Some of the biggest news for this past Monday included a deal made between internet giant Google, Inc. and communications company Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. As Google’s largest purchase to date (for those unfamiliar with Google’s gobbling philosophy, check out Google acquisitions,) this purchase seems a direct move to compete with the popularity of the iPhone and iPad tablet computers.
Motorola builds many phones utilizing the Android operating system, which just happens to belong to Google. They manufacture smartphones based on the Android OS, as well as the Motorola Zoom tablet computer that also runs on the software. One recent release, the Motorola Atrix, is an Android smartphone that snaps into a computer lapdock to become a fully functional computer.
For $12.5 billion dollars, the deal seems aimed at competing with Apple by giving Google its own hardware production facilities and business. The Board of Directors at both companies approved the purchase, and it looks like Motorola investors did quite well in this deal.
It is expected that Motorola will be kept running as a totally separate business for the time being, and Android will remain available as it is now for other manufacturers to use. In fact, Android is run on an open platform and is available free of charge to anyone who wants to use it.
Google’s CEO, Larry Page had great things to say about the acquisition and the Android ecosystem. With Motorola’s lengthy history of communications, including being the first manufacturer of a portable and mobile phone in 1980, it was also one of the first vendors to embrace the Android OS.
There are many reasons for Google to be interested in Motorola, and the combined company should be able to implement changes and enhancements quickly. There are already many new things in the works, and we can only expect that pace to increase.
Now that most people access Twitter and Facebook by using their smartphones, the Android OS will gain even more popularity. Facebook reports that people who log on via their smartphones spend twice as much time on the site as those who are non-mobile.
Google Wallet is an innovation that was just launched in a limited version, and is a direct hit on PayPal. For their part, PayPal already is in litigation because some former key employees left and took along some of the company’s trade secrets to Google months ago. The mobile payment system interface is supposedly simple, and superior to PayPal.
Google Offers is the company’s location-based deal offers, in much the same vein as Groupon and Living Social. Complementing Google Places with local deals and offers gives more value to consumers and businesses.
Google Places has helped to boost small businesses, and Google recently enhanced the functionality by letting users create a free mobile landing page. This easily utilized platform works for almost anyone, and requires no special skills or HTML knowledge. It also enables integration of Facebook and Twitter and traffic analytics for business.
Though this purchase will likely garner some concern because of the dominance of Google and the size of Motorola, Google expects the purchase to pass muster and be completed by the end of the year. This surprise move by the internet giant shows how the traditional and mobile internet platforms are colliding, and how blurred the lines are now.