Everybody in the tech industry is talking about Google's pending acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which Google has positioned as a defensive maneuver to protect Android from patent wars with the likes of companies like Microsoft and Apple.
While that may very well be the main reason for Google's most expensive acquisition to date (provided it gets regulatory approval), there are certainly other factors at play and other bonuses that Google gets with the acquisition.
Henry Blodget at Business Insider thinks the whole thing could be a disaster. "Well, for starters, the deal creates major channel conflict: Google is now competing with its partners," he writes. "And hardware manufacturing is an entirely different kind of business than Google's core business. And hardware manufacturing is a crappy, low-margin commodity business. And Motorola is massive--Google has just increased the size of its company by 60%. And the deal appears to be purely a defensive move, not an offensive one. And so on."
HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson have all lent their public support of the deal. They all pretty much say the same thing: "We welcome it." I'm guessing the reaction isn't quite as simple out of the public eye.
Meanwhile, Larry Dignan at ZDNet gives six compelling reasons why it "makes sense" These (in a nutshell) are: "Integration may be all that matters" in wireless, the patents "treasure trove," TV (Motorola's set-top box business), Google can likely keep hardware partners "in the fold" at least for now, the deal forces Microsoft's hand, and Android "boxes in Nokia and RIM".
The point about the set-top boxes is quite interesting. It's no secret that Google TV hasn't quite worked out the way the company hoped, at least as of yet. Could owning Motorola Mobility provide a needed boost to give Google TV more legs to stand on?
There's also things like:
The Motonav GPS, Modems and routers, and even Baby Monitors. Here's a look at Motorola's product page:
Then there's the various software, like Motoblur, Media Link, Motospeak, etc.
Last year, Motorola Mobility acquired Aloqa, a mobile service that notifies users of places, events, music, movies and other activities based on location and personalization. One has to wonder if Google will do something with this:
Motorola Mobility also acquired Zecter last winter. This was a media sync/streaming company. This could come in handy as the company competes with Apple's iCloud.
At the time of this writing, Google stock is down 2.58%.