27
May
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This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see Voice Control Apps: Future Or Fad?

A few days ago, David argued that Google's now-approved purchase of Motorola will change the Android game. Hell, that much should really be pretty obvious - they now have access to virtually every piece of the smartphone puzzle in their hands. At first thought, that seems like a good idea for reasons that are probably obvious to most people reading an Android blog: a more pure Android experience. But as David pointed out, the tie-up has unnerved Android's biggest manufacturers and may push them to explore other directions.

What do you think about the long-run implications of Googorola? Is it a match made in heaven, or a disaster waiting to happen?

Google + Motorola: A Match Made In Heaven, Or A Disaster Waiting To Happen?

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • http://profiles.google.com/scottoldfield Scott Oldfield

    I chose that I'm split 50/50, but my ideal answer is: This could be absolutely AWESOME for Google, Motorola, and the entire Android ecosystem but ONLY if Google plays this right.

    • sgtguthrie

      Agreed 100%!!!

    • John Stableford

      My thoughts exactly

    • Shieryar1

      Yup, It is too early to judge.

    • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

      If Google is really releasing more Nexus devices as the WSJ says, then I believe this was a move designed to scale up their involvement in Moto without making the other OEMs feel alienated. It's not a brilliant move by any means (it was probably the only viable option Google had if they wanted to expand their business into making hardware) and it does have the potential to backfire if Google doesn't provide adequate support - as an example, recall how Google had to scrap selling the Nexus One eventually.

      Think also about the fact that Google must now take on a lot more overhead costs to provide device support for a product (Android) which they're essentially giving away for free. It's not a small investment by any means, and things could get messy, fast.

      So you're right. Google MUST play their cards right.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Exactly what I am thinking. I believe there is a lot more to the deal than patents, no matter what some people say.

  • Ibrahim

    i would have preferred google + htc but yeah lets hope for the best

    • Webster

      I think that would be worse because part of HTC's appeal is the Sense UI, and stock Google would take it away and make it pure. So it would take away another beautiful type of Android. The best OEM for Google to acquire would be Samsung, since they have the ugliest skin on Android, but the most processing power.

      • sgtguthrie

        That's a matter of opinion. I think sense is bloated, half baked, and ruins android on a phone. But, if sense is htc's biggest appeal as you say, that would explain the horrific losses over the last couple quarters ;-)

        I think MOTOROLA can potentially be a great company with Google at the helm? First things first, UNLOCK THE BOOTLOADERS GOOGLOROLA!!!

  • moelsen8

    The game changing potential is there. I think anyone who loves android knows motorola makes some of the finest hardware. Its their being Verizon's monkey boy that turns us all away.

    But it also wouldn't surprise me to come on here one day and see that Google sold off the hardware business. I sincerely hope that day doesn't come.

  • Matiiiiia

    i think google will make something great from motorola..  and android..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001406847100 Kojiro Kamex

    I wouldn't consider it bad, when Samsung, HTC, Sony etc. would also follow other routes, well not WP7 but Tizen.

    Well I like Android, but I also don't want it to reach 60 or even more percent of the market share. Since Windows we all should know, that a player with such a market power is bad.

    But for sure, I absolutely don't want to see iOS or WP to reach this. Because even worser then a FOSS OS with 60% or more is a proprietary OS with this rate.

    • Stocklone

      Maybe I've just become too cynical about open mobile platforms because I've been dealing with all of Android's issues for nearly 3 years. I'd rather see WP8 and BB10 take back marketshare and leave the big 4 with roughly 25% each. I understand why Samsung is doing what they are doing with Tizen but as a consumer I don't see any benefit for me. You basically still end up with all the issues that plague Android but no Google 1st party service development. Yay?

  • deX

    Really, match made in heaven? Who the heck voted for that? I hate Motorola to the core (locked bootloaders etc) and having those phones tied with a vanilla Android makes no sense... Those devices don't deserve it. I'm pretty sure Motorola won't change their bootloader policy overnight as Google said they will largely let Motorola run as it is...

    • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

      First thing they did is parachute a new CEO in who is a former Google exec. If you think they are just sticking with the same Motorola policies that made them ripe for takeover and just grafting vanilla Jellybean onto them you are missing the details between the lines.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Genjinaro Genjinaro

    That bootloader better be open from this day onward.

  • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

    I cant work out how this can be bad for consumers which for me is the only disaster worth discussing. I mean, is the argument that GooMoto will be producing devices that are too good for HTC and Samsung to compete? Because if they cant then consumers are clearly benefiting. Samsung will never leave Android behind under the current paradigm, they just make far too much money to do so and they almost certainly wont fork the OS because it adds huge expenses on top of their overheads which they just dont want to deal with - they are more than happy making one of everything and letting the market decide.

