Google just announced that they’ve dropped $12.5 billion to buy a division of Motorola. Motorola Mobility is where Motorola developed all their android phones as well as the Xoom, a 10″ Android tablet running Honeycomb.
Given the patent situation and the fact that Motorola Mobility made Google’s flagship products, this purchase should come as no surprise. Now, I’m sure that Google bought MM for the IP, just like Larry Page said in a blog post. But the fact remains that they bought the maker of their flagship Android product. (No, seriously, that’s what it is.) The Xoom is the Android tablet that Google wanted everyone to make, and now Google will be making it.
Basically, Google just went from being an interested partner to being a direct competitor to all the Android hardware companies. I wonder how this affect other tablet makers? Oh, I doubt it will bother the makers of budget tablets, but the premium tablet makers (Asus, Acer, Toshiba) probably aren’t too happy right now.
But I have to say, this was a surprising way to solve the hardware fragmentation problem. I wonder if Google plan to become Apple and release a standard update for all their devices?