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Motorola's Identity Crisis 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the coulda-just-bought-a-ferrari dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An article at the NY Times discusses the awkwardness of Google's recent purchase of Motorola Mobility, an acquisition widely thought to be motivated by Android patent concerns rather than a more straightforward business plan. From the article: 'While industry analysts and insiders say the rationale makes sense, they also say it leaves Motorola in an unusual position. ... Heightening the uncertainty is that the companies involved, both of which declined to comment, are in some ways as different as two technology companies can be. Google makes Internet services and software, thrives on high profit margins and distributes its product using giant data centers. Motorola makes hardware, has modest margins on a good day and moves its products on trucks and airplanes and through brick-and-mortar stores. ... "It's like, thanks for everything you did in the 20th century, but you're being bought by a search engine," said Roger Entner, a telecommunications industry analyst and founder of Recon Analytics, a market research firm. He added, "Nobody ever buys a company and leaves it alone."'"
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Motorola's Identity Crisis

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  • by mwsw (1011777) on Monday August 22, 2011 @10:55AM (#37167534) Homepage

    The only linked article is behind a login screen, which makes this post pretty useless since I suspect very few of us will bother to register.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2011 @10:59AM (#37167582)

      Mobile version [nytimes.com] works for me.

      Hundreds of framed patents hang on two separate walls at the headquarters of Motorola Mobility in Libertyville, Ill. They testify to the pride in innovation at Motorola, a luminary of American business that has survived corporate crises and enormous technological change.But the company has never grappled with something like this: a murky future governed by Google, a powerful master with unclear intentions.In announcing its planned $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility last week, Google emphasized its interest in the company's rich trove of 17,000 patents. That portfolio would allow Google to defend itself against foes like Apple and Microsoft in the legal arena, where billions of dollars in patent licensing fees can be indirectly negotiated through lawsuits and countersuits.But while industry analysts and insiders say the rationale makes sense, they also say it leaves Motorola in an unusual position. Many acquisitions are aimed at creating some well-articulated synergy between the two companies, but Motorola's future role in this union - beyond patent warehouse - is unclear.Heightening the uncertainty is that the companies involved, both of which declined to comment, are in some ways as different as two technology companies can be. Google makes Internet services and software, thrives on high profit margins and distributes its product using giant data centers. Motorola makes hardware, has modest margins on a good day and moves its products on trucks and airplanes and through brick-and-mortar stores.Some hope the cultures will fuse and lead Motorola to a future as storied as its past. Martin Cooper, 82, who worked at Motorola for 30 years and developed the first hand-held cellphones there, said he hoped great things would come from combining Google's momentum and confidence with Motorola's tradition of excellence in radio technology.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        The mere fact that I could not find the words "florian" or "mueller" anywhere in the article adds +6 credibility.
    • by drb226 (1938360)

      all posts here are pretty useless since I suspect very few of us will bother to rtfa.

      ftfy

    • by Hatta (162192)

      After all these years the GNAA login still works. L/P: nigger/nigger. Not nice, but easy to remember.

    • So, we have a pundit writing for a news rag that is assuming that Google doesn't know how to make up a business plan for their purchase of Motorola? And Motorola is going to be folded into Google? Nope. It will remain on its own.

      Google knows what it is doing and certainly they know how to make a business plan. That's like telling a billionaire that he doesn't know how to make money.

      • by dzfoo (772245)

        "Google knows what it is doing and certainly they know how to make a business plan."

        Citation needed.

        • Citation needed showing the demand for a citation for every post.

          Nimble minds grasp concepts better than those obfuscating with citation demands.

          Let's not be morons. Of course they do. How much do you think Google is worth? How do you think they came into being? They created a business plan and followed through.

          Google eats your citation with a thought.

    • by Bengie (1121981)

      It's NY Times, just disable javascript. That's what I've read anyway, haven't tried it myself.

  • by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Monday August 22, 2011 @10:56AM (#37167548)
    I have a Droid X, and while I constantly curse at the locked bootloader and lack of customization compared to many other Android devices, I've actually found that it consistently gets better reception than my brother's Galaxy S (both on Verizon) and FAR better battery life.

