Goodbye Moto, Hello Google

By Patrick Lopez August 17, 2011

Many out there look at Google’s acquisition of Motorola as a defensive step to ward off patent trolls and competitors aggressively pursuing Google and Android licensees. With 17,500 granted patents and another 7,500 filed, there has to be some value from Motorola’s pioneering technology in wireless networks. Whether this is worth $10.5 billion after the cash retained by Motorola remains to be seen.


While this is undoubtedly a key aspect of the transaction, I would like to look at the impact of this acquisition on the mobile and TV market.

Would Google entertain a rebirth of their handset strategy? While the attractiveness of the Android ecosystem is largely as a means to have a more open alternative to Apple’s iStore, nothing prevents Google to look at a more vertical, better experience on Google devices than on the OEMs. Let’s not forget additionally, that part of the transaction is Motorola Set-top-box and connected devices business. Motorola, according to a study published by The Multimedia Research Group is ranked worldwide market leader in Video head-end and set top boxes shipments.

Why is that important? The next battle room for video is your TV screen. According to Strategy Analytics, TV industry generates $392 billion per year in revenue, half from advertising, half from subscription, payTV...

These revenue flows back approximately 1/3 to content owners, 1/3 to aggregators and channels, 1/3 to service providers.

The next frontier in TV is OTT (Over The Top). In an OTT model, content providers and aggregators share the revenues 50/50, with nothing left for the operators. As Samsung, connected TV market leader, has created its vertical environment, with SmartTV, creating essentially an app store and a suite of apps that can run on their connected TVs, set-top-boxes, tablets and phones, I am willing to bet that we will see an Apple TV pretty soon (not the little box that connects your TV to iTunes, an actual Apple branded TV).

From then on, it is not difficult to see that the next OS and app store battlefield will be in your living room.

Will Google revive GoogleTV, with a new Android environment that can be ported by Consumer Electronics (CE) giants on their connected TVs, set-top-boxes, tablets and phones?

Will CE vendors choose to use Android, now that Google is also a competitor, with Moto`s acquisition?  Or will they try to emulate Samsung and create their closed ecosystem?

We are going to live interesting times in the age of video.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.


Patrick Lopez is founder and CEO of {Core Analysis} and consults on mobile broadband, video optimization, policy management and messaging. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

Founder and CEO, {Core Analysis}

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