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Yesterday Google took their turn in the latest round of the smart phone wars when it was announced that Google is to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn. Motorola split their business sometime ago with Mobility being the development and manufacture of mobile phones arm.
It seems that, for now at least, Google will continue to run Mobility as a separate business. Motorola are already dedicated to producing Android devices and so, you would imagine, that this is a great opportunity for Google to have control over the hardware as well as the software in it’s mobile ecosystem.
Controlling the hardware
This move now puts all of the current major players; Apple, Microsoft, and Google in control of, or at least, very tightly connected to, the hardware on which their software runs. We’ve talked before about the Mircosoft / Nokia thing and speculation is now rife that Nokia will be subject to a full takeover bid in the wake of this news from Google.
This could be seen as something of a compliment to Apple who have been long standing holders to keys to their kingdom. Much of their strength comes from the fact that they control the hardware and the software that bares their name. It would appear that both Microsoft and Google are attempting to go down this same road.
The natives are getting stronger
If this proves to be the case we will see a further strengthen of the native app market places and stores. As the main players become further entrenched into their own mobile hardware it will be increasingly difficult for cross platform app development solutions to keep up. Only time will tell if this is indeed how it all pans out, and we are yet to see the full impact of Nortel patent sale that Google missed out on, but one thing that we can be sure of is that the battle is heating up.