    AT the end of the day, the fact is Motorola has been doing great things on the hardware side of Android phones. The more I've used other's phones, the more I've come to realize how good my phone is, despite the hatred for Blur that permeates the Android websites. And Blur sucks, don't get me wrong. It's gotten better than it used to be, but it still isn't great. And while you can hide the UI all you want, the underpinnings are always there mucking things up. But Motorola hardware coupled with Google software? Yes, please! This could turn out amazing. With the vertical integration that Apple enjoys, Motorola/Google might be able to build a phone with the same start-to-finish polish as the iPhone, but much more open. I'm excited to see what will happen.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Amen to this. With the exception of my original RAZR* I have always been highly impressed with Motorola radios. I know that this is now and that was then, but I used to carry one of those green Motorola radios... used to drop it pretty regularly, too, on some railroad tracks. Well, usually not right on the track... Never managed to break it. Good design and serious materials and it was probably twenty years old or more when I was lugging it around. Sure, it tore some stitches out of my pocket but that's wha

    • by MikeURL (890801)

      I really like my Droid X. It doesn't hurt that Moto pushed Gingerbread and then subsequently pushed a minor update to polish it off (just last week actually).

      I'd love it if the GPS sensor/software worked better. Sometimes it just doesn't lock my location even though I have a clear line of sight to the satellites. But for a consumer phone it isn't bad. Add to all this the fact that the Google apps keep getting better over time and it makes for a good experience.

      I like to contrast this to the first smartp

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      It could be, but what gets me is the BS description:

      Heightening the uncertainty is that the companies involved, both of which declined to comment, are in some ways as different as two technology companies can be. Google makes Internet services and software, thrives on high profit margins and distributes its product using giant data centers. Motorola makes hardware, has modest margins on a good day and moves its products on trucks and airplanes and through brick-and-mortar stores. ... "It's like, thanks for everything you did in the 20th century, but you're being bought by a search engine," said Roger Entner

      Welcome to the 21st century, where your hardware is only as good as the software running on it.

    • There has been some really interesting stuff going on for the Droid X (and Droid 2) lately.

      With the development of 2nd-init, it's now possible to run stock android, CyanogenMod, and MIUI, totally MOTOBLUR-FREE

      More information:
      http://cvpcs.org/blog/2011-06-14/2nd-init._what_it_is_and_how_it_works [cvpcs.org]
      http://cvpcs.org/blog/2011-08-18/time_for_some_motorola_merging [cvpcs.org]
      http://rootzwiki.com/showthread.php?t=1820 [rootzwiki.com]
      http://rootzwiki.com/showthread.php?t=2222 [rootzwiki.com]
      http://rootzwiki.com/showthread.php?t=531 [rootzwiki.com]

      It would be nice not to jump

  • for one thing Google will have a hard time getting a backdoor into the cable industry by buying Motorola Mobility. The cable providers have a lot of power and are loaded with old boxes that can't even run any kind of new web based GUI.

    Maybe they can push some change on the cell phone side.

    • by MikeURL (890801)

      I was just thinking yesterday that it is amazing how little the cable boxes have progressed in the last 10 years. The hardware has gotten slightly better but the software functionality and interface has hardly improved at all. The Scientific Atlanta I have looks like it should be in a museum. The interface is like something from a badly done Atari game.

      That is the reason I bought Google TV. I thought the Logitech would eventually provide a usable skin to the crap TWC interface. It didn't and I don't kn

      • by jonwil (467024)

        The #1 mission of the cable companies is to fight all the moves towards people getting "TV" from the Internet instead of from overpriced "premium" cable tiers.

  • Being purchased by a search engine might be a bit of a shock for people used to producing tangible goods; but I suspect that it beats being purchased by some M&A vulture capital group and chopped up into parts for resale...
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anrego (830717) * on Monday August 22, 2011 @11:17AM (#37167754)

      Both cases kinda piss me off to be honest.

      The whole situation pisses me off. It's nothing specific against google. It's that companies are being bought not for their product, or customer base, or innovations, or capabilities.. but effectively for legal ammo to sue the shit out of other companies/protect themselves from being sued. The actual products (you know, the whole point of all this.. or what used to be the point) can atrophy and die for all anyone cares.. as long as they get their IP!

      I know this isn't news to anyone at this point, but the whole damn system is broken.

      • by drb226 (1938360)

        the whole damn system is broken

        Welcome to the human race, also known as the rat race.

      • by bonch (38532) *

        Few people seem to be discussing this, but just this month, Motorola's CEO was publicly threatening to wage patent warfare [unwiredview.com] on other Android vendors. That would have been during the time they were under negotiation with Google, so I believe Motorola strong-armed Google into buying them outright for $12 billion rather than simply entering into a patent license agreement, by threatening to cause an Android civil war.

