Why Google Isn’t Going to Become The Next Apple
With Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility (MM), there has been much speculation as to the purpose behind their bold, and extremely expensive purchase of Motorola’s spin-0ff. Most of the talk surrounding the acquisition paints it as a patent acquisition. Which, in light of the recent Microsoft and Apple’s recent approved purchase of Nortel, is probably a good idea.
But possibly the most audacious element surrounding all of this hullabaloo isn’t the huge $12.3 billion figure, or the impending patent war. Actually, the most absurd thing lies in the notion that, with this recent acquisition, Google is gearing up to compete with Apple.
I’ll let you laugh that one off for a bit; or shrug apathetically; or nod in agreement.
But regardless of your response, it doesn’t matter, because it’s not happening. Here’s why…
1. It’s Already Too Late
If Google’s purchase of MM is a last-ditch effort to combat Apple’s iPad and iPhone, they are already screwed.
Despite the fact that the tablet market is still developing, with plenty of room for competition, Apple has proven time and time again that their tablet solution is #1. Certainly, their once (and still) obscene market share will decrease steadily, it’s undeniable that Apple has had a long lasting impact on
Still, even if Android phones continue to sell well, and Android tablets start making a larger dent in the tablet market, Google has a ton of ground to make up. It may take years for them to even capture a significant slice of Apple’s pie. And in several years from now, Apple might be carving out a hefty chunk of an entirely different industry.
2. Google Isn’t a Hardware Company
The difference between Apple and many other large tech companies is that, for the most part, its emphasis is in design. Whereas Microsoft and Google primarily develop applications or software, Apple has long had a two-fold approach towards software and hardware, fusing the two together in an effort to create a much more cohesive and intuitive end experience for the user.
Google has limited experience in that regard. Although their purchase of MM has brought in some significant hardware design experience, it would be foolish for Google to break into that industry so late in the game. Particularly when they insist that Android will remain an open platform. That aspect alone will limit the extent with which Google can control the end user experience, and make doing so an extremely costly, and seemingly pointless endeavor.
3. It’s Not About Motorola
Despite the fact that Motorola has created some of the most successful smart phones in the industry, and released the first Android tablet, Google doesn’t seem to want Motorola for their skills in designing excellent hardware.
Instead, Google states that their purchase of MM was seriously influenced by the necessity for them to protect their own behinds. With Apple and Microsoft recently filing suits against handset manufacturers utilizing the Android OS, Google and its respective clients have been on their heels trying to protect themselves from the onslaught of lawsuits.
Now, with the purchase of MM, Google can finally protect themselves.
Still, Google could surprise us tomorrow, or next week, and announce plans to develop a true Google handset division. That would be exciting.
But it would also be extremely surprising. After all, even Google has acknowledged that their purchase of Motorola isn’t even about hardware. It’s about patents.
Google’s goal isn’t in destroying Apple’s iOS; Google’s goal is in protecting Android.
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