An interesting game which Google played very cleverly.
The perplexing acquisition and subsequent sale of Motorola by Google caught the attention of many industry experts. During that period, Android was being adopted by companies such as HTC and Samsung, who saw potential in the emerging smartphone market. Nokia was the dominant player in the industry, with Samsung trailing behind in terms of market share. Android presented a unique opportunity for both Samsung and Google to foster growth and challenge Nokia’s market supremacy. This partnership between Google and Samsung proved fruitful for both parties, as Samsung’s innovative hardware, combined with Google’s powerful Android operating system, created a winning formula. The duo’s success in the market was evident as they quickly dethroned Nokia and established a strong presence in the smartphone industry.
Why Google bought Motorola?
As Samsung started gathering a huge market share, it started using android as a core and built heavy skin Touchwiz on top of Android – to a point that it felt like undermining Android’s performance as well as visibility. Then it started pushing its own apps replacing stock android apps like Phone, Mail client, Contacts, Calendar, Music player, Video player etc. Also, another smartphone OS was in the making which looked very much like a samsung-skinned android. Why? Because going forward pushing smartphone users to adopt in-house Tizen OS by Samsung would be easier in the upcoming phone launches.
Google noticed this and acted. Bought Motorola.
On 15 August 2011 Google announced it had bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn in cash. Two new phones were launched by Google under Motorola branding – Moto G and Moto X. Positioned as midrange and flagship phones respectively at a highly subsidized rate. They had android in purest form (stock) and had excellent specifications resulting in a very good user experience. The value for money was so good that it started to eat up Samsung’s smartphone market share immediately.
A fatality move by Google.
Samsung realised that its a mistake to undermine Google’s hard work by hiding Android under Touchwiz. From Samsung Galaxy S6 onwards the excessive skinning and the bloat started reducing significantly. And for some reason 😛 Google also lost interest in running a smartphone business. On 29th January 2014, Google announced the sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo.