The biggest battles among mobile hardware and software manufacturers have been waged over patents. Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and Google have all been involved in costly and innovation-stifling litigation, and Google, which produces the Android mobile OS, was left at a disadvantage when a consortium of companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Research In Motion, acquired the highly sought-after Nortel patents.
Rob Enderle, founder and principal analyst of The Enderle Group, told BizTech’s James Gaskin last September that he believed the move was purely a patent play.
“Google wanted the patents, but they got so expensive, and Google got impatient to do something. So they just bought the whole company,” Enderle said, speaking of Motorola Mobility. “But what looked like a deal becomes a big problem. Now the other phone vendors are going to look for Android alternatives because they don't want to get their operating system from a competitor.”
Now, the world is one step closer to finding out how Google will function as a hardware manufacturer. The company has won approval for the Motorola Mobility acquisition from the U.S. Justice Department and European antitrust regulators. The only major hurdle left, as the Associated Press reports, is getting approval from China.
Google’s Android OS has seen wide and fast adoption, thanks in part to the fact that it’s open-source and cheap for phone manufacturers to use. With Android, Google proved that it knows a thing or two about mobile software. But hardware is a completely different beast — it’s anyone’s guess how Google will fare at turning out smartphones and tablets that can wow mobile computing enthusiasts.
For more information on the Google–Motorola acquisition, read the full story on the Huffington Post.
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