Having a rich new parent company doesn’t seem to be doing Motorola much good. Ahead of the transition to full Google ownership, the company has announced it will close a factory and lay off 800 employees around the world.
What’s going on here? When Google first announced it would acquire Motorola, the logic seemed unassailable: It would give the combined company joint control over hardware devices and the operating system that runs them, as Apple has with its iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
But then Google executives started signalling their non-desire to get into the hardware business, and promising to keep Motorola at “arm’s length.” It now appears that Google really just wanted Motorola’s patents, something every mobile player needs these days to fight or fight off the industry’s ever-more-absurd lawsuits. Google let itself be outbid for Nortel’s patents and now we may know why: It had its sights on larger game.
If speculation is correct that Google wanted Motorola for its patents alone, there’s no real reason for the search giant to keep the handset maker. As one analyst put it: “We therefore expect Motorola to be spun or sold again in the not-so-distant future.”
Read more at Connected Planet.