Google, as reported in the Wall Street Journal,has agreed to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings. The WSJ reports that Google is mainly doing this to have a larger pool of patents, mainly related to the world of mobility.
However, there’s definitely more to just patents. It’s about Apple.
The big problem with the world of personal computers is that the hardware, operating system and software are all fragmented. Dell makes great PCs, but Microsoft Windows makes the operating systems and yet thousands of other vendors make the softwar that runs on Windows. Overall businesses have succeeded quite well with this troika of confederates – but it’s been a struggle. Call one vendor for a problem, they then point you to Microsoft and Microsoft tells you to call Intuit (for Quick Books support) for example.
However, Apple users will tell you that their platform – of hardware (by Apple), operating sytem (by Apple), and tightly controlled software applications works very smooth and quite well.
The only way Google is going to compete head to head withApple, through and through in the mobile marketplace is to have a tight contorl of the operating system (which it does), the hardware (which is hopes to have) and applications (with web apps its getting there).
How does this affect your business?
1. You’ll see a bigger consolidation in the hardware market – so that’s not so great – less choice for your business.
2. You’ll see more companies offering a better user experience. If you like Apple’s overall design and integration, you MIGHT like the new crop of Google mobile products coming out in a year or so.
3. As Google and Apple duke it out in the marketplace you’ll see other mobile companies continue to innovate and get better and better. This includes Microsoft and RIM.
4. Google will continue to invest and foster the mobile ecosystem – social media, applications, hardware, accessories and more.
5. Developers will continue to be the valued front line warriors programming new software and creating new products for fun but also for business (such as the iPad,
Angry Birds, Twitter and more)
6. Current Google Android partners Samsung, HTC (and others) will re-evaluate their Android offerings now that it looks like Google is competing with them. No direct affect on your business but possibly an indirect affect.
Don’t forget about “content” – Google and Apple are both deeply invested in apps, music, movies, books and other online consumer and businesss content (Amazon.com is not sitting still).