        Some people were acting like buying Motorola was some great power play, but it was really an ac

        • by Tharsman (1364603)

          I do think Google was a bit blackmailed there, but Im also thinking this would had not happened if Google had not approached Motorola first expressing interest to buy. The public threat was likely more of a "pay what i want or i wont sell and do this instead."

          Also there were many other ways Google would had been able to hurt Motorola back, like adding new terms to Android license that would terminate their ability to sell Android phones. That would had put Motorola in a position where they would be forced t

        • by Lifyre (960576)

          While this has merit and I think it was used to bump up the price that Google paid I don't think that a patent license agreement was what Google was looking for. While getting the hardware aspect of Motorola was probably secondary to acquiring the patent portfolio I think these two companies are a very good fit, at least on paper.

          Google does software and generally does it pretty well. Google's forays into hardware have been weak at best and have shown there is no real aptitude there.

          Motorola produces very

      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        I agree but I actually have to admit I have something against Google, but not what many would think. This is a company that goes out complaining about IP warfare and has loads of money. What they do? They take their money and go out to buy IP Weapons...

        WTF...

        I know this alternative is not "moral", but how about instead using those billions to lobby senators and anyone with a sayso into abolishing and reforming stupid IP laws? You know the amount of legal change 12 billion in lobbying can buy?! It's not a ni

        • by Lifyre (960576)

          Because one gets them protection now. The other /MAY/ get them protection in a few years or a decade, maybe, if the other guys don't spend just as much or more to lobby against them...

      • by bberens (965711)

        It's that companies are being bought not for their product, or customer base, or innovations, or capabilities.. but effectively for legal ammo to sue the shit out of other companies/protect themselves from being sued.

        Technically that legal ammo you're talking about *is* the innovations. At least in this case the innovations/patents are for actual hardware rather than mathematical formulas.

        • by Doomdark (136619)
          At least in this case the innovations/patents are for actual hardware rather than mathematical formulas.

          Not necessarily. I would think that Motorola is as capable at filing for bogus patents as other companies, and it would be odd if they had only filed for patents on hardware. Especially if and when they saw significant value in their patent portfolio; why wouldn't you file for easiest ones you can get? Surely they have filed for all kinds of patents, including (but not limited to) hardware ones. It wo

  • My guess (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@NosPaM.cornell.edu> on Monday August 22, 2011 @10:59AM (#37167584) Homepage

    Here's my guess of what happens:
    Google buys Moto Mobility for the patents.
    Google then spins off MM's hardware division, with a full license to the patents obtained, but with Google retaining ownership and control of the patents

    That way Google gets the defensive patent pile without the negatives of competing with their licensees and entering the (less pleasant) hardware business.

    • Re:My guess (Score:5, Informative)

      by alen (225700) on Monday August 22, 2011 @11:06AM (#37167652)

      and who will want to buy a cell phone maker with the only future of making me too phones like HTC does

      Moto's problem is that HTC flooded the market with similar phones that have very minor differences. HTC Inspire, desire hd, droid incredible 2, my touch 4g, evo, thunderbolt. they are all either the 82655 or the 86655 qualcomm CPU's which are almost exactly the same with the same GPU's. everything else is minor differences. Moto had too few phones in the market place or made too many models with too many differences

      • by Tei (520358)

        and who will want to buy a cell phone maker with the only future of making me too phones like HTC does

        Moto's problem is that HTC flooded the market with similar phones that have very minor differences. HTC Inspire, desire hd, droid incredible 2, my touch 4g, evo, thunderbolt. they are all either the 82655 or the 86655 qualcomm CPU's which are almost exactly the same with the same GPU's. everything else is minor differences. Moto had too few phones in the market place or made too many models with too many differences

        Well.. you post is absolutelly spot on.

        It also show how patents, even of hardware, are useless stuff. Moto has not value whatsoever(to add to what the market already have), except the "I can sue you" thing.

        Google can do a number of things, maybe change the company?, mobile computing is here to stay, is possible that Google is going to need a hardware company in the future, ...why no start now?

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        No other vendor is any different there.

        Inspire, Desire HD, Dinc 2 - yeah, basically all the same phone, but for a critical and important reason - each carrier required a different radio baseband.

        Same for Samsung - Captivate, Fascinate, Vibrant, Epic (I think the Epic was Sprint's GS variant...) - all Galaxy S phones, but each with different radios to suit their respective carriers.

