Google's great debate: what to do with Motorola?

Google's great debate: what to do with Motorola?When Google coughed up big money to acquire Motorola Mobility last year, there was plenty of speculation as to what it would mean for both company's future.

What seems to have happened in reality, however, was something nobody predicted: nothing at all. And that's given rise to a new possibility: could Google be looking to sell off Moto's smartphone division?

That's the suggestion that's surfaced in the Wall Street Journal, which says “rumours have swirled around the handset business, suggesting that Google has already offered it to China's Huawei at a high price”.

The claim is buried deep in a long and involved piece detailing just how complicated the Motorola situation really is for Google, and is duly followed by the obligatory denial from Google itself.

That alone suggests that the WSJ isn't confident enough in the strength of the rumour to push it further up the story, but there's no denying that such a move would make a fair bit of sense from certain angles.

Even when the deal was first struck the suggestion was that Google was mainly interested in Motorola's stockpile of 17,000 patents for the added ammo they would provide in its patent wars with Apple and Microsoft.

And it must have known going into the deal that taking ownership of one prominent Android OEM would surely raise serious questions about its commitment to the others – companies as prominent as Samsung, HTC and Sony, let's not forget.

Even for Motorola the situation has few upsides. It was already fighting to keep pace with its fellow Android competitors, but any signs of an upturn in its fortunes will now be seen as the result of favouritism from Google, while a downturn will be seen as proof that the deal should never have been done in the first place.

If Google is looking to rid itself of the headache, Huawei is a sensible choice (assuming financial details can be tied up). It's made no secret of its ambitions to muscle in on the mobile scene in Europe and the US going forward, and buying Motorola would help it do just that.

Of course, none of this means a deal is actually being worked on – it may be speculation that makes logical sense, but it's speculation all the same. When Google itself moved to buy Motorola, the first we heard of it was when the deal was actually announced. If there is any truth to these rumours, that's probably when we'll find out for sure this time around too.

Read more about: Android

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9 comments

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 12, 2012 at 12:15

Motorola D1 Quad, anyone :p?

Pondlife  Apr. 12, 2012 at 12:22

Don't see much in it for Huawei tbh, wow they get to release phones named razr. Though I would like a high specced Defy.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 12, 2012 at 14:10

Huawei get a brand name, they get to call their phones Motorola not Huawei. That's a massive step for a company trying to make a go of it in Europe and the US.

Pondlife  Apr. 12, 2012 at 14:31

If it was that respected a brand name they wouldn't be where they are.

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 12, 2012 at 14:34

It's far more respected than Huawei, especially in the US.

Pondlife  Apr. 12, 2012 at 14:43

Well they could take the guy at motorola who thinks up phone model names at least, he'd struggle to do worse than D1 Quad.

jaybear88  Apr. 12, 2012 at 14:44

Well they could take the guy at motorola who thinks up phone model names at least, he'd struggle to do worse than D1 Quad.

E3 Tripod

jmarcelino  Apr. 12, 2012 at 22:51

I thought Google only really bought Motorola to get Christy Wyatt on board?

Ps: Doesn't Christy Wyatt look like a younger version of the Eric Schmidt's current wife?

http://www.crunchbase.com/assets/images/resized/0010/1918/101918v1-max-250x250.jpg

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/04/04/article-2125050-1277618E000005DC-320_306x423.jpg

matt101101 / MOD  Apr. 12, 2012 at 22:54

Ps: Doesn't Christy Wyatt look like a younger version of the Eric Schmidt's current wife?
I'll correct that for you: Ps: Doesn't Christy Wyatt look like a better version of the Eric Schmidt's current wife? ;)

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