Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility has been a subject of much discussion recently. It was certainly a bold and somewhat risky move, and people are wondering what enticed Google to make the $12 Billion dollar purchase. The general consensus is that they did it for the patents, but I think there could be a bit more to it. I think it is possible that Google wants to become more like Apple.
As usual, I am sure there are die-hard Android fans who began screaming blasphemy after reading that last sentence. Hopefully that they can quell their rage long enough to allow me to clarify. I am not saying that Google is copying Apple, or that Android is a ripoff of the iPhone. What I mean is that Google may want to emulate Apple's control of both the hardware and software of their devices.
We have often said that fragmentation is one of Android's biggest problems. The numerous manufacturers modify Android to their own liking, which often breaks functionality, delays updates, creates compatibility problems, and generally frustrates consumers. In contrast, the iPhone offers an up-to-date, consistent,and polished platform. It is designed to please the average consumer, and it excels at its job. Because of this, even though Android does have larger market share than the iPhone, most consumers consider the iPhone more desirable than Android devices.
Most of that image is due to the fact that Apple completely controls the iPhone's hardware, which allows them to enforce a standard of quality, timely updates, and compatibility. Google tried to emulate this behavior with the Nexus line, but it wasn't quite enough.
Now that Google owns a hardware company, they have the power do exactly what Apple does: design and control both the hardware and the software for their platform. They could use this power to create a line of devices that showcase what Google thinks Android should be, which has the potential to help Android's image greatly.
I think it would make sense for Google to make its own line of devices with Motorola, but it could be bad for Android and its other hardware partners as a whole. What do you think?