No one can accuse Google of sitting on the mobile fence with its Android platform. That’s been true so far and is even more true now. Google is announcing that it will acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion and that makes it look like Google realizes that it can no longer rely on its partner approach if it wants to succeed long term with Android.
One way or the other, this shakes up the mobile world, although I’m sure we’ll have to play wait and see to gauge how much and how. Google also grabs a bunch of patents in the deal, but from where I sit, it looks like the most important advantage is that Google has acquired a company with some knowledge of how to make hardware. Remember Motorola’s Droid was the first real success with Android. That said, Motorola has also had some losers as well.
Google’s announcement says Motorola will continue as a separate company and will still remain a licensee of Android. But I’m thinking that’s typical business-ese to gloss over the niceties. Google’s blog post is headlined Supercharging Android, and I think that’s where this is all headed. This moves puts Google in a place where it has all the assets at its disposal to shake things up in a big, big way.