On May 22, 2012, Google finally announced that their $12.5 billion bid for acquisition of Motorola Mobility* had closed. This was following approval by the European antitrust regulators earlier in the year and, finally, approval by the Chinese Government.
On the Google blog last year, CEO Larry Page wrote that
“Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”
As part of their agreement to allow the acquisition, the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Bureau has stipulated that Google must agree to keep their Android mobile operating system available to hardware makers for the next five years. Android has been made available at no cost since its debut in 2007, and Google agreed to the Chinese Governments terms, saying that Android will remain an open operating system.
One of the major aims of the acquisition was to give Google access to Motorola Mobility’s patents, in the face of Microsoft and Apple’s threats to sue Google over patent infringement. Google states the purchase of Motorola Mobility was a way to protect the Android ecosystem.
There was much support in the electronics community for Google’s commitment to defending the Android system, including from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and LG.
This purchase closes the hardware gap between Google and Apple. Previously they both had mobile and desktop operating systems, but until this acquisition, Google had no hardware.
This is but only one battle in the war between Google and Apple – tomorrow, 6 June, is the proposed launch date for Google’s latest update of Google Maps. Brian McClendon , Google’s vice president of Maps and Earth services, will make an appearance at this event and will illustrate all the features new Google Maps has to offer.
This surprise press release is timed for less than one week before Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, where they will unveil their iOS 6 firmware , featuring an Apple developed maps service, an important feature of which will be 3D view.
With the new 3D mapping software, Apple devices will no longer need Google’s mapping service – although Google’s own dimensioned mapping software could be rolled out to all Android devices.
It is likely that this is only the first in removals of Google components on Apple devices, with Google’s Motorola acquisition, and Apple creating its own rival software.
*Motorola Mobility Holdings is one of the two entities that resulted when Motorola split its business in 2011.Motorola Mobility focuses on mobile phones and tablets, while Motorola Solutions focuses on business and networking technologies.