A few weeks ago I wrote that Google had to buy a smartphone maker.
I am very glad they bought Motorola. Google has very little to lose buying Moto and a lot to gain. Motorola is affordable, has good IP, is in USA, and even though they clearly don’t make the best Android phones now Andy Rubin will make sure they do.
And $9.5bn is what Google could afford (Moto has $3bn in cash). HTC is a much better company but $50bn is tough even for a $150bn Google. Samsung impossible.
Now the challenge is to make sure that the level playing field continues that Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson and others don’t feel discriminated and if GoogleMoto wins is because they just make the best hardware/software experience.
Of course there is a risk that Android partners will try to help promote Windows Phone but for that they are late after Nokia and in any case mobile operating systems can hardly be pushed. Microsoft has so much cash and resources and with all their might WP is selling 15K units per day while Android sells 550K. A mobile OS is like a social network of geeks where the people are the apps developers. And in a mobile OS as in many other things in life, money can’t buy you love. It helps, but it doesn’t buy it.