It was almost two years ago that Google – riding high on the Android wave decided to acquire fledgling mobile phones manufacturer Motorola. The aim was the get hold of thousands of mobility related patents that Motorola owned – and not really make totally awesome phones it seems. It was a logical buyout back then – because of the patent imbroglio that was going on
There were hopes that Google’s $12.5 billion purchase – the company’s biggest acquisition ever would led to Motorola getting some kind of “priority” over other Android partners. That however was not to be. Motorola, two years down the line is yet to make a Nexus class device – and if we are to go by a recent Wall Street Journal report, there were some serious cracks in the synchronization between the teams at the Android at Google and the Motorola team during the making of the recently announced Moto X.
The report claims that ex Android chief Andy Rubin was not particularly enamoured with the prospect of working closely with Motorola owing to “culture clashes” between executives of the two companies. The report adds that people from Motorola who had developed close relationships with Google employees before the takeover saw that quite often, their emails to the Android team were left unanswered.
It was evident that for the same reasons, the development of the Moto X was marred by these issues. The issue was particular with the Android team and Motorola as the report says that Motorola’s call for help on any other issues were promptly handled by other Google team members – outside of Android. The results are evident. The Moto X doesn’t even run the latest version of Android at release. There were also concerns that Motorola would not be able to bundle its Chrome browser pre-installed with the phone. This was because the developers at Motorola were unable to receive information from Google as to how the browser would function on the Moto X. Eventually though, this was sorted before the announcement and Chrome would indeed come pre-installed with the phone.
While it is understandable that Google might be worried about its other partners – biggies like Samsung, HTC and the likes – who might “pull out” if they see that Motorola was being giving undue advantage (something which Microsoft blatantly does with Nokia), what was the point of the acquisition of it wouldn’t have resulted in the birth of some compelling hardware?