    You may have an argument that Google could have a bias towards Motorola devices but given the legal loopholes they had to jump through to get the deal done there is no chance they would go back on their word to keep Android and Motorola separate entities.

    To go right back to my first sentence you could argue this may be bad for Google but that has so many unknown quantities who knows where to begin - if everyone else left the market do you think a multi billion dollar tech company with solid foundations in both software and now hardware to fall back on couldnt just gobble up that market share? If Tizen is better then Google will copy what makes it better, if Samsung makes the Galaxy S5 a Tizen only device then consumers will just be the Moto-Razr-Megatron because they arent buying the S2 and now the S3 because its a Samsung device, they are buying it because it is an Android device.

    Nokia has basically proven that having arguably better phones using an arguably better OS doesnt equal sales. Worst case scenario is Android activating 400k instead of 500k devices per week and Google having Apple levels of control leading to an improved user experience as they dont screw on with Sense and they can skip carriers entirely meaning speedy software updates.

    If there is a negative in there for Google or Android users I honestly cant see it.

  • ScottColbert

    I put I don't know, honestly at this point, it's too early to tell. The potential for good and bad is there, so we'll see.

  • kenwen

    If Google follow through with their typical think big attitude I'm sure this is more than phones.

    If it is just about phones I'll be a bit disappointed to be honest

    • http://www.twonumbthumbs.com DynoJunkee

      Phones, tablets, set top boxes, more.

  • Ron Amadeo

    Google bought Motorola because they are tired of the OEMs. They are lazy and uncreative. The whole idea is to light a fire under them.

    Motorola will set the bar for the rest of the OEMs. Technically you won't see favoritism, but with Motorola and Android, Google has the tools they need to charge off in any direction they wish. Everyone else is welcome to follow, but now they don't have to be beholden to anyone.

    • Spam0702

      That sounds to good to be true.. I will wait for something from Motorola and not buy any HTC/Samsung smartphones yet

    • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

      Woah. Slow to release OS updates? Yes. But "lazy and uncreative"? Sorry, I strongly disagree.

      Android OEMs have done more than their peers to push the boundaries of what a smartphone should be. Thanks to the likes of Sammy, HTC, Motorola and the other Android OEMs, we now have extremely powerful handsets that contain cutting edge technology being made available to the masses.

      You want 720p displays? Android phones have that. Super Amoled or SLCD screens? Android's got you covered. Extremely slim profiles of less than 7mm(!)? Ditto. Huge 3000mAh+ batteries? Yup. Dedicated gaming buttons on a smartphone? Yes. All these were achieved *first* by Android OEMs.

      I think it's fine to criticize the OEMs from time to time for whatever failings they may have. But please, keep things in perspective.

  • http://twitter.com/Dr_MBambi Moaz B. Bambi

    Google secured a very good place in the market if they play this right (not to sacrifice allies)
    *END OF TOPIC ANSWER.*

    *OFF TOPIC*
    But Samsung, even though they apparently approved, they are doing all they can with Bada, Tizen and God knows what's next to replace Android.. They're all similar to Android on the outside (not sure who emulates who, but point stands)

    So Samsung is not liking this move, but also likes it in a way.
    Likes it as this will contribute to Android, which is 'NOW' even for Samsung.
    Doesn't like it as it will make it just a bit more difficult for them to abandon Android or replace it with their Hocus Pocus stuff.
    They're trying to be the next Apple.

    HTC on the other hand is fully supporting because they take other software and customize it and make a business. Unlike (new) greedy, Appley, Samsung.

    (Just a quick opinion, might have missed some facts)

    • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

      Sammy is doing what people like to call diversifying. They're smart enough not to put all their eggs in one basket. In case Google betrays everyone by supporting Moto at the expense of the other OEMs, at least Sammy has a back-up plan.

      I don't believe HTC is "fully supporting", as you say. Their main selling point has always been HTC Sense. It's just that MS haven't allowed them to overlay W7 with it, otherwise I'm sure they would have done so. Without Sense, they're competing solely on hardware. They realise this too, which is why they've been touting the design of their One series. But they don't make enough of their own parts to be secure enough to compete with someone, like say, Sammy.

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    It will work. Google will force Moto to unlock our bootloaders and update all the phones they've neglected.

    • sgtguthrie

      Let's hope so!

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      Disagree on the latter. can't see Google dwelling on the past. this is future focused.

  • Not enough minerals

    50/50 as in it's not really all that big of a deal.

  • jeremy

    I'm plit 50/50 on this. I always hated Motorola android phones. And someone up there said something about Motorolas problems are because of Verizon your dead wrong. The problem with Motorola is they thought it was a good idea to release 5 or more phones in less than a year most of which is a different variation from the other. That is not Verizon that is motorolas fault and Verizon got screwed outta that deal, because once one razr came out another can out after that then another which left the consumer tied to a two year contract and a crap phone.