      • by chrb (1083577)

        People who like making money?

        Thanks to Android, HTC nearly triples Q4 profits in 2010 [htcsource.com]: "Anyone claiming that it’s hard to make a profit off of Google’s open Android platform might want to check in with HTC and ask them how things are done. HTC’s latest numbers for Q4 of 2010 show that the smartphone manufacturer nearly tripled their profits over the previous year, pulling in $500 million"

        Yes, it would be terrible to be like HTC...

      • by Xest (935314)

        Um, you might want to look at HTC's growth before slagging them off.

        Whatever you think of their business plan, it works, and it's giving them growth on a rather impressive scale. Handset growth has been around 230% over last year, and profits are a similar success story.

        So to answer your question- "and who will want to buy a cell phone maker with the only future of making me too phones like HTC does"

        Well, anyone with even the slightest bit of basic investment sense would be my guess.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/new [bbc.co.uk]

    • by GIL_Dude (850471)
      Some of us at work the other day were figuring on this exact scenario. Since Moto had recently been threatening other Android phone makers (who were also members of the open handset alliance) with patent lawsuits, Google saw that they could do a couple of things in one stroke:

      - Get a patent war chest to help defend Android
      - Neuter a company that was starting to threaten other Android licensees.

      We'll have to see if we (and you) are right or not over the next 12 - 18 months.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That makes no sense at all. Google bought a patent factory, one of the higher quality ones at that. Much simpler to retain ownership to guarantee licenses to the future stream of patents than try to craft some long term licence grant or risk losing the engineers actually creating those patents to competitors by crippling Motorola.

      The most logical outcome here is a relatively hands off management structure, with strong chinese walls between Google and Motorola. They need just enough control to stop Motorola

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        I think the first approach is their best bet. If Motorola is profitable, let them continue to be profitable. It also gives Google the ability make sure there is at least some hardware made for whatever software they dream up.
  • Nobody ever buys a company and leaves it alone

    Victor Kayam? But then he really liked the razor.

    • by dzfoo (772245)

      Steve Jobs left John Lasseter and his team at Pixar much to their own devices.

                -dZ.

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Monday August 22, 2011 @11:04AM (#37167630)

    Google pretty much had to buy out MM. That, or when Apple or MS buys them out, face an influx of patent lawsuits over everything Android.

    However, what may be an issue are the two differing philosophies of the two companies:

    Motorola's has been to lock down their devices in hopes of getting modders to go elsewhere. This makes people toss their phones when they can't run the latest apps and buy new ones.

    Google wants to keep devices unlocked so they can push updates and show how consistent Android is.

    Both of these are diametric opposites, because a locked phone that can't be upgraded looks bad for Android to an average consumer.

    Now Google is in a pinch. They now compete against the same companies they are trying to woo to Android, and not go to WP7 or their own OS.

    Google has four choices for the most part:

    1: Sell phones by Motorola and compete against HTC, ZTE, and Samsung who may just get tired of Android and go completely WM like Nokia.

    2: Sell MM, keeping the patents.

    3: Spin MM off as a separate company.

    4: Just shut down MM entirely.

    Of all the choices, the most likely one is #3, as it allows Google to be "neutral" again.

    • by Hooya (518216)

      My money is on #2.

    • by Ngarrang (1023425)

      My bet is on option 1, not because of the "getting tired" portion.

      Apple has shown that when you control the hardware AND software, you can do some wonderful things. Google can emulate that success by having a phone that makes the utmost use of the Android, while still providing Android to all of those other handset makers.

      I call it hedging one's bet.

      • by delinear (991444)
        It's interesting that Google already tried to do their own handset, albeit through a third party. Maybe there were areas that they felt could be improved if they brought all of that process in house and this is an opportunity to do that, in which case yes, option 1 might be viable. Of course, the danger is if they do too good a job, as GP said, the other companies might feel they can't compete (or maybe that Google has an unfair advantage) and look for an incentive to jump ship. If they don't do a good enou
        • by Belial6 (794905)
          That problem is easily solved by pricing the unit so that it takes only the amount of market share that works in their favor. They can make the absolute best phones AND made sure that they didn't drive out the competitors. What would have been REALLY interesting is if Google had bought T-Mobile. Sure it is a little over 3 times what they paid for Motorola, but owning a nation wide cell network would have completely changed the cellular landscape over night.
        • by sjames (1099)

          The big problem Google had selling their own handset is that they hadn't a clue how to do hardware support. This time around, they bought an existing hardware support operation.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Android already does "wonderful things" when compared to Apple's approach.

