMMENT I wish Steve Cyanogen Kondik very well in his endeavor with Samsung he will definitely bring some great idea’s no doubt

      • squiddy20

        … and your comments are not in the least bit “useless”? Get real and shut the F**K up.

  • teecruz

    IN-WHO? ^-^

  • Ray Mund

    Raise your hand if you bought an INQ phone. Anyone? Anyone?

  • Nathan

    Am i the only one how doesn’t know this company?

  • The_Omega_Man

    The market is currently determined by the carriers and less so by the hardware makers (save apple) Android lets the carriers build and market phone that capture the customer into their own unique eco-systems. The closed platforms do not offer too much in this realm as they are designed to lock the customer into the CEMs revenue generating eco-systems. The carriers like Android and if you make a product with it, you stand a better chance of getting the Carrier’s support and marketing muscle behind your products. At least today, this is the case.

  • Tangent

    “Frank Meehan, CEO of INQ”

    The CEO of who?!?

    “From a group perspective at Hutchison Whampoa”

    At where?!?!?

    Honestly this entire article could be using made up people at a made up company, ’cause I’ve never heard of them. I suspect their defection from Android to Windows won’t even make a fart in a hurricane’s worth of difference.

  • Michael Brumlow

    I am not sure why keep coming back to this site. Most of the headlines are sensationalist made up bull crap by somebody pretending to be a journalist.

  • subrandom

    Regardless of the source the question has been asked from a lot of people and frankly the closest thing to “abandoning” android we’re likely to see in the next couple years are these manufacturers investing in a more stable platform. It would be silly to assume these guys would abandon Android and jump ship to WP7 but diversifying their offerings wouldn’t hurt. Since no one seems to know why Google picked up Motorola everyone is at least a little concerned.

  • Kevin

    I don’t think they would leave because Android has been a huge success in almost all the carriers. It’s a little drawback if they leave the “Circle of success” . . .

  • BrandonJD

    Who is this company again? What do they sell? Oh, nothing that anyone is buying. The ACTUAL players in the android game are not put off by the acquisition, because they know as well as anyone that GOOGLE NEEDS AS MANY HANDSETS IN PEOPLES HANDS AS POSSIBLE, REGARDLESS OF WHO MAKES THEM. Google doesn’t care about hardware sales, they make billions on ads, and the more people can see them the better.

  • luiek20


  • Makhnooth Kahba

    They were probably paid by microsoft pretty well so they can make this statement public and spread the panic and fear to all manufacturers to abandon android.

  • mckees2006

    WTF GUYS???? SLOW day or what?? And who in the heck is..Hutchison Whampoa??? And Frank Meehan??? INQ????? Must be huge overseas huh?? I am sure GOOGLE really upset and FYI……WINMOB BLOWS!

  • mckees2006

    wtf part 2!! INQ has “made” 5 mobile phones in company history……the last 2 low end budget type phones….. you guys at android and me must have really dug deep for this crap story……lmao! ANDROID AND ME IS BETTER THEN THIS!!!!

  • Xoldier


  • Klotera

    I think I can understand a smaller company taking this stance. They may not have the reserves to back up the legal fees if litigation occurred. So, they need to manage their risks. Sammy, HTC, and Motorola had the pockets to fight litigation. So, I think assuming that because this one company made the switch that they all will isn’t taking everything into account.

  • PhilH

    You can really tell that WP7 is sunk and iOS is in trouble. These retarded Android doom and gloom articles never end and only get worse. Its ridiculous that people will pull crap out of their ass and fling it at the wall to see if it sticks at this point to try and stop Android.

  • Sean the Electrofreak

    Ohnoes, Android just lost a manufacturer we’ve never heard of because their CEO likes make business decisions that affect his entire company based upon conjecture.

    I’m glad I’m not invested in INQ!