In case you were under a rock yesterday, Google has announced it is buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.
First, there are the obvious implications:
1. Google just Teflon-coated itself in the smart phone lawsuit wars by snapping up Motorola's portfolio of 15,000 mobile technology patents (and 7,500 more pending).
2. Google will be able to offer smart phones and tablets with full integration between the hardware and software, just like Apple.
3. Microsoft gets a boost in the short term. Windows Phone 7 has got to be looking good now to HTC and Samsung, for example. They can't be happy Android partners right now, despite these supportive quotes posted by Google (which ring as genuinely pleased as a Junior Leaguer at a rained out garden party).
4. Nokia gets a stock boost because everyone and their brother now believes Microsoft will just have to buy Nokia outright after this.
5. Then again, it may be time to buy Research in Motion. (RIM's stock also went up when the deal was announced on Monday.)
So, what is Google getting that is less obvious?
1. Entre to your living room. Motorola Mobility also includes all those lovely set top boxes and DVRs that they make for the TV cable industry. Google TV may actually get some legs now.
2. Entre to your car. Speaking of Motorola gadgets, other than handsets, how about Bluetooth and MotoNav, a dashboard navigation system? Can you imagine what Googley things will get bundled in with those trinkets in the future?
3. Entre to Motorola Mobility's cash! Let's face it, Google can afford $12.5 billion, but it's getting a great deal on top of that. Motorola Mobility has a cool three billion sitting in its coffers and makes another $3 billion in profits annually.
4. Entre to emerging markets overseas. Here in the States, we tend to focus on smart phones. In emerging markets overseas like Asia, however, the big money is still in feature phones. Motorola sold more feature phones than smart phones last quarter (6.6 million versus 4.6 million).
And here are a couple of other tidbits to chew on:
1. Do you realize Motorola Mobility only came into existence this year? Up until January, it was a division of Motorola. It makes you wonder why it was spun off into its own company in the first place.
2. There are reports that Microsoft was actually trying to buy Motorola Mobilty before Google put some skin in the game.