On August 15, 2011, Google shocked the world by agreeing to buy Motorola Mobility for a reported $12.5 billion. The mobile phone maker, which was born from the split of former telecommunications giant Motorola Inc. in January of this year, also launched the Droid smartphone in 2009. It was actually among the first to embrace the Android operating system. According to Google co-founder Larry Page, the pending acquisition would help the search company strengthen its existing patent portfolio and provide protection in some of the legal disputes it has with competitors.
News of Google’s desire to acquire Motorola is big beyond the spending price.
Android Value Increases
Though still incredibly popular, the iPhone’s days of dominance are long gone. Recent data compiled by comScore shows that Android is currently the top smartphone platform, beating out veterans Apple and BlackBerry maker RIM. Market forecasts are predicting that Google’s operating system will become even more dominant in the near future. Currently powering everything from smartphones to tablet computers, Android doesn’t necessarily need Motorola to continually conquer the market, but for mobile marketers, the acquisition could reinforce the fact that targeting beyond the trendy iPhone is more important than ever.
Greater Emphasis on Mobile Search
Google is just starting to pull away from its competitors in the smartphone market. When it comes to mobile search, however, it is killing the competition. Recent numbers released by StatCounter show that the company is currently enjoying a stingy 97% of the market share. This is in comparison to just 64.8% of the share in the market for conventional search. If the acquisition of Motorola Mobility does indeed increase the value of Android, it could further ensure that Google is the only option that matters in mobile search and in the process increase the focus on mobile SEO among marketers.
Mobile Marketing Becomes Mainstream
Even though the mobile web is emerging, it still has a ways to go before it is on par with the web most of us access from our desktops on a daily basis. Or does it? According to a new report published by International Data Corporation, more users in the U.S. will access the web from a mobile device than they do a personal computer or other type of wired device by 2015. Google’s huge investment in Motorola could be a sign that this is truly the way internet usage is shifting. And if Google has a strong presence on the mobile web with marketing solutions to boot, brands would definitely be wise to follow its lead.
Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility is currently pending approval by regulators in both the U.S. and Europe. Assuming that everything goes through, it would operate the brand as a separate division under the Google banner. Some believe that the move could be great for marketing, while others are calling it a risky wager on part of the search king. What do you think?