Google’s recently announced acquisition of Motorola Mobility has profound implications across the communications and media value chain. In terms of tangible value, the key asset in the deal for Google is Motorola Mobility’s significant intellectual property.
This will help Google and its Android partners defend themselves against patent infringement suits from Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and others. Perhaps more importantly, it will also enable the development of true Google devices, ensuring that these are fully integrated with Google-led operating systems (OSs), applications and potentially other types of Google-developed entertainment content.
The game-changing implications of the acquisition are much broader: the combined Google/Motorola entity is set to become one of the major integrated solution providers that enable the delivery of a range of increasingly converged consumer communications and media services to a growing number of devices.
Through its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google will gain a wide range of assets that will help further its efforts to penetrate both the wireless and fixed device ecosystems (see Table 1).
Table 1: Key assets of the major integrated communications and media solution providers [Source: Analysys Mason, 2011]
• Handsets (iPhone)
• Tablet PCs (iPad)
• PCs (Mac)
• STBs (Apple TV)
• Other (iPod)
• Handsets (Motorola)
• Tablet PCs (XOOM)
• STBs (Google TV, Motorola)
• Handsets (Nokia)
• PCs (Nokia Booklet 3G)
• Other (Zune, Xbox)
• Handsets (iOS)
• Tablet PCs (iOS)
• PCs (Mac OS and various other applications)
• STBs (iOS)
• Handsets (Android)
• Tablet PCs (Android)
• PCs (Android, Google Chrome OS, Google Docs)
• STBs (Android and Google Chrome for Google TV, Dreampark IPTV middleware)
• Handsets (Symbian, Windows Phone 7)
• Tablet PCs (Windows 7)
• PCs (Windows are various other applications)
• STBs (Microsoft Mediaroom)
Content aggregation and distribution
• Music, video (iTunes)
• Music (Google Music Beta), video (YouTube)
• Music, video, games (Ovi Store, Zune, Xbox LIVE)
• App Store
• Android Market
• Ovi Store, Windows Marketplace for Mobile
1 Please note that Nokia and Intel jointly developed the MeeGo OS, which can be used on multiple device types, including mobile handsets, PCs, tablet PCs and STBs. However, it has not been included in this table because of the uncertainty surrounding Nokia’s continued involvement in MeeGo, following its strategic partnership with Microsoft.