        Android is yet another version of Linux that doesn't need nor will benefit from blindly following Apple. It's far better to "think different" and actually represent a distinct choice that people choose for that distinctiveness.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      1. would not be a risk. Nokia went totally WM for a payday. Windows Mobile/phone now has less market share than it did years ago, no one who wants to sell phones to make money will be going with it. MS will do what they did with the xbox, keep pouring money down a hole just to get some traction in the market.

    • by andydread (758754)
      The problem with #1 is that you insinuate that because Google purchased Motorolla it may drive the other Android manufacturers to give up their ability differentiate and to customize a phone OS and into the arms of Microsoft where Microsoft dictates the hardware down to the position of buttons on the phone. Possibly because the notion is that Motorolla would have an unfair advantage. Completely ignoring the relevant fact that Microsoft is giving Nokia preferential treatment with WM.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      1: Sell phones by Motorola and compete against HTC, ZTE, and Samsung who may just get tired of Android and go completely WM like Nokia.

      Except that WP7 is failing. I know that the magical Mango is doing to come out and make everything better not to mention that each phone will come with a free unicorn from Microsoft but it is floundering. HTC and Samsung are already making WP7 and I am not sure they are very happy about the state of WP7 or the new special relationship between Microsoft and Nokia.

      2: Sell MM,

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        #1 also fails when you consider that Google can just price their new super phones at a price that keeps them from wiping out the Android ecosystem. If Motorola has 30% of the Android phone market today, Google just prices their phones at a point that no more than 30% of the people buying Android phones will purchase them. The extra bonus in this is that solving it increase profit margins. The more people want Motorola phones, the more Google can increase their profit margin while maintaining the same mar
    • by Belial6 (794905)
      #1 would be a good option. Although if Google is smart, they will position themselves at the premier phone maker, and charge accordingly. Through proper pricing, they can keep the Android ecosystem in place and keep HTC, ZTE and Samsung happily selling units, just as they do now. At the same time, they can keep from having a race to the bottom on features. They can produce phones that show Android at it's very best. This will encourage other vendors to improve thier phones, while still leaving them ple
      • by gmhowell (26755)

        Interesting idea to grab the high end. The closest analogue I can think of is when Apple let others build Mac clones.

        We all remember how well that didn't work out.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I believe this is the link on the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/technology/after-google-motorola-to-face-identity-crisis.html

  • The patents are the only thing of value to Google. They don't need a hardware company and they probably shouldn't be in the hardware business. They should be encouraging a plethora of hardware manufacturers to make Android devices. The employees of Motorola are a stodgy, old-line engineering crowd, not really a good fit for Google. Overall it seems like a bad match except for the IP.

    Maybe Google can prop up Moto Mobility just long enough to come out with a refreshed line of competitive handsets and t
    • Take the patents and spin off the company

      So who is going to buy a hardware company with no patents? What exactly would they make? Certainly not the devices they were making which rely on the patents now owned by Google and not included in the purchase price.

    • by bberens (965711)

      The patents are the only thing of value to Google. They don't need a hardware company and they probably shouldn't be in the hardware business.

      Google is the world's 4th largest manufacturer of servers. They are already very much in the hardware business.

  • Seems like there has been a lot of activity lately trying to put android/google in a bad light. Oracle vs. google, Apple vs. Samsung, Apple vs. HTC, to NYTimes pimping out negative views on Motorola acquisition. I don't agree with everything google does but it's not they are doing anything new from a monopoly standpoint. One of the aforementioned companies is even suing based on alleged evidence tampering which, IMO, should be getting much more attention than what it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Nobody ever buys a company and leaves it alone."

    Pixar.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Pixar always was a subsidiary of Disney. They just did the paperwork in a way that made it look like it wasn't.
  • Two Reasons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bhunachchicken (834243) on Monday August 22, 2011 @11:20AM (#37167776) Homepage

    I see two reasons for Google having bought Motorola.

    The first, and the one that everyone is citing most often, is the patent protection that they can now give Android. I must say that I do find it sad that people are so keen to destroy free software. To businesses it is of course a threat, but when you see fanboys and girls jumping and down with glee at the legal actions being brought before the system, I can't help but shake my head. Not everyone wants or can afford to part with huge volumes of cash for an iPhone, a system that is so locked down you might as well be licensing usage of the thing from Apple, rather than own it yourself.