    Now I do think as far as Motoogle is concerned its going to make one hell of nexus device which gives Google the say if its unlocked or not. For any other phones they produce they most likely will have a strict warranty in unlocking any moto device that isn't nexus.

    But I don't think its a game changer. How can it be? This is not a match made in heaven. But I could be wrong.

    Samoogle would have been the match made in heaven. And I'm not saying that because I'm partial to Samsung but because Samsung is a better hardware company and they have their own screen tech and CPU tech memory tech you name it they have their name on it.

    • http://www.twonumbthumbs.com DynoJunkee

      That's interesting, do you realize you're talking about Google?????

      • jmotyka

        ????? Do you realize im talking about the topic????? Unless im not quite understanding the question! 

  • HitchsApprentice

    I've owned the Droid 2 for almost 2 years.  I wanted to upgrade t the Droid 4 until I saw it & held it in my hands and I saw how the case had changed to plastic ...that didn't seal well, and had a worse screen than my Droid 2 has.  I changed my mind about upgrading. Now that Google has taken over, I'll wait for the Droid 5 and hope they improve the case back to metal, and install a better screen & keep the beloved slide out keypad. I'm disturbed that Moto let the quality of its product slip.... I hope Google will pick up the slack

    • Jimmy_Pancakes

      If there using good plastic, it shouldn't be a big problem... plastic is shock absorbent, unlike metal... Have you ever heard some one tell you, if you take a metal strip and a plastic strip, and bend both back and forth, one at a time, the metal strip would break first...? It really maters on the quality of the plastic there using!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.warne Tim Warne

    Pure Android OS+Motorola hardware=Success! But really only time will tell. In a perfect world Google would buy T-Mobile have their $9.99 unlimited data plan & a Motorola Nexus flagship phone to start the new Google Mobile off right. I just hope this makes Android stronger as a whole with Motorola's patents & sparks fire under Motorola to make stock android phones with nfc to lead as example for other Android makers.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/7GU4N7CVDBJXMZOBFO3DMIQZH4 J

      YES!  

      Googorola needs to focus on just one or two (no more than three) phone lines, the Alpha, Razr, and Droid line, for example.  Set up a Prime version - an "OMG-you-can-fit-all-that-in-a-phone?!?" top-of-the-line, specs way out of the ball park (with minimally a 2.5Ghz quad core processor, 4GB ram, 64GBs internal + a SDXC microSD card slot (for up to 2TBs), 6000mAh battery, 16:9 4.75" Retina++ display, virtual buttons, NFC, and like most T-Mobile phones, the ability to use WiFi as a cell signal, etc all water proofed) version, a standard version and then a budget version of each.  Each has pure Jelly Bean with a one touch root/unroot app in the market (so I can have it rooted until I want to rent a movie) and an unlocked bootloader (or some means to easily unlock it).  That'll give customers 9 different phones (The Alpha Prime, the Alpha, and the Alpha Budget* (it'll need a better name than that of course)) - 12 if you do a Droid X version of the Droid - same everything except Droid has a keyboard, X doesn't.  They could package Blur as an optional app package on the market for those who really liked it, updated independently of the phone (so I can go from 4.1.2 to 4.1.3 within weeks of Google releasing it, even if it breaks Blur)...

      Then, they need to form G-Mobile (by possibly buying T-Mobile, or just starting from scratch).  A division aimed to expanding wifi coverage across the nation.  Build up a wifi (& cellular) network that rivals Verizon & AT&T's joint coverage. I pay say $60/account, allowing me to connect any 5 devices, as long as they've got a cellular modem compatible with Google's frequencies, and/or a wifi modem (so basically any smartphone, unlocked GSM feature phones, tablet, laptops, Chrome & netbooks, WiFi modems (so all devices in my house could share a single stream/device slot), even game systems, or shudder - iOS devices).  Each device gets unlimited data, text, voice & tethering abilities (*as long as they support it).  Rather than being throttled after using 5GBs in a month, the towers automatically evenly disperse their resources among all connected to it.  So if its designed for 100 devices to get 20Mb/s and there's only 50 of us on - then we all get 20Mb/s (or more if possible).  But if there's 200 of us on, then we each only get 10Mb/s...  It'll suck for you who live in densely populated cities, but you always get cool tech advances first - its about time us country folk get an advantage....  I could see Google (the advertising company) buying Sell-A-Ring, and replacing the traditional ring with an ad while I wait for whomever I'm calling to pick up...  Which would be cool - help them earn a little extra, as long as it is invested back into the network to maintain & expand it and allow me to keep unlimited bandwidth.

      As soon as this is a reality....  I'm singing into Google.com/Gmobile, getting an account for my new Googorola Alpha Prime, getting mom the GSM equivalent to her Verizon feature phone (unless I can talk her into a smartphone), each of our Nexus tablets & a modem for the house (so our desktops, wii, Google TV, etc can get online).  If I ever take the laptop out, I can just tether it to the phone if I need to get it online.

  • Jimmy_Pancakes

    I'm really not sure. I'm hoping it works out no doubt!!! Hopefully this sets a fire under the other OEM's asses, and they start pushing out updates to there phones as soon as they become available. Maybe what Google should do is, share some of them patents there getting with Motorola with the other OEM's as long as the other OEM's are using the Android OS. This could help the OEM's defend against Apples lawsuits... But what do I know... I'm just a fan... :)

  • Avikator

    Now there will be more phones without touchwiz and HTCSence, I just hope they will make the hard
    ware look better. =50|50

  • http://www.designprefix.com/ Bhagwati Lal Suthar

    It's really nice & helpful article, i'm share this post to with my friends. thanks a lot

  • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

    Did anyone else read "Google+" "Motorola" and was curious as to what Motorola was going to do with Google+? XD

  • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

    Instead of being all nice and rosy, Google should plant its ass over Motorola's hardware business and release one or more awesome Nexus phones. Right now I want to slap Googlers twice in the face because Motorola continues to release phones with Motoblur. 

  • Going_home

    We have yet to see an LG or Motorola Nexus, and its been a long time since the HTC Nexus. I hope this means the Nexus love will be pried from Samsung's hands .
    Just not a fan of Samsung at all, I guess its their horrible UI, worst UI since the world cooled.

    :D

    • Kh2-mmc

      If you are getting a nexus phone then the UI is not a problem, nexus phones have the pure google UI.

    • GBGamer

      Sense 3.5? But honestly, once you get a different launcher, and maybe a theme, the only thing that can pry me from the extra features of TW is AOKP or CM9.

  • CORYK333

    Voted 50/50 bc im optimistic, but there are these thoughts that keep creeping up saying this is going to be a royal f' up for all involved including the Android ecosystem as a whole

  • Freak4Dell

    I chose 50/50, even though I lean towards match made in heaven. This pair has so much potential, but Google needs to handle it right. As with everything Google, though, there's a chance they could totally screw it up, so I can't say with 100% confidence that it is a match made in heaven.

  • james carroll

    it could be amazing if, and only if, their bootloaders are unlocked 

  • Dokri

    The first thing that Googorola needs to do is deal with the part-time one-man-band that is (seemingly) their entire OS update development/deployment team and get more people in.  Either that or they need to tell the mobile carriers to stick to a damn standard so that device updates can happen in a reasonable and timely fashion.

    Of course, Motorola only have themselves to blame for poor update
    schedules to wifi-only devices...  Maybe Google, with all their
    technical knowledge can tell Motorola management what one of these
    newfangled com-pew-tah thingies are, they could start with the "this is a
    bit and this is a byte" slides...

  • Doddy

    No one has mentioned this yet (at least not that I saw) and maybe I'm missing something, but I think the potentially huge play that could be made is with Googorola in the cable box market.  I'm fairly certain Motorola has a huge market share in cable TV hardware and what better way could there be to bring Android to a large number of homes in America than with a GoogleTV cable box.  

    • http://www.twonumbthumbs.com DynoJunkee

      Thank you!! I see the little Motorola logo staring back at me everytime I'm watching my FiOS, and I'm frustrated because the guide lags hardcore and the remote is a pos with too many buttons. But, now, when I see my cable box, I'm filled with hopes and dreams. GoogleTV may just end up everywhere.

  • http://www.twonumbthumbs.com DynoJunkee

    Google knows whats up. Even if this isn't extremely revolutionary for Motorola and Google, it will be revolutionary for the industry. 

  • anywherehome

    reason is to compete with evil = Microsoft + Apple = ridiculous patents to obstruct competitors...here are the facts about that:
    https://sites.google com/site/corpsins/ 
    so G+M is good in ANY way

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=845206551 Jeff Pilgram

    whether it's a match made in heaven or a disaster, i don't care at this point.  please Google, unlock my friggin bootloader though!

  • John O’Connor

    Has anybody thought far enough ahead to realize that a condition of the merger was leaving android completely free for the next 5 years (China) They won't be able to completely close up shop on Android and run a vertical (apple-like) integration to close out competitors for the forseeable future.

  • raindog469

    The patents alone make the deal a no-brainer. What makes it a 50/50 thing for me is that I can't tell whether it'll make the other phone manufacturers behave because they're afraid Motorola will start getting preferential treatment if they don't, or if they'll just get skittish and we'll end up with another lousy Microsoft-dominated computing space.