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Google Android Businesses Cellphones Handhelds The Almighty Buck

Google's Motorola Adventure: Stinging Defeat, Or Semi-Victory? 139

Posted by timothy
from the all-the-way-to-the-bank dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google had previously sold Motorola's Home division for $2.4 billion. Combine that with yesterday's $2.91 billion sale of Motorola's remaining assets, subtract the $12.5 billion acquisition price for the company back in 2011, and Google's little smartphone adventure cost it roughly $7.1 billion even before you start throwing in expenses related to actual production, marketing, and personnel. That's a hefty chunk of change, but some analysts think the deal was ultimately a good one because it allowed Google to pick up patents, engineering talent, and insight into the mobile-device marketplace. It's debatable, however, whether those patents ultimately helped Android in the still-raging smartphone wars, and Google was slow to promote Motorola smartphones out of fear of irritating other Android manufacturers. At least Google can console itself with the thought that so many of its other acquisitions—including YouTube and DoubleClick—resulted in massive profits; but you can't hit a home run every time you step up to bat."
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Google's Motorola Adventure: Stinging Defeat, Or Semi-Victory?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @12:39PM (#46111231)

    what was an important American technology company/division.

    No - what was a FAILING American technology company.

    Speaking of pointless wastes...

    Like your entire post?

  • Samsung (Score:5, Interesting)

    by saleenS281 (859657) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:11PM (#46111591) Homepage
    The Moto X was actually an outstanding phone. I dumped my gs3 for one. I think the real end-game here was getting Samsung back in line. Motorola phones were selling enough units to raise alarms at Samsung. It's not like Samsung was in any danger of losing their stranglehold on android phone sales in the short term, but long-term with Google's backing it was only a matter of time until Motorola started taking significant chunks. End result: Samsung has supposedly agreed to dump it's custom UIs and custom applications and fully embrace the Play store and the Google ecosystem. It seems unlikely the timing is just a coincidence.

    http://gigaom.com/2014/01/29/report-samsung-to-hold-the-touchwiz-on-future-android-devices/ [gigaom.com]
  • by alexander_686 (957440) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @03:53PM (#46113245)

    I think they got rid of the handset division as fast as the tax law would allow. Take a look at this way.

    Motorola (M) could get a higher price is they sold their business as a packaged deal, Motorola Mobility (MM). They got more bidders that way. (It’s not exactly what they did, but it was effectively what they did when they spun off that division.)

    Google wanted the patents but not the hardware division for the reason you mentioned but they had to buy both. They wanted to get rid of it as fast as possible.

    Assuming MM was spun off from M in a tax free spin off, one normally has to wait about 2 years before one can sell off a division. If it was sold off before then it would trigger a big tax bill for MM. Most spin off require the spun off division to pay their parent’s tax bill if they are bought out.

    So we wait 2 years and 6 months and guess what happens – Google sells off the handset division.

  • Re:Samsung (Score:4, Interesting)

    by saleenS281 (859657) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:58PM (#46113985) Homepage
    Ya, you have your history of events backwards. Samsung created Bada in 2010 not too long after Google started going after third parties who were including their apps without approval (read cyanognmod). Google acquired Motorola in 2011 AFTER Samsung started creating their own OS and their own ecosystem to compete directly with Google. Samsung continued down that path until this year, interestingly enough, just after the holiday season in which the Moto X started picking up steam. I'm guessing when Samsung saw VZW approve kitkat for the Moto X almost immediately after release, they saw how screwed they were going to be going forward. As a consumer, when your choice is Motorola with updates immediately after release and minimal bloatware, or Samsung who can be upwards of a YEAR later on VZW and an interface that you either love or hate, the choice is pretty easy. I can tell you I've personally steered at least 10 people away from Samsung and onto a Moto X after letting them play with my phone for 5 minutes and showing them that the spec sheet doesn't always tell the full story.

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