Supercharging Whom ? Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility

"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." That's how Larry Page explains the twelve billion purchase in the official Google blog.

The blog is titled "
Supercharging Android: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility"*, but one could wonder who will be supercharged in the end. Third parties and endusers may start asking themselves what will come out of a landscape where former archrivals Microsoft and Nokia tie the knot, or where the mother of all netcos swallows a former giant manufacturer. SonyEricsson theoretically went even further on the value chain, but the union was celebrated in completely different times, when networks were not precisely clogged with mobile internet traffic.

More moves are expected. Apple has been rumored to be in a mega purchasing mood for quite awhile, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Samsung making something big. Lee Kun-hee just pointed out the necessity for the company to evolve, an evidence we recently repeated (see "
Huawei Vision : a view from the cloud"). This should go beyond such acquisition as Grandis, a specialist in memory wolfed down earlier this month by the South Korean chaebol.

Anyway, the Motorola episode reassesses the importance of patents in the legal war raging worldwide. Apple claimed a few significant victories : a big chunk of Nortel patents, plus a suspension of Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in key markets.

The problem is Apple is not John Grisham, an entity that makes money with legal stuff. Being the next NTP is not exactly "cool".

And the consumer is not likely to beg "supercharge me".

mot-bile 2011

* where the king of the 80s is kindly put at the same level as bankrupt Nortel : an empty shell with a collection of patents

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