The biggest thing missing in the world of Android was a hardware partner who would go all in. Motorola became this partner in 2009 with the “Droid” and separated its mobile division into a new company, Motorola Mobility, in 2011. With this purchase, Google can now dedicate an entire company to building Android smartphones.
Along with the staff and physical assets, this purchase brings with it a purported 14,600 granted and 6,700 pending patents.
Other Android partners are putting up a pleasant face and claiming to support Google’s decision to acquire and operate their competitors, but I’ll go ahead and assume they are already preparing exit strategies should things start to go south in the coming months.
One thing I will admit is that it would be in Google’s best interest to keep the rest of these partners wrapped up in warm fuzzy blankets, as the last few Motorola Android offerings have fallen short of competing devices from HTC and it could take some time to rebuild consumer confidence in the brand.
While the move is an obvious one to try to keep climbing the stairs Apple is building, I doubt that Steve Jobs is too concerned. Cupertino will continue playing their own game, paying little mind to what everyone else is doing. This strategy seems to work well for Apple, until they need to step in and swipe an idea or two.
Remember, good artists copy — great artists steal.