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Leak: Google-Motorola deal includes copying iPhone strategy

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Wed August 17, 2011

Google-Motorola to make integrated phones too

Google's buyout of Motorola is not just about patents but echoing the Apple-like integrated hardware model Google swore it would never follow, a major leak alleged on Wednesday. Although patent security is a key goal, one aim is now said to be to design hardware, not just to build the OS. The company's mobile VP Andy Rubin, who the WSJ said was personally involved in brokering the Motorola deal, may have helped push for a merger with this in mind.

Google didn't comment on this claim or agree to an interview for Rubin, who was the subject of a wider analysis by the newspaper.

The search engine designer has had a partial hand in hardware design, having influenced the Nexus One and Nexus S along with smaller-scale cooperation on other devices, often guided by Rubin himself. Still, it has never had total control over a design and has repeatedly insisted that neither the Nexus line nor any other efforts would lead to making hardware directly. When it revealed the buyout of Motorola, Google said it would run Motorola as a "separate entity" to ensure fair competition with other hardware makers.

If accurate, however, the discovery would suggest Google was being partly dishonest. Publicly, it has said that the Nexus line will be open to others, but the new claim could effectively see Motorola making official Google-designed phones as complements to or outside of the Nexus line. Other Android hardware creators' official endorsements have been called into question given their use of repetitive language that suggests they were told by Google what to say; they may now have to compete directly on the market with the company producing the OS.

A truly Google-developed phone with Motorola as the hardware wing could, in effect, be a capitulation to Apple chief Steve Jobs' repeated assertions that an integrated hardware and software design like the iPhone's works more effectively than the "fragmented" Android platform. Even as Google has often embraced the concept of choice and benefited from overall larger market share, it has also faced mounting complaints about the decisions of its partners hurting the experience.

Many devices even today still ship with the year-old Android 2.2 or get delayed upgrades. And while Android is supposed to be more open, many phone designers lock down the firmware and prevent apps or interface layers from being removed. The situation is compounded by carriers that themselves often insist on disabling features or adding non-removable apps. Apple offers fewer freedoms to customize the iPhone's OS but also limits what carriers can do that might sour a device for the end user.

by MacNN Staff



  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh good

    this should light some fireworks.

  1. bigmig

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "If accurate, however, the discovery would suggest Google was being partly dishonest."

    Who could have ever guessed, given their long history of doublespeak?

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it will longer be fragmented

    when all the other handsets finally realize that there is no free lunch and bail out of the Android buffet.

  1. viktorob

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Also, Larry Page will change his name to "Stephen Works" to loos more like Steve Jobs.
    Their Tablet will be called "gPad" and its phone "gPhone"?

    This is so freaking "gFunny"

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    We've had this discussion before

    You all imagine that Apple's 18% is trumping Google's 40% - but it isn't.

    And you imagine, these companies are teenagers that are going to leave in a huff over emotions. They won't.

    Where do you imagine they'll go? License iOS - not happening.
    License WebOS? LOL - I just put that in as a joke.
    License Windows Phone 7 - they already do.

    You think of HTC as an Android company, but they actually sell whatever they can sell - they are known for Android, because Android sells.

    Should they write their own OS from scratch? They already do - Samsung sells its own Bada OS. But you know them as an Android company, because that is such a large driver of sales.

    No - these companies aren't going to get angry and leave like little children.
    They'll make the smartest business move - and as long as Android is selling - they'll be glad to sell it to you.

    Nothing has changed - oh illogical ones.

  1. TheGreatButcher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Google is overextending. They're not a hardware company.

  1. FreeRange

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "the discovery would suggest Google was being partly dishonest" - I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you! Google is indeed the new evil. Deceitful, dishonest and an outright thief looking to give everyone else's IP away for free so they can make Billions off the backs of others.

  1. facebook_Saurabh

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011




  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Motorola is killing Android

    And Google doesn't even realize it. I doubt Google even has a plan other than "try to control both hardware and software and develop a more robust infrastructure and do deals with media companies like Apple did years ago."

    Former feature phone powerhouse Motorola was losing money on mobile. They got rid of their mobile group and called it Motorola Mobility in the process. Motorola Mobility then continued to lose money after falling for the Android bait. Now Google owns them. It's like two one-legged men working as a team in a butt-kicking contest.

    And that's just Google + Motorola Mobility's lameness in the phone space. Just wait until they try to compete in the iPad clone space. This is going to be fun to watch. Very, very fun.

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