Android Central

Big news from the Googleplex this morning, as the news broke that Google is to acquire Motorola's handset business for $12.5 billion. This is HUGE news, as now Google will finally become a smartphone vendor. 

Announced via the Official Google Blog, CEO Larry Page describes the company's success with Android, with 550,000 device activations per day and over 150 million activations worldwide. In their quest to "supercharge the Android ecosystem," they have decided that Motorola are the best handset manufacturer to help them do that. 

And in no surprise, Page also makes reference to Motorola's extensive patent portfolio, something which could yet prove useful to them in the ongoing patent situations that keep presenting themselves -- in the U.S. in particular. 

Andy Rubin also spoke out, pointing out that they still remain committed to Android as an open platform and that they will continue to work with all current partners. 

Check out the official release after the break. 

Sources: Google Blog; Investor Relations

Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility

Combination will Supercharge Android, Enhance Competition, and Offer Wonderful User Experiences

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA and LIBERTYVILLE, IL – AUGUST 15, 2011 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, “This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world. We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, said, “We expect that this combination will enable us to break new ground for the Android ecosystem. However, our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community. We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US, the European Union and other jurisdictions, and the approval of Motorola Mobility’s stockholders. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

Webcast Information

Google and Motorola Mobility will hold a conference call with financial analysts to discuss this announcement today at 8:30am ET. The toll-free dial-in number for the call is 877-616-4476 (conference ID: 92149124). The call will also be webcast live at The webcast version of the conference call will be available through the same link following the conference call.

About Google Inc.

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit

About Motorola Mobility

Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. fuses innovative technology with human insights to create experiences that simplify, connect and enrich people's lives. Our portfolio includes converged mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; wireless accessories; end-to-end video and data delivery; and management solutions, including set-tops and data-access devices. For more information, visit


Reader comments

Google acquiring Motorola Mobility, wants to “supercharge the Android ecosystem”



Did Google just by Motorola to get a hold of all their patents?

Come on guys lets be real about this.

That was certainly one of the reasons. And I suspect it gives them a huge patent hammer to put the fear into Apple and force cross licensing.

But don't believe for a second that was the only reason or the main reason.

The end of carrier lock down and blur layers and minute counting and International long distance fees and tethering fees are within view.

And as a shareholder of MMI, I'm thrilled beyond belief on the profit!!! Seriously, I think this is a perfect union for the reasons you mentioned and more. Anyone here still worried they won't be able to root the Bionic?

Now, will Motos become the new Nexus? I think we're going to see some wonderful phones given the quality of Motorola's handsets and further development of Google TV considering Moto's involvement in other set-top boxes, etc.

Speaking of Google TV. I just bought the newly marked down Sony 32". TigerDirect had some "open box" ones on sale even cheaper than others...$450! I can't WAIT till it arrives!!!

"The end of carrier lock down and blur layers and minute counting and International long distance fees and tethering fees are within view."

Just curious, but how does Google acquiring Motorola even remotely affect what Verizon, AT&T, et al do with their bloatware, service plans, ect.?

If anything, I can see Moto phones becoming favored to get the latest updates and perhaps we may finally get an Android phone sans skins, but that's to the phone itself. The carriers are still going to want to put their grubby stamps all over it.

I think they did this to force the lawsuits against Motorola to be now against Google - you may notice most of the patent lawsuits went against everyone EXCEPT Google - which is a very specific strategy to weaken support by attacking everyone who uses the software - but prevent the software developer (Google) from defending directly.

This pretty much sums it up. Motorola isn't doing so well and they had hinted that they too would start enforcing IP and collecting royalties from other android phone makers and Google just couldn't have this.

Will not happen. HTC still has their Sense UI, and Samsuck still has their Touch Wiz.

I don't know why they would take the most hated of all the Skins and make the normal.... it'd [Android] loose customers.

Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, TweetDeck, Plume, and all of the other popular apps have native widgets that work 100% better then any widget from a over layed skin.

