Google tried to pawn off the Motorola handset business to Huawei, WSJ claims

Google tried to pawn off the Motorola handset business to Huawei, WSJ claims
The Wall Street Journal came with a pretty long editorial today, based on its sources in and around the Google-Motorola deal. It is called "Google's $12 Billion Toy", and the authors sound a bit alarmed that their sources at Google were mostly nonchalant about the acquisition, positive that they can pull off firewalling a corporation like Motorola that operates in 92 countries and has over 20, 000 workers.

The author is worried that "there appears to be no sense that a choice is even required. There's only a cocky belief that Google really can be all things at once: a hardware company with software margins, and a neutral Android arms dealer that just happens to be building its own Motorola army on the side."

Android's Andy Rubin is the one that advocates most for Motorola's full independence inside the Google camp, as he knows fully well what will happen if Google shows even the slightest signs of favoritism. Some Android makers are hedging their bets working on "forked" Android devices with their own mobile OS versions. And the bombshell from the report:

Google's bread and butter are search and ads, so it only makes sense for it to try and scale back on its hardware-related activities with Motorola. Mobile search has the astonishing 70% gross margins, and very lucrative operating margins, so analysts are positive that Google will try and protect its positions there at all costs, rather than provoke a cold war in the Android universe.

source: WSJ (subscription required)

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30 Comments

1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

What horses**t. Selling off the most solid Android manufacturer to one of the cheapest building Android manufacturers out there? If that deal was real and had actually come to fruition I'd never buy Motorola again. And I'd feel pretty betrayed by Google for doing so. However, this is an op ed piece by the WSJ, at a time when the entire media seems determined to sling mud at Google (because they hate success unless it's Apple's success) as much as possible. I'll take it with a big grain of salt.

4. PhoneLuver

Posts: 481; Member since: Jul 05, 2010

Motorola basically caters for the U.S. and a little bit of Europe and pretends that the rest of the world doesn't exist. It would make sense to try and enlarge it's global footprint. Have you seen the new Huawei devices? The build quality has improved dramatically and if the way the company has cannibalized the global supply of core Network elements from the likes of Nokia-Siemens and Ericsson is anything to go by, it's easy to see that the company has global ambitions and the ability to pull it off! All I'm saying is don't be blinded by the past. The first HTC devices were crap, but now they're one of the big players in the game. Maybe Huawei is just what MOTO needs to turn a profit.

30. Bluedroid

Posts: 57; Member since: Sep 12, 2011

Chinese are good at imitation and cheap crapware, if they buy out motorola the US government is at terrible risk, everyone knows huawei and zte is a proxy or controlled by the chinese government and we couldn't trust the double crossing chinese and motorola devices will be jammed with spyware and and other junk to facilitate the chinese in spying and with motorola technology could be deployed in there armed forces and chinese are famous for industrial espionage and this would be the final nail in motorola's coffin, zte and huawei should be looked with suspicion and national carriers should think twice before deploying a chinese device and corporate greed should not outstrip national security at any cost...

5. JeffdaBeat unregistered

As much as I hate anonymous sources...this is the Wall Street Journal. I think they are a bit more trust worthy than your average blog site or analyst. Part of me feels like this is only a rumor. You don't buy a company like Motorola just to turn around and sell it at a loss. Just doesn't make sense. And this wasn't use some small company...this is a major deal. Doesn't seem right. Plus, why wouldn't Google want a hand in the hardware side? Give us the real Google experience and if other manufacturers want to put their cover over Android, let them... But on the other end, Google can't be everything. Ever since I read a post by a former Google employee that left the company...things kind of make sense. Again, taking it with a grain of salt because former employees can be bitter. But it definitely fills in some of the gaps a bit too well. It's a bit long, but definitely worth the read. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jw_on_tech/archive/2012/03/13/why-i-left-google.aspx

6. BuckeyeCadet86

Posts: 78; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

You do buy a company like Motorola if you have a major competitor that holds a lot of similar patents that has decided to patent troll. The patents that Motorola Mobility holds are worth every penny Google paid for it. I read the WSJ article it doesn't say that Google was going to sell off Motorola as a whole just the division of the company that sells TV set-top boxes. Google will do whatever they can to keep Android the number one operating system worldwide, if that means they sell off Motorola to keep the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei and the like happy they will. Don't forget that Intel, Samsung and Huawei are working on their own OS (Tizen and Bada)

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Google didnt buy motorola. They bought a patent portfolio and got a company for free. Motorola is all but worthless to them. Honestly, I think selling it to a chinese company would be a PR nightmare and would anger a lot of us, including me.. but selling motorola itself isnt really a surprise... if its true. Its very far out of google's realm to run a hardware company, especially one that hasnt been doing so well. On the flip side, I'd like to see them stick it with moto and turn them around. Simply making google branded moto phones would be very nice (an army of nexi), but they are going to have to do more than that to tear me away from samsung's hardware tech. The one thing it would do if they did that, is force HTC and Samsung to make more google nexus style direct update devices or risk losing the mod crowd.. which I think would be very good for the android side of the world.

