Google just purchased patents as part the acquisition of Motorola Mobility – 24,500 of them to be exact. At a $12.5B valuation that puts the value per patent at $510,204 apiece. But the search giant also gets 19,000 employees on top of the 29,000 it already has.
The question is does Google want these employees or to manage a business which is so different from software and advertising that it makes your head spin. I spoke with Kris Kendrick of Sonus who used to be with Motorola and he sees this acquisition as Google picking up the hardware “wedge” into software.
But I just can’t see Google wanting this hardware business and if the company does want to enter this space, picking up Motorola seems odd as the company has had management issues for over a decade and although the company has always had great technology, they have never been able to execute properly. After all, when Apple collaborated with Motorola on a cell phone, it was a flop – it was so bad that Steve Jobs realized how dysfunctional cell phone makers were and subsequently embarked on his own phone design.
Yes, Motorola can boost Google TV but again, I don’t see it – does Google want to get into the low-margin hardware business? Especially after failing with the Nexus one – a phone of their own design – manufactured by HTC?
It seems far more likely that Google wants to open-source everything Motorola has and do it for the express purpose of having a platform across phones and televisions where it can show its ads. The best way to do this is to white-label everything Motorola makes and OEM it all to the tech ecosystem.
With all these new patents, the company has ample protection from Oracle, Apple and Microsoft so now the hard work begins of taking products which are generally sold to or via service providers and instead wholesaling them in the hopes of taking Android to the next level and moving upmarket with regards to hardware design.
There are many moving parts here and I am looking forward to seeing how Google procedes with this major purchase.