Reflections on the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia

I used to work at Motorola’s cell phone division, as a software engineer. It was before Google purchased them. During that time, the biggest competitor was Nokia. Samsung was really not in the running back then. Here’s a couple articles announcing Microsoft acquisition of Nokia.

SYJ: Nokia

SYJ: Nokia (Photo credit: bfishadow)

If you read the BBC article, Samsung holds a 24.7% market share, with Nokia having 14% and Apple 7.3%. As one  of the BBC commentators said in part, “In truth there is not so much difference between the top few phones.”

In an article entitled In The Smartphone Wars It’s iOS Vs. Android And Windows Phone Vs. The Rest In The Smartphone Wars It’s iOS Vs. Android And Windows Phone Vs. The Rest, it mentioned this: “However, given what IDC revealed today, we can essentially view the market as a three-way war, but not one in which Windows Phone has even begun to challenge the incumbents.” Since this article came out in August 2013, I wonder how much inroad Windows phones are making?

The article also makes this summation: “So a simple way of viewing the smartphone market is that Android is consistently adding friction to Apple’s products, which are seeing their market share fall as the market itself expands more quickly than they ship. And that Windows Phone, while still a distant third place player, has managed to functionally cement itself as a player in mobile.”
The BBC article says this:

“Critics say the firm has been too slow to respond to the booming market for mobile devices. It launched its Surface tablet PCs last year, but sales of the devices have been relatively slow.”

“Analysts said that the company wanted to make sure that it got its strategy right in the mobile phone market.”

Apple Inc.  New Headquarters

Apple Inc. New Headquarters (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

I’m a guy who runs dual Windows 7/Ubuntu machines. I’m also one who refuses to go Apple, until you get an Apple Store less than ten miles from where I live. In fact, they better have a store in the same city I live in. So I gravitate to Android devices.

Patent stuff

When Google first brought Motorola Mobility, articles speculated that a key factor was Motorola’s large patent inventory. Did Google use any of that patent inventory against Samsung? Don’t know. But I’m sure that Nokia has a large patent inventory, which Microsoft can use again either Samsung or Google. I just wonder if they will leverage it?

The smart watch

Then Samsung is busy developing a smart watch, according to a news report I watched. The commentators were wondering if folks would want it. An article came out entitled How Smart Can a Watch Really Be?. As the article mentioned, “Today, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Gear, a three-hundred-dollar smartwatch the company hopes will change all that.” They also say this: “So there remains a strange undercurrent of hope that somebody—Apple—will figure out, soon, some grander vision for wearable technology, transforming it from something that people have vaguely imagined into something people intensely desire.”

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Now that Google brought Motorola Mobility – what will they do with it?

Let me start by saying I’m very familiar with Motorola. I was a software engineer, project manager and six sigma black belt there for 7 years – in their cell phone division.

Then came 2007 and there were massive layoffs at Motorola. I got caught up in the whirlwind. But I loved what I learned there and everything I was involved in.

Brasília (16/08/11) - Presidente mundial da Mo...

Image by conexaominicom via Flickr

Then this week threw me a twist. Back in January 2011, there was an article entitled Motorola To Split Into 2 Companies: Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions at Motorola To Split Into 2 Companies. The company split into Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility. Motorola Mobility intergated the Android system into their phone line.

Articles covering the Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility

But this week came the surprise. About a month ago, I wrote about Microsoft purchasing Skype. Now we will explore what Google might do with Motorola. Here are some articles I found this week:

The PC World entitled 5 Questions About Google’s Motorola Buy does raise 5 interesting questions:

A printed circuit board inside a mobile phone

Image via Wikipedia

  1. Will Google’s patent play work?
  2. Did Google Buy Motorola To Protect Android From Motorola?
  3. Will Motorola’s Favored Status Have To Change?
  4. Is This The End Of Motoblur?
  5. What Are Android Makers Saying?

Is it for the patents?

Reading through the questions brings some factors to light. Motorola Mobility has a huge assortment of patents. The article mentioned 14,600 worldwide patents with 7000 other pending patents. From my understanding of patents, if you just change one invention element -you can create a new patent application. So the patent collection appears to be a major playing card.

Is it for the TV deal?

Motorola F3 (2560890151)

Image via Wikipedia

In Why the Google-Motorola Deal Is About More Than Mobile Phones, the article talks about “Google-Motorola Could Give Google TV a Fighting Chance.” But Nokia was also one of Motorola’s key competitors. Would this mean that Microsoft could buy Nokia, with the Windows operating system being inside their phone line?

Is it for more video streaming?

The article Google-Motorola Deal Means More Video Streaming to Android Devices raises an interesting question. The article puts together some good arguments for video streaming being a possible major Google initiative.

What should we think folks?

I think the patent angle makes sense. In the article Why Google’s Motorola Deal Is Like The Book Search Settlement, the patent angle makes sense.

In fact, the article say this about mixed signals:

“During the conference call explaining this purchase, Google send some mixed signals as to what it would do with Mobility. Page vowed that it would be a ‘separate business.’ But he also said that he was excited about the possibilities that it opened for Google, to innovate in hardware. This is somewhat of a contradiction.”

It’s certainly true that there’s not much public statements coming from Google or Motorola, as to their plans. We certainly have seen come columnists and experts chiming in with opinions this week.

What do you think?

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