On a scale of 1 to 10 – where 1 is a catastrophe and 10 is a miracle – we rate the impact of today’s Google / Motorola news, from a few distinct viewpoints.
For consumers: 9. It’s very good news. Google will inject new blood and imagination into a business that has been in survival mode for several years, but still owns a ton of IP and engineering resources that are second to none in the mobile industry. More interesting products and renewed competition are sure to result from this mix.
For the industry: 8. Android phone manufacturers have been paying the “patent tax” to Microsoft, and have been threatened and bullied over and over by Apple. This will give the Android ecosystem some defensive tools to use.
For Motorola: 7. A good thing. It would not have survived another five years by itself. It’s not clear that it will thrive with Google at the help, but it has a better chance.
For Google: 5. Google is taking a big risk here. They are throwing themselves in the device manufacturing world, which they don’t understand yet, and they are positioning themselves as a competitor to their Android ecosystem partners (despite repeatedly stated good intentions, etc, etc.). However they have more than leveled the patent portfolio playing field, after the Nortel patent deal disastrous outcome.
Overall this is obviously exciting news and – rightly so – has made a huge splash in the entire mobile industry. Regardless of how successfully Google runs the Motorola Mobile business going forward, in the end the market and the Android ecosystem will benefit from this mega-deal, seemingly negotiated over a ping-pong table…