Now, if only my DX2 can get a stock, vanilla Android update that unlocks the bootloader. Seriously though, looking forward to some great things from this!

what's so great about vanilla android? the new blur its getting better i have droidx2 and i am loving everything on the phone including the new taskmanager

AOSP [Android Open Source Program] is what the Nexus phones, the old Skool Magic and Dream have. It allows for user customization till there is no tomorrow. Plus it's super light weight. Cyanogen(mod) which has some added goodies like Spare Parts, the audio manager, and some other Cyanogen only settings only weighs in at about 86Kb of data. Where as the SMALLEST variant of Sense i've seen (and i know we are talking MotoJunk) is around 256k. While that might not mean alot. Less stuff running in the background means faster, soother interface.

Some of us will only use AOSP. For myself when i look at a new phone. i ask myself two questions. 1) Is it made by HTC? 2) is there an AOSP ROM out there for it.

Sense and motorblur are sumo wrestlers in a room full of super models.

Just for the sake of correct information, you mean 86MB and 256MB, not KB. I've seen sense roms that are lighter than that, but you are definitely correct in stating that CM roms are much, much lighter. IMO, CM is definitely the very best rom available. I hope his being hired by Samsung does not inhibit his developing for other phones....

Just Wow!

Didn't see that coming. Guess we know where the next Nexus will come from.

Wonder what this does to Android in the long run. Does Samsung start to worry about using an os which is pretty much dominated by what will be a huge competitor?

My thoughts exactly. Wow... and... um... other hardware vendors using Android may not like this one single bit and may gravitate towards Win-phones or whatever else. Just a thought.

I personally think this is great, but that just depends on whether my previous statement is true. Its very Apple-like in that they make the OS and now will also sell their own Hardware running said OS. As long as they keep it very open, it'll be good, just worries me :)

Droid is trademarked by Verizon (ie droid charge, droid incredible, droid X, all from Verizon but from different manufactures) so you will never see Motorola officially name their device a Droid. Maybe if Verizon gets a special version, but you won't see a droid Prime on Sprint.

Although I have to admit, Droid Prime is a wicked cool name. Too bad Verizon will never allow a Nexus device on their network.

Droid is not trademarked by Verizon. It is licensed by Verizon from Lucasfilms. George Lucas owns the Droid trademark with all the Star Wars franchise.

Moto has never been able to get out of the financial hole they were in; in the early 2000s. Android was a huge boost for Moto, but I don't think it was enough to save them alone.

This is probably about a lot of things. Patents number one I am sure. But I think the other hardware besides phones plays a big part too. Think about if they start making Google TV part of the set top boxes for cable providers. That is putting Google TV into a lot of homes and no need to rely on a third party vendors.

Good call. My brain was stuck in 'phone mode', but you're right. They acquired a ton of hardware that reaches far beyond Android. Definately excited about the possibilities there.

MMI didn't get the set top box portions of Motorola, those went to MSI if I'm not mistaken.

Nope I am wrong, MMI does do boxes.

My bad.

Wow, just wow. Probably the best mobile radio makers in the business teamed up with Google.

Big things are coming.

I can't help but think this is bad. Imagine if Microsoft actually produced PCs. They would make sure that Windows ran wonderfully on their own machines, but probably wouldn't care as much about how it runs on their competitors. It's just like Apple: they make their own hardware and software, and don't even want their software run on others' hardware.

Anybody else think HTC, Samsung and others will feel threatened by this aquisition?

Nope.. Google will keep everything open for all to use... I wonder what the cable operators think of Android running set top boxes ..... Hmmm, someone needs to find out about that !

That's a very shortsighted view for any company to have. What company would dumb down their software and and lower the image and value of their company. It would be in their best interest to keep as many partners onboard as possible, keeping their software working excellent on as many platforms as possible, and keeping more marketshare that way. If they wanted to be just like Apple, then maybe, but I'm sure they're aiming to be better.

I can only hope you're right. Apple used to allow its OS on competitor's machines, but when their competitor's hardware started outselling their own they stopped licensing Mac OS.

Maybe I'm being naive. I certainly hope so, because I'd hate for Google to become close themselves off like Apple has.

Pepsi once bought Pizzahut to so they would have another major restaurant chain that would supply their drinks ahead of Coca-Cola. The result, many other restaurant chains ditched Pepsi since they now saw them as competition. Samsung and HTC may start leaning more towards WP7 now..

What Google can do to stop this:

Strip Moto of it's patents and cross-license them to Android partners.
Then sell off the hardware devision of Moto along with it's brand! There are plenty of upcoming Chinese manufacturers who would kill for the brand and additional manufacturing capability - Google will do this, but they definitely won't announce it until it already happens!

you're right except for one small oversight. This is Google, not Microsoft or Apple. When they make software, they do better than most to keep it open and cross compatible. How many times can you say that about MS or Apple?

And don't forget that Google and Android got to where it was BECAUSE it was open widely available and cross platform. So why would they all of the sudden stop and do the exact opposite of what has made them so large and profitable in the first place? That's Microsoft and Apple thinking, and that's why Google is killing them in their respective competitive markets.

Someone else mentioned that closed and single product is very closed minded, and I agree. That's not what Google was about before, and it's not what will keep them successful in the future. And they know that.

I agree with you. This is bad! I think the lawsuits against Android are going to continue and possibly increase. This will cause doubt that the purchase can ward off competitor lawsuits and ultimately bring into question the wisdom of the purchase itself. It would have been cheaper if Google had licensed the IP in the first place to avoid spending billions to correct their mistake. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Even if they don't admit it publicly, there has to be a certain degree of uncertainty among Android partners with the spate of litigation. Some Chinese manufacturers have admitted they are considering adding Windows Phone 7 devices to the mix. I wouldn't doubt that they're all doing the same thing.

"I think the lawsuits against Android are going to continue and possibly increase."

And that makes sense how? Motorola has a ton patents.

"Even if they don't admit it publicly, there has to be a certain degree of uncertainty among Android partners with the spate of litigation."

This will help as it will allow Google to strike back or at least threaten to.

A potential increase in lawsuits could undermine the safety net the moto acquisition is expected to provide. I doubt this deal will stop Apple or Microsoft from going after Google partners and Oracle is relentless. Windows Phone 7 will benefit as manufacturers hedge their bets by licensing it from Microsoft. WP7 is still a safer bet than Android against IP lawsuits. Of course, this is only speculation on my part. We'll have to wait and see how it pans out.

Sir Not-Appearing-in-this-Film is that Motorola Mobility also includes their set top box manufacture. I wonder if this could help kickstart Google TV as well...

This is good news, as long as they continue supporting the phones and they don't buy Moto just for the patents.

Now I'll wait for the upgrade that will turn my XPRT into a Nexus phone with a keyboard! ...If only...

This is a purchase of the Mobile Division not the whole of Motorola.

So maybe a future nexus may be Motorola maybe not either way I believe this will be just the ticket to keep things advancing rather than Apple dictating the pace of progression.

Not cheap by any means but an amazing move by Google which will also add a hardware proving and testing feather to Google's Innovation cap so to speak.

The "whole" of Motorola doesn't exist anymore. Motorola Mobility makes all of the consumer-oriented Motorola products, which includes bluetooth headsets, home networking, set-top boxes, etc (and obviously cell phones which is their main product).

Now all google needs to do is build up a wireless network and start selling their own phone plans. Looking forward to the new technology that will come from this deal but not the inevitable increase in prices.

The combination of the patent defense for Google and the death of Motoblur/Philblur/Whateverblur is enough for me to love this announcement, though I am a bit worried about what will happen to the other Android hardware manufacturers (namely HTC). Will Google stand by their promise to keep Android open, or will Motorola get priorities on all future versions of Android? Only time will tell.

They'll sell the Moto brand and it's hardware division after they strip them of it's patents... I have no doubt this will happen (but they'll definitely keep it quiet until it happens). If Google are anything but a software company then their partners will see them as competition and jump ship to WP7..

I'm glad Google is finally in the game...I mean, really in the game with both feet in the water. Can't wait to see the first device that comes from this....

Didn't Motorola more-or-less invent the cell phone?

I suspect that Apple's legal department is going to get a taste of what karma can be like.

Well hopefully this means they will stop making ugly ass phones!! And make something that is more appealing design wise like htc and samsung make

personally i love the Droid1 & Droid 3 design, in fact i think it's absolutely gorgeous. Much of htc & samsung just look like the same boring plastic shell over & over. & I like the solid construction. All mftrs have their occasional selection of unique designs, but when it comes to the best of their brand in looks, I tend to favor Moto.

ofcourse to each their own, and obviously there's a reason why most phones look so similar from the demand, so my preferences are in the minority.

I kind of really don't like this. I hope that doesn't mean that Motorola will get preferential treatment over htc and samsung.

This deal is more about the patents lawsuits and protection for Google and Android, since they figure Motorola has better security and they own style non Apple user interface (ugly motoblur) lol. It's not really about pushing exclusive cell phones for Motorola mainly.

Count me as one of the people who are looking at this as possibly bad. Google has now crossed the line and made itself a competitor to all those other companies selling its OS on their phones (HTC, Samsung, etc), regardless of how they want to spin it. Google can say all day that they will keep things open and play nice with them, but what do the OTHER companies say? Will they keep using an OS from a company that just jumped in their sandbox? What do you think Google would do if HTC suddenly produced and sold a wildly popular OS? Don't be fooled. Business is business and its about dollars and cents.... And if Google suddenly started taking your dollars, it doesn't make any cents/sense to be working with them. However, I do hope I am wrong on this one.

The other partners (HTC, Sony, Samsung) have already chimed in and said they support this. I think Google touched base with all of them as this was going on and told them of their plans. My guess is that this is why all of the partners who voiced their opinion said basically the same thing.

Don't worry too much. Google doing an about face and turning their back on their partners isn't very Google-like. This was about patent protection and development.

Yep, I see that now. Looks like Google held a "we're all still friends" meeting before doing this. Since the patent protection helps the other companies out too, they were willing to speak good of the deal. Now, lets hope they all keep playing nice and get on with the business of having ALL these companies keep making a great variety of phones, tabs, etc.

They say this:

Peter Chou, CEO, HTC:

“We welcome the news of today‘s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.”

Bert Nordberg, President & CEO, Sony Ericsson:

“I welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

Jong-Seok Park, Ph.D, President & CEO, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company:

“We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

J.K. Shin, President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division:

"We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem."

This is bad for Verizon.
Now we'll see serious Motorola phones on all carriers.
Oh wait, that already started happening, Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile with Vanilla Android, a Canadian Droid 3 with 4G, and Sprint/AT&T with their new line-ups.

I might actually start buying Motorola Android products again....

This has so many application for behind the scenes, non-commercial electronics.

This should also help HTC and Samsung, as these new patents will make Apple reassess closing their eyes and ears to innovation.

Google said it best, no matter the outcome of these litigations our partners won't lose.

(Macgruff the Crime Dog voice)
" Now lets take a bite out of Apple."

Does anybody know what Apple and Microsoft have to say about this?

Sorry, I kinda felt that we needed a good laugh on "Applesoft's" behalf.

Here's the thing that all of the other OEMs know that seems to be overlooked here - Google makes money selling ads. At the end of the day, everything Google does is to strengthen their ad business. Their OS on every phone in the world means more ad dollars for them. Why would they want to jeopardize their relationship with Sammy and HTC that sell way more phones than Moto does? They wouldn't. The OEMs now have an 800 lb gorilla in their corner when it comes to patents.

With this deal, Apple now has to watch their step. They will be forced to play nice or face the wrath of a Google legal team with an extensive patent portfolio that Moto could not afford to pursue. You can bet this will soften Apples position on patent defense.

Google is not going to change how Moto runs, so it's reasonable to expect Moto to continue as they have with a little more financial stability. Sure they may get a bunch of ASOP phones and maybe even the Nexus, but Google has already announced that Moto will not get the Nexus exclusive.

As far as I can tell, this is good new for Android and it's OEMs, and not so good news for MS/Nokia, RIM and Apple. I am guessing that RIM was hoping this deal would have their name on it instead of Moto.

little research WOW:

Mobile Devices: Headquarters located in Libertyville, Illinois; currently the least prosperous arm of the firm; designs wireless handsets, but also licenses much of its intellectual properties. This includes cellular and wireless systems and as well as integrated applications and Bluetooth accessories.

For months informed pundits have suggested that Google would have to do something like this - probably soon. They need to defend Android, reassure the developers and support the OEMs. As a young company, they needed some Ip assets to bargain with - tools of negotiation.

Motorola are well established so they have the Ip assets. They have produced successful smart phones and have a track record with US carriers. Google chose them to build the Xoom; an Android tablet test-bed. They needed to stake a claim in this market and refine Honeycomb on the hoof.

So is this enough?
Is Motorola the right acquisition?
What will Google do next?