Growing up, I knew Motorola for its television sets. From those dark ages, Motorola pursued mobile phones as well as cable modems and video boxes. It developed two iconic mobile phones. First the flip phone in the mid-1990s; then the RAZR. It also treated the public to several memorable commercials on both products. Who could resist the sleek, thin RAZR?
Google cleared the final hurdle in its pursuit of a merger with Motorola Mobility. Trading commissions nationally and internationally were required to approve the merger, which began almost a year ago. The last country, the People’s Republic of China, approved it on May 19. By May 22, the $12.5 billion merger’s worldwide regulatory review was complete.
The stated plan is for Motorola to operate as a separate business within Google. Sanjay Jha, Motorola Mobility’s CEO, has stepped down. The new CEO, Dennis Woodside, is the former President of Google’s Americas region. He was closely involved in the Motorola acquisition.
The computing platform for consumers continues to move from personal computers such as desktops and laptops toward mobile devices. With that backdrop, the merger of Motorola Mobility with Google makes perfect sense. Google’s Android operating system runs on a variety of phones and holds the major global mobile market share. But it lacks a standout, end-to-end phone like the iPhone for Apple’s operating system or what Microsoft hopes will happen with its acquisition of Nokia last year.
There was much at stake with the Google/Motorola merger beyond hand-held phones. Motorola has an extensive, impressive portfolio of patents. Google also obtains about 17,000 finalized patents and almost 7,000 pending patents. That will solidly place Google in a commanding position with Microsoft and Apple for mobile device technology.
So will the average consumer benefit from the Google/Motorola Mobility merger? I tend to think yes. Google will be in a better position to offer more advanced mobile devices than it has been able to do with its current much broader base of hand-held phones.
It has been quite a month for Google. Beyond the merger, its Chrome web browser reached the top spot of web browsers. According to Statcounter, it garners approximately 33 percent of web browser use worldwide. What will June bring?