    Second, and the one I've seen less talk of, is the ability for Google to have Motorla build them some flagship phones for Android. As much as I love my HTC Desire, there are several things that annoy the hell out of me

    1. It runs Android 2.2. There is no easy way to upgrade it to 2.3.4 (or whatever comes out next), without either rooting or doing some other hacking. This needs to be fixed, as the average man on the street can't be stuck with a device for 2+ years because the manufacturer hasn't made enough provisions to allow the Android system to be upgraded (allowing for things such as better performance and better battery life).

    2. The dreaded low internal memory issue. Seriously, who thought (and still thinks) that giving the users access to 128MB of internal storage would be enough? Sure, we can shove in an SD card, but if most useful apps refuse to move over, you're basically screwed. I've currently got 11MB free on the internal memory and over 20GB free on my microSD. This is bonkers. Hopefully, a Google phone would have at least 8GB internal and support microSD.

    3. Open is both Android's best asset and it's main problem. Manufacturers and service providers not happy with Vanilla Android? Hack ten tons of irremovable shit onto the phone and tie it closely to the internal system so that it can't be removed. I'm not sure everyone out there wants Twitter and Facebook on their phones. But it's there and using up space that should be free to the user to do with as they please. Oh well.

    So, here's hoping that Google will have Motorola create some flagship phones that address all the above. That would be the next phone I would buy.

    • by shugah (881805)

      The first, and the one that everyone is citing most often, is the patent protection that they can now give Android. I must say that I do find it sad that people are so keen to destroy free software. To businesses it is of course a threat, but when you see fanboys and girls jumping and down with glee at the legal actions being brought before the system, I can't help but shake my head. Not everyone wants or can afford to part with huge volumes of cash for an iPhone, a system that is so locked down you might as well be licensing usage of the thing from Apple, rather than own it yourself.

      What is really sad about this whole patent war is that all of these companies are spending billions of dollars to acquire the rights to old, obsolete technology rather than on developing new innovative products. $12B for Motorola, $6B for Nortel's IP, more for Novel, etc., etc, this is not innovation.

      • C-patents (X 'over a cellular network') is simply the next wave after i-patents (X 'over the internet') and e-patents (X 'electronically'). Unless you've got an arsenal of patents, it is too risky to develop new innovative products.
    • by delinear (991444)

      2. The dreaded low internal memory issue. Seriously, who thought (and still thinks) that giving the users access to 128MB of internal storage would be enough? Sure, we can shove in an SD card, but if most useful apps refuse to move over, you're basically screwed. I've currently got 11MB free on the internal memory and over 20GB free on my microSD. This is bonkers. Hopefully, a Google phone would have at least 8GB internal and support microSD.

      This is my single biggest bugbear with my HTC Desire. For everything else I've been really impressed with the phone, but the fact that I can only install a handful of apps (even ones that install to the SD card seem to want to leave some data on the phone, and some of the big ones, even Google's own, just don't give you the option) is a frustration. It means as apps come into and out of my circulation of usage I'm having to constantly juggle which ones are installed.

      • by vlueboy (1799360)

        Very informative thread. I'm looking for my first Android and didn't know that microSD ports are useless unless the Apps and stock bundles are designed with them in mind*

        It doesn't help that the Desire only has 500MB RAM [gsmarena.com] (really, I'm surprised the rom is the same size). The funny thing is that even the Gingerbread update is almost 200MB. The file sizes of the Android updates on the HTC page have been ballooning, and it's curious that Android as owned by google has only been out since late 2008, and doubled

    • I bought a Google Nexus S a few months ago and I'm loving it. It's extremely fast, developer friendly, and the stock UI is very nice (I'm not a fan of the HTC or Motorola UIs).

      1. Came with Android 2.3.3, got the 2.3.4 upgrade as soon as it was available. The only issue I have with 2.3.4 is the wifi/3g icons in the notification area grey out when they shouldn't (well known issue).

      2. Has 16GB internal storage, but no sd card slot. 1GB is reserved for applications (I'm not sure why they put in that arbitrary l

    • by Zebedeu (739988)

      2. The dreaded low internal memory issue. Seriously, who thought (and still thinks) that giving the users access to 128MB of internal storage would be enough?

      Probably a guy like me.
      I always uninstall apps I don't use, if only because they take space and crowd the launch menu.
      Seriously, that menu sucks. The apps are clearly organized by categories in the market, why are they then dumped all together in the menu?
      At least give us a chance to organize them manually!

      But I digress. I'm not saying that your use case isn't valid, far from it.
      I have a good friend who is exactly in the same situation (with a Desire, no less). He's a self confessed "app hoarder", and that'

    • by bberens (965711)
      There's no benefit for hardware manufacturers to support new software. They can't charge you for the new version of the OS but they can charge you for the next version of the hardware.
  • an acquisition widely thought to be motivated by Android patent concerns rather than a more straightforward business plan

    Like it or not, this is increasingly going to become standard business unless we get software patents under control.

  • letters of their title ala; ANAL. So Google buying a hardware company doesn't make sense but oh I dunno, a software company like Microsoft buys hardware patents does....hmmm. This is nothing more than sphincter-ologists enjoying the smell of their own dirt road.
  • Years back they spun off their fab and semiconductor business to go "all-in" on the high growth of the cell phone world. I thing the top brass underestimated just how brutally competitive and cutthroat it would be. Their old businesses of semiconductors and high end radio systems had high margins, and relatively modest competition. While you can't say Motorola sucks at cell phones, they quickly became second/third tier players.

    Same story as HP splitting off their legacy T&M business to concentrate on

  • Google certainly didn't buy Motorola for its phones, which are among the crappiest on the market. Therefore it was for some other reason: either the patents (most likely) or the manufacturing capacity (unlikely: the product would need a complete redesign, which takes months) or some other corporate aspect which is well-hidden.
  • "It's like, thanks for everything you did in the 20th century, but you're being bought by a search engine," said Roger Entner, a telecommunications industry analyst and founder of Recon Analytics, a market research firm. He added, "Nobody ever buys a company and leaves it alone."

    oh really? Warren Buffett would be very interested to hear that.

    but then again, those who can, do; those who can't.....criticize those who can

  • Googorola.
  • Motorola did not know what they were doing or who they are for quite a while now. my first hint is when I had a brand new motoroloa phone, I dropped it once and its case shattered like glass.

    For a company that used to have a reputation for making ridiculously strong products to magically forget that Bakelite sucks balls in 2008, is pretty fucking lost

  • I honestly believe that if Google is smart, they will allow Motorola to have a general autonomy over their business, but keep the ownership. Use the hardware facilities to manufacture new Android chip that would work great specifically for Android, or the most awesome tablet that would have built-in 3 / 4G and wireless adapters and much bigger battery life then anything out there on the market... Anyways the possibilities for what Google could ask Motorola to do are endless.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Motorola no longer makes hardware or chipsets.
      Their chip business was spun off to Freescale years ago and all their hardware is produced in China alongside everyone elses hardware.

  • by sgt101 (120604) on Monday August 22, 2011 @12:39PM (#37168520)

    People can't match the iPad for price and performance because Apple are pulling money from the whole value chain - the complete user experience. They are not sharing margin with anyone with iTunes, iOS and the iPad.

    Google wants the same end to end play and has the internet position and software to pull it off ... if it can get the right hardware made. This is all about getting the right hardware made, and getting it made in quickly.

    This is a brilliant acquisition for them

  • If the Open Invention Network gets the patents, FTW and Google can do whatever they want with the company!!! Hopefully they DO intend to put the whole set of patents in the pool. THAT could change things.
  • These stories get old fast. Two companies that don't do the same thing merge and suddenly there is a culture clash. Well DUH. But the likely scenario is that the vast majority of the actual workers (i.e. useful individuals) will be left unscathed by the transition while the top level management will be gutted in favor of Google-appointed individuals. The article quotes vague "market analysts" to justify selling off vast swathes of Motorola mobility so that financial advisers can make huge profits out of

  • Well. I'd argue Disney came close with Pixar. Although their current and upcoming sequel happy roster may give the lie to my statement.

  • 1) Buy HP's WebOS division since they seem keen on dumping it.
    2) integrate the good parts of WebOS and Android.
    3) put it on hardware that doesn't suck a fat one.
    4) compete with apple like you actually mean it.
    • A sensible idea. The webOS UI and logical menu system would improve Android a lot (I am a sad loser, I have both...) But when did a sensible, logical idea ever get any traction at all in the mirror universe of American industry?
  • 2135

    'nuf said.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth

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