Google-Motorola Mobility deal: What do HTC, LG, Samsung think?


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Google has agreed to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in a bid to control both the hardware and software ends of some Android phones and tablets.

But where does that leave the dozens of other companies who license Android at no cost from Google?


Well, just about as soon as Google announced its plan Monday morning to take over Motorola Mobility, the tech giant began painting a picture of support with a Web posting that includes approving quotes from some of the other hardware makers most associated with selling Android devices -- HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony.

Here are the four quotes, as presented online by Google:

‘We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.’

-- J.K. ShinPresident, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division ‘I welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners.’ -- Bert NordbergPresident & CEO, Sony Ericsson ‘We welcome the news of today’s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.’ -- Peter ChouCEO, HTC Corp. ‘We welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners.’ -- Jong-Seok Park, Ph.DPresident & CEO, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company

Each of the four quotes pushes the same basic idea -- that Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility would be good for everybody, because it would strengthen Google’s (and thereby Android’s) patent portfolio, which is known for being weak across the technology industry.

Each of the four quotes also include the words ‘welcome’ and ‘defending.’

Everyone here got on the same page and used nearly the same language. This is not a coincidence -- these major Motorola competitors were told about the takeover plans in advance of Google’s Monday announcement to the public.

This isn’t the first time that Google is flirting with the idea of making its own hardware, though it’s certainly Google’s most aggressive move. Google has teamed with hardware makers before to help design and release Google-branded phones such as the Nexus One (built by HTC) and the Nexus S (built by Samsung). Google has said that despite its plans to buy Motorola, it would keep Android available as a free product available to competing hardware makers such as those quoted above.


But while HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson are four of the more well-known companies in Android phones and tablets, dozens of companies worldwide make gadgets running on Android. It’s likely that somewhere out there a company or companies feels uneasy at the idea of a Google-owned Motorola.

While Google, so far, has these companies on its side, the Mountain View-based tech giant will still have to assuage federal regulators in the U.S. and abroad, such as the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating its dominance in search and online advertising.

What do you think? Is a Google-owned Motorola a good thing for consumers? For the tech industry? For Motorola’s rivals, HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony and others?

Could this move turn more hardware makers to HP’s WebOS or Microsoft’s Windows Phone? Does this mean anything, good or bad, for Apple?

Sound off in the comments to tell us what you think.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles