Aug 152011

Unless you’ve been enjoying an extended conjugal visit, you’ve read that Google made a $12.5 billion bid for Motorola’s hardware group, known as Motorola Mobility. You may remember Motorola as the company that made the RAZR 10 years ago, only to be left sucking on a tailpipe as a generic Android licensee ever since. Analysts think this is primarily about acquiring Motorola’s patent portfolio, which contains somewhere north of 10,000. I don’t know what else it could possibly be about, given that Google has never run a tech hardware business – a pretty mediocre one at that  – and has no intention to start.

Motorola is one of several major shartphone manufacturers to have a partnership with Google for their Android phone OS, so you’d think there might be a little friction when one of the litter is suddenly brought into direct contact with The Tit. But you wouldn’t know it by what these companies had to say about the move. But beneath the thin veneer of a cut-and-pasted Mountain View press release lies the truth. Let’s try and filter out what these hardware executives are really trying to say:

“We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”– J.K. Shin, President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division

“We thank our deities that someone may possibly step in and keep Apple from having our devices banned in every country on the planet.”


“I welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.” – Bert Nordberg, President & CEO, Sony Ericsson

“I green-lighted an Android phone?”


“We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.” – Jong Seok Park, Ph.D, President & CEO, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company

“Did we green-light an Android phone?”


“We welcome the news of today‘s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem. -Peter Chou, CEO, HTC Corp.

“I bet if we were to insert some more words between ‘Google’, ‘Android’, ‘defending’ and ‘partners’, we could sound less like the other 3 guys.”


As you can see, Android’s manufacturers have been as successful differentiating their statements from each other as they have been differentiating their shartphone offerings.

  2 Responses to “TMA Translates Quotes from Android Manufacturers Regarding Google’s Bid for Motorola”

  1. So, why exactly does Android need to be defended? The copyright infringement? I’m going to guess and say Google wants Motorola because of the fact Motorola has been working on it’s own OS (with help from experienced mobile and Web engineers from Apple and Adobe they had hired) as a possible alternative to Google’s Android software. Hmmmm?

  2. Two of Android’s partners, HTC and Samsung, are currently targets of Apple litigation. Microsoft is also collecting royalties from some Android manufacturers, while Oracle is in the midst of a case against Google itself. Google as a company is woefully “under-patented”, most recently because Google whiffed on the auction for over 7,000 of Nortel patents. Their play makes the most sense (I would argue only makes sense) from the intellectual property perspective. Google needs patents, and Moto has a bunch. How effective these particular patents will be in combating Apple and others remains to be seen.

    Moto’s “overlay”, called “Blur” isn’t a huge deal to Google; HTC and Samsung, for example, also have interfaces that are not “pure Android”. In the mind of manufacturers, they need to plop this eye candy to differentiate their offering from everyone else’s and Google has treated this as a necessary evil in order to achieve Android’s high rate of carrier adoption.

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