How Software Consolidation May Dictate Your Next Smartphone Purchase

In response to the Google-Motorola buyout there is speculation that Microsoft will retaliate with a purchase of their own. The likely choice is perhaps HTC or Nokia.  Since their partnership with Nokia for Windows 7 this may be a simpler move for acquisition. Does this mean that software (OS) providers will dictate the hardware for your smartphone ?


If Motorola becomes the Google phone; Google will be one of the companies that has an operating system and its own hardware, competing with Apple and RIM.  Does this mean if Android is deployed on Motorola Hardware will Google pull Android off the market making it no longer open source ?  If so, then will other hardware suppliers who have hitched to the Android wagon namely HTC and Samsung be stopped from using Android on their devices?    If HTC and Samsung can no longer use Android which OS will they then choose to put on their hardware devices ? If hardware manufacturers have to select which OS is on their device could this possibly limit adoption if Android becomes no longer available ?


This has further implications especially in the tablet market.  With iPad, RIM’s playbook and the rest of the Android tablet market what happens here ? Samsung, HTC, HP, Dell all major players in the tablet market use Android.  Will they be forced to choose another OS if Android becomes unavailable ? Looks like RIM could end up being the big winner as their rendering of web pages gives a true rendition of the site for your mobile device or possibly Windows 8.  


Another key component here is the enterprise play. Motorola already owns Symbol –  leading handheld RF in the enterprise space.  Will the Android influence on Motorola devices seep into the enterprise?  If so will functionality be more convenient for enterprises and will this have an effect on other handheld hardware players such as Psion, Intermec, PSC, Handheld products?  This could possibly change the hardware handheld market entirely.    


In our estimation Google can put Android onto its Motorola hardware and continue to keep Android open.  For them to close Android and make it proprietary would be a mistake as there are other hardware providers that have invested heavily in the Android project.  As can be seen more questions abound that can be answered at this point. It would make sense for Google to use Motorola as its hardware and continue to keep Android in its open-source nature. . If hardware is now limited to the OS will consumers have more or less choice – we think it may be the latter.  Google has a lot to think about as to their strategy with Motorola, should be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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