22. TROLL.IS.AHA

Posts: 58; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

If this goe's ahead, we could see motorola Dissapear as a company, leaving just it's Patent's as a surviving memories.... For huawei it could be a huge opportunity to make it self known in the US EUROPE UK as it has already stated in the past that it want's to become top-tier company along side Apple, SONY, Htc, SAMSUNG... we'll see how this story eventuates in the next few week's, as it is interesting to see what happen's. In the end it could be all bogus.......

2. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

I find it very unlikely, especially the amount of time and money spent, and how quick google wanted the take over.

3. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

I'm honestly against this "motorola will operate independently." i want google to make motorola a more focused company and all that, like making them a flagship phone and all that.

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the problem with that is it could alienate the other manufacturers. A wide series of direct updated google devices would kill the need for a nexus (which isnt really a bad thing), but it would also put a ton of pressure on others like HTC and Samsung. Android is prolific. Its open source and not about control. Taking direct reigns of Moto is very much against that. You cant be "open source", and have "direct control" at the same time. It just doesnt work. Part of what makes android work and so popular is that they DONT take the Apple route of direct control of every device.

12. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i don't think that rules out a Motorola Nexus though! ;) i still think the Razr would have made a way better Nexus than what Samsung gave us. just add in the software keys and the HDSA Display (which isn't implausible at all for Moto) and that would be one hard phone to want to get rid of.

16. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

So basically u wanted the nexus as is, but with a kevlar back and an 8mpx camera? That would be neat. I was severely disappointed that it didnt come with exynos, but hey, cant win them all i guess. yea, moto should not be excluded from making nexus phones, as long as there is no preferential treatment in chosing them. We could do with a new manufacturer just to shake things up. I love samsung tech and all, but something completely new is always appreciated. :)

19. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

And also 7.1mm thin with the water resistant nano coating and Webtop 3.0. I'm using it right now. It's pretty awesome, just like using an ICS Tablet only without the touchscreen. I plugged in my Microsoft Arc Mouse and it worked right away. Yeah, as long as it doesn't have Exynos i think it might as well be Motorola since they're not shy about using AMOLED Displays. Yeah, i won't be very happy if Samsung does it for a third year in a row. THEN who would be getting preferential treatment? XD

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

unless they launch the A15 quadcore and 1080p RGB super amoled 350ppi through nexus.. then they can have it.. just 1 more time. :)

23. TROLL.IS.AHA

Posts: 58; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

Right.....

7. strikercho

Posts: 156; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

No surprise there. It is Giggle, after all. Anything can happen there. Today they dump Motorola, tomorrow - who knows? Handroid, perhaps?

27. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

what is handroid? and Giggle?

9. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

i'd much rather they sell it to Samsung.. Samsung has the branding and huge consumer trust, whereas Huawei still needs to work on those things.. but honestly i'd much rather they keep Moto and make their phones run vanilla.. than, like what remix said, we would have an army of Nexus devices ^^

10. TheRetroReplay

Posts: 256; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Eh, I don't buy it. Why would Google go through all the trouble of buying Motorola just o sell it to a pretty terrible phone company that just now getting their head into the game? Also why wouldn't Google want to have it's own hardware manufacturer? That would put them in more direct competition with Apple. I'm with Sniggly on this one, everyone is determined to drag Google through the mud because they hate everything that's not Apple's success. And it's the WSJ, a company that was wrong several times when it came to the Verizon iPhone until a week before it was true.

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

because it would be directly against everything google has done and built android on. thats why. google is not apple. they dont play like apple. google LIKES having other kids on the field to play with. Apple is a ball hog.

13. theBankRobber

Posts: 682; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

I also call BS. You don't spend that kind of money and put alot of time into building a better company just to sell it off.

14. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I don't like this... not one bit. I think they should just leave Moto alone, by all means turn it around, but in order to avoid favoritism Moto cannot have vanilla devices, and cannot have Nexus devices, that should shut the others up.

15. atheisticemetic

Posts: 377; Member since: Dec 18, 2011

all these comments about Samsung and Huawai.....i threw up in my mouth a little

17. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Why is that?

21. atheisticemetic

Posts: 377; Member since: Dec 18, 2011

Samsung and Huawai make awful products Imo (the HPC is oook, but not that keen on them) Samsung is a beast for specs, but lack the most important aspect to me....reception I've tested several Samsungs for an honest exposition of my position (my basement can be tough for reception). Samsungs always struggle or get less bars than other phones nearby. If only they translated their quality of their tvs into their cells

24. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Reception is actually one of the reasons i'm such a Moto Fanboy. it's one of their most strongest points.

25. atheisticemetic

Posts: 377; Member since: Dec 18, 2011

i have an HTC rezound now and like it, but im hoping the 12th brings me the fighter!

26. tkvdog

Posts: 46; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Great chance for Google to Make&Desighn A c

28. tkvdog

Posts: 46; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Goodtime For Google to Make&Desighn A Cellphone Made In America:)

29. a961009

Posts: 120; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

No one knows Huawei in korea and no one w@@@s to buy Huawei's phone. It is really stupid to sell motorola to huawei! Huawei doesn't have their own idea. They only copy other manufacturer's phone.look at their phone design. It seems like they copied galaxy s2. On the other hand, motorola has their unique phone design which is strong and sharp!!

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