Schmidt on Motorola Mobility’s Future: Google Won’t Be Evil
Remember way back in August 2011 when Google purchased Motorola Mobility? Fears about how Google would use the phone manufacturing arm of Motorola swept the ‘net, setting the stage for internal competition between Google and other Android OEM partners. Despite the very real potential of this happening, Google’s Eric Schmidt says to not worry. Should we believe him?
Schmidt, Google’s chairman and veritable evangelist for all things Google, said in an interview by Bloomberg that maintaining the Android ecosystem is paramount for Google and Google is not going to mess with that balance.
“The Android ecosystem is the No. 1 priority, and we won’t do anything with Motorola, or anybody else by the way, that would screw up the dynamics of that industry. We need strong, hard competition among all the Android players. We won’t play favorites in the way people are concerned about.”
It’s fair to say there’s a lot of wiggle room in those words. “Strong, hard competition” coupled with an undefined “dynamics of that industry” could mean that despite Schmidt’s instance on the status quo, there’s still a real chance that Google could do its own tablet and phone. Besides, Google has already created its own phones: The Nexus One (by HTC), Nexus S (by Samsung) and the heavily rumored Nexus Prime (also by Samsung). These phones certainly create “strong, hard competition” and if competition is part of the dynamic, another, better phone or tablet certainly wouldn’t “screw” it up, would it? It would turn up the heat, if anything. Why not use Motorola Mobility to build the next best thing?
If Google is concerned a next-generation Nexus device could be seen as anti-competitive, it could simply drop the all-Google phone facade and easily funnel support through Motorola Mobility, pretending it was Motorola the whole time. No one would be the wiser, and no one would know Google was playing “favorites.”
It’s clear Google is desperately craving some more control over its open source offspring, which is evident in Google’s lockdown over the Honeycomb experience. Although Ice Cream Sandwich should be open when it arrives, the user experience consumers enjoy with the iPad 2 and, now, the Kindle Fire must be making Google think more critically about an in-house hardware/software unity to make Android really shine.
Although Google now holds 17,000 Motorola patents, I simply can’t believe Google will sit back, use the patents and let Motorola Mobility do business as usual. I say keep your eyes open for late-2012 devices from Motorola. I think the quality of Android integration may be second to none.