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Impact Analysis: Google buys out Moto (Part III- Impact on the present day partners and eco-system)

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on August 17, 2011

Read Part I and Part II

Google is pulling off an acquisition that is larger than any that Microsoft, Apple, or any of their other main competitors ever have. The Moto acquisition is either the smartest thing Google has ever done, or the dumbest. A $12.5 billion deal in cash, with a $2.5 billion collapse clause? There is no in-between

In a series of blogs over the next few days, I would be analyzing the impact of the Google-Moto deal in terms of:
1. Patents Leverage
2. Platform/Hardware Competence
3. Eco-system view/ Impact on OEM partners
4. Impact on Telcos

Eco-system view/ Impact on OEM partners

Google says they will continue to run Motorola as a separate business. Again, given its size, that’s about all they can do. Google also says that this will not change their commitment to Android being “open” and to their other OEM partners. Another compelling argument in favour of the Google-Moto deal is that, this is a strategic buy for Google in order to exert more control over the Android eco-system. Google says they will continue to run Motorola as a separate business. Again, given its size, that’s about all they can do. Google also says that this will not change their commitment to Android being “open” and to their other OEM partners. Many including myself, however, believe that it will not be very practical and possible to keep the Android “open” and as impartial given the $12.5 investment in Moto. Beneath all the sweet talk with the other partners, all the larger partners of the eco-system are disingenuous with their positive statements and sentiments. Carrots rarely work in the “open” Android eco-system. With Motorola in their back pocket, Google now has another stick to use when the carrots don’t work: Control on the Google device. With Moto, Google has the capability and competence in devices, which in turn is pretty handy to apply to pressure the other OEMs to force them to do better work.

What this means for the other significant partners of the Android eco-system: Samsung, Sony-Ericsson and HTC. There are two points on that
1. The OEMs were not dumb not to have anticipated this move. Thus Samsung moved into making the Bada.
2. The World of OEMs would now split into Loyalists (Moto for Android, Nokia for Microsoft) and the multi-platform vendors (Samsung, HTC, SE). This move could drive some of those OEMs to give a second look at Windows Phone as Android alternatives. Microsoft will have to deliver a truly competitive consumer mobile operating system to take advantage of this opportunity and chip away a few of the big OEMs from the Android camp.

With the loyalists (Samsung, SE and HTC) now moving into frienemy space, Android may loose some momentum in the numbers that it kept on pilling for sometime now. The decider or qualifier for Android’s success will be the pace of Android’s extension across multiple other platforms, eco-systems and device categories. For instance, Google TV will necessarily have to fire to keep the Android registers ringing… V2V systems will be another decider in terms of number of Android activations. The trade-off that Android will have is its capability to extend across platforms versus the rate at which its partners desert it.

End of Road for Symbian?

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems, Mobile Computing by Manas Ganguly on October 1, 2010

The once mighty Symbian Operating system is now loosing its mighty patrons. A few days back, Sony Ericsson confirmed the end of its roadmap for Symbian based smartphones. (Symbian based smartphones: What was that?). Samsung today followed suit and announced that it was dropping support for Symbian work before the end of 2011. Development labs, forums and reference content will be pulled by the morning of December 31. Samsung will also stop certifying Symbian apps by the same day and leave companies with no option but to use other forums or switch platforms. Most of Samsung’s attention in 2010 has been placed almost exclusively on Android where Symbian has been non-existent, Windows Mobile has been downplayed and its self-made Bada platform is still on just a small number of devices.


The Fall of the High and Mighty and the rise of the Android Phenomemon

If that was a double whammy for Symbian, Nokia’s stealth moves of investing into Meego as an alternate platform for its smartphones is surely the start of the end for Symbian. Nokia may not dump Symbian fully yet, biut would marginalize the platform only for its low end and feature phones stable.

Symbian is modernizing significantly with Symbian^3, which finally supports multi-touch and other more recent smartphone features, but until now has been criticized for an unintuitive interface and lacking more common features like a modern web browser and advanced media support. Many of Symbian’s one-time loyal partners had already scaled back many of their plans as continuing to use the platform hurt their performance relative to the iPhone and even the BlackBerry. Android so far has been the only major, cross-manufacturer mobile OS to challenge the closed but integrated Apple and RIM platforms.

As Symbian falls, Android rises. Almost all of Symbian’s (and WinMo’s) loss is translating into Android’s gain and it certainly looks like Android’s path to the No.1 OS (in terms of units/market share) is very clear.

Sony Ericsson’s smart phone line up: This Spring!

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on February 12, 2009

Sony Ericsson launches its Cyber Shot Keitai W 816, which they are hailing as the world’s first full change phone customizable both inside and out! It  doesnot look great and is probably jaded in features as well! With a 5 MP camera, wireless music output, 2.8 inch wVGA LCD screen (usingthe reality Max technology used in Bravia) and 750 MB data folder, there is nothing to write home about in this one. It is being released with the Japaneese carrier KDDI!

 
W61S includes a Sony “Exmor” CMOS image sensor for high-resolution, low-noise photos. It also includes the “Smile Shutter Lite” and “Kaokime Lite” functions found in Sony “Cyber-shot™” digital cameras that click when the subject is smiling!!

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