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Google chair vows Motorola deal won't 'screw up' Android

updated 01:15 pm EDT, Mon October 3, 2011

Google's Schmidt tries assuaging over Moto deal

Google chairman Eric Schmidt vowed in an interview that the buyout of Motorola wouldn't "screw up" the dynamics of the smartphone business. Despite Google owning a hardware company that would compete against others, the executive was confident with Bloomberg that the playing field would be level. The industry couldn't afford to be skewed to one firm or another, he said.

"We need strong, hard competition among all the Android players," Schmidt elaborated. "We won't play favorites in the way people are concerned about."

The statements are potentially disingenuous given some of Schmidt's own remarks. Just last month, he acknowledged that the $12.5 billion purchase was also for hardware, not just patent defense. Leaks have suggested that Google may well < ahref="">follow an iPhone strategy, giving Motorola an advantage over partners as it gets first access to Android updates or their best features.

Publicly, HTC, Samsung, and other major Android developers have endorsed the deal, although it's not certain that the statements are sincere. Each company asked to provide a quote for the deal had a very similar phrasing to each other that suggested they were coaxed into public support they wouldn't have given otherwise.

Along with providing a possible way to counter patent lawsuits targeted at Android, the Motorola acquisition is informally considered an admission that custom OS layers have diluted the experience Google wanted to provide. Outside of Google's own Nexus phones and a handful of usually low-end devices on Virgin Mobile and elsewhere, nearly every Android phone runs a custom interface, including those from Motorola. These both frequently obscure Android for the user and lead to significant delays in OS updates.

By Electronista Staff


  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Google will crush the cloners

    Re: We won't play favorites in the way people are concerned about.

    But Google will definitely play favorites in the way Google and Motorola Mobility are concerned about. $12.5 billion says so. That's a year and a half of profits for Google. They need to make it back somehow. And they'll do it by selling their own Motoroogle phones.

    And the Motoroogle phones will definitely help to kill off fragmentation among the generic Android cloners. They'll start to realize that it's better to pay Microsoft to license Windows Phone 7 instead of paying Microsoft to license technology used in Android. They'll give up on Android, especially since they'll be a year or two behind the latest release. That will be Google's unfair advantage, and they'll use it.

  1. growlf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    Motorola deal won't...

    But a complete lack of experience developing pleasant-to-use UIs will. You can do some cool things with Android, but using it feels ... off. I preordered the Kindle Fire in hopes that Amazon has managed to produce an Android-based product without a piss-poor user experience.

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