It does make sense, people understand parts of it, but no one seems to get it right. Let me explain.
Personal Tidbit: Kent’s Market Manipulation
Looking at a down-market, thinking this was a buying opportunity, I bought a few shares of Google. A few days later it fell on the Motorola news. No, I wasn’t annoyed with myself (I didn’t have any inside information, and wouldn’t trade on it if I did).
Rather I am annoyed that the market doesn’t seem to understand what Google is up to. I need to explain so my stock can go back up.
Google wants Android to succeed.
Google’s Android “partners” don’t particularly care about Android succeeding, they want their own tablets and smartphones to sell. So they tart up their versions of Android to try to catch an eye (“Hey, big guy! Wanna..touch my tablet…?”). The other day I was talking to someone who was considering getting an Iphone. No, I didn’t say “Get an Android!”, I kept my mouth shut because the Android market is a mess, I have no idea what Android phone is good right now. I think Google is going to tell Motorola to make clean versions of Android. Like the Nexus One (which I bought). Once they do that I can recommend people buy a Motorola Android. People will still be tempted by the trollops from the other “partners” and that is a matter between consenting adults, but at least there will be a clean and respectable baseline you can bring home to mom.
Google wants Android phones and tablets to innovate.
God knows what it took to get Samsung to put a near field communications radio (NFC) in the Nexus S, but I bet there are some cool things Google wants to do but no “partner” wants to bother with. Google will tell Motorola to add new features.
Google “partners” need not quake.
Much has been said about how the “partners” won’t like Google being in the handset and tablet business, but if Google forces Motorola to do things the “partners” don’t think is smart…well, that might be just the kind of competition they could use: either ineffectual (no problem) or truly innovative (serves them right). Google is no Apple, they don’t have an “all mine” utopian (dystopian!) vision, they aren’t interested in crushing LG or HTC. They want to sell ads.
Google has a really nice cash cow in their ad business. They aren’t interested in the low-margin hardware business for any reason other than to keep their ad business healthy. Their fundamental interest here is different from that of other Android hardware manufacturers.
Google has patent battles to fight.
Speaking of Apple and Android “partners”, Steve is doing his best to crush the entire Android ecosystem in the courts, some recent decisions out of Europe should have them all deeply scared. Google to the rescue: Motorola has a lot of patents, many are probably even wireless-related. (What was the Nortel portfolio mix like?) Motorola, unlike a patent trollhouse, and being a hardware business, might even have legitimate patents. (I think software patents should be very rare and noteworthy, and that all the other SW patents are garbage.) By measuring patents by the count, people miss the fact of these might include legitimate and topical patents.
Google is interested in big screens, too.
Google TV hasn’t done much so far, but they haven’t given up. Motorola Mobility also includes set-top boxes in living rooms. As much as we all like to poke at our phones, we also like being couch potatoes, sitting in front of a big TV, poking at our phones. Google wants access to our TVs, Motorola Mobility gives them that.
Sitting on tons of cash is a waste.
Google can afford to buy Motorola Mobility. We now know they are serious about Android and will do what it takes to make it succeed.
Apple is not going to manage to drive a lawyer-hewn stake through Android’s heart. Android is here to stay. Long live Android!
-kb, the Kent who thinks it all makes great sense and GOOG should go up now.
©2011 Kent Borg