Holy cow! We’ve recently told you that a quick and easy fix to Google’s Android-related patent problems would be for it to buy Motorola’s handset division, but I didn’t expect this to happen – or at least not that soon. And yet today Google has officially announced it would ”acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion.”
The two companies say that the acquisition “will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open.” Moreover, as we already reported, Motorola owns about 17,000 patents, and these will soon belong to Google.
This acquisition will likely not significantly change the way Google is is making business with its other Android partners – including major hardware makers like Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson. According to Andy Rubin:
“our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community. We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices.”
But some things will definitely change (after all, this is the biggest news in the mobile world since Nokia’s announcement that it would use Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform). With Google having its own phone manufacturer, we’ll likely see only Motorola-made Nexus handsets from now on. Also, Motorola Mobility’s handset shipments will probably skyrocket.
The acquisition should be complete by the end of 2011, or in early 2012. Motorola Mobility will run as a separate business within Google.
Motorola has committed to Android since 2009, when it launched the first Moto Droid in the US (via Verizon). The company is now selling more than 20 different Android devices around the world.
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