Google has been stepping up its game around content discovery and distribution for some time. The Android Market is gone, replaced with Google Play. The latest round of announcements from Google’s I/O developer conference make it clear that the search giant’s content store is central to its plan for mobile domination.
Almost every announcement at the Google I/O keynote yesterday (except Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s skydiving stunt promoting his pet project, Google Glass) tied directly to Google Play. Android Jelly Bean makes it easier for developers to upload apps to the store and for consumers to download app updates from the store. The Nexus 7 Android tablet serves as a portal to it. The Nexus Q is all about media in the home, media drawn from it.
One of the greatest things about the mobile revolution is that it has revolutionized the discovery and distribution of content, starting with music. The new content model was proven early in the 2000s with Apple’s runaway iTunes success and, later, Amazon’s robust digital sales of Kindle books. Apple’s iPod and Amazon’s Kindle were the precursors to today’s smartphones and tablets. What we are seeing today is the same model that worked for Apple and Amazon applied to mobile touchscreen computing.
Google is late to the party. That does not mean it cannot succeed. The company realized in 2011 that its fragmented approach (Google Music, Google Books, Android Market and so on) was too disjointed to compete with incumbents in the digital content space. So Google consolidated its content services into a single repository, providing one destination that its marketing team could promote on a unified front.
If you doubt the importance of Google Play to Google, take a look at the two devices the company announced yesterday. While the Nexus 7 tablet is a far superior device to the Amazon Kindle Fire, its user interface is greatly informed by the Fire and Google’s desire to place Play front and center.
Look at the two tablets side by side and the similarities are obvious.
This doesn’t look like a coincidence. Amazon has done well sending consumers to its digital content through the Fire, and the user interface has been a factor in that success. Google is not opposed to copying a design that works, especially after Amazon used Android to build the Fire and completely shut the Android Market (as it was known at the time of the Fire’s launch) out of the device.
Tech publication AllThingsD noted in an interview with Android’s head Andy Rubin that the Google executive thought the lackluster sales of Android tablets in the last year or so had a lot to do with the paltry content ecosystem.
Then there is the Nexus Q. Since being announced at the I/O keynote, people have been calling it an inflated version of the Apple TV with AirPlay. This is not far from the truth. Until now, third-party applications (or a Google TV) were needed to get music and movies from Play to a television over a wireless connection. The Nexus Q is part of Google’s plan to take over the living room, and at its heart it is an Android device tied to Play.
There is irony here, of course. Google is a giant company with huge resources. It is battling anybody and everybody in the technology industry, and its primary weapons are search, Android and cloud computing. The evolution of Google’s Play strategy now puts content on the frontline. Yet Google has also placed itself in a position to disrupt other billion-dollar companies’ revenue streams.
Google wants Android to be everywhere. In your pocket on smartphones. In your briefcase or handbag with tablets. In your living room with the Nexus Q. Yet great technology matters little if there is not much you can do with it. Apple and Amazon proved that, indeed, content is still king. For Google, that means it is time to Play.
The case pitting Google against Oracle over the use of Java in Android is turning into a spat of epic proportions. The opening arguments are in the books, with Google trying to portray Oracle as a spurned girlfriend trying to wrangle money out of a failed relationship. Oracle, meanwhile, painted Google as a callous ex-boyfriend who blithely takes what it wants, when it wants, with no regard for anyone else.
“It’s not about them protecting their intellectual property. It’s not about protecting the Java community,” Google attorney Robert Van Nest said. “They want to share in Google’s success with Android even though they had nothing to do with Android.”
“You can’t just step on someone’s intellectual property because you have a good business reason for it,” said Michael Jacobs, Oracle’s attorney. “Google makes a lot of money from Android, and a portion of that money is Oracle’s.“
Oracle considered purchasing either Palm and its webOS software (which eventually got snapped up by Hewlett-Packard, with disastrous results) or Research In Motion and its BlackBerry platform. Clearly, Oracle wanted in on the smartphone game. Its biggest chip was Java, and Oracle seems to believe that Google stole that opportunity.
To see what’s really going on, let’s break down the case for each side with slides from the opening arguments:
The first thing to know about the case is that it is currently in Phase 1, which will deal with Oracle’s copyright claims over Google’s use of Java in Android. Phase 2 will be about two specific patents that Oracle claims Google violated in creating Android. Phase 3 will be to determine damages, if any.
Google’s primary point is that Java was made free and open to the world by Sun Microsystems before it was acquired by Oracle. Countering, Oracle says that specific lines of source code were directly copied from Java, as were many of the APIs that make Java work. Oracle shows several instances of where Java code was copied in Android, which amounts to about nine lines of code.
Android has more than 15 million lines of code. Google says that it took three years and countless hours to put together Android and that everything it did was built from scratch in a “clean room” environment where developers were supposed to not have knowledge of existing outside technology.
Oracle counters, saying that several of the APIs used in Android are directly named after Java APIs and perform the exact same function. Google shows that while the naming may have been the same, the code was distinctly different.
Google then goes on to play up the spurned girlfriend idea, showing how both Sun Microsystems and later Oracle welcomed Google to the Java ecosystem with its triumphant creation of Android.
Oracle is trying to show that Google has fragmented the Java ecosystem and did not have the good of Java in mind when it created Android. Oracle’s lawyers are trotting out several emails between Google engineer Tim Lindholm and Android’s chief Andy Rubin saying, “we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need.” Lindholm will be a witness early in the proceedings.
Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 for $7.38 billion, mostly so it could take over control of Java.
Oracle argues that many companies using Java accepted licenses from Sun, but Google spurned the licenses and did it itself, Sun (and later Oracle) be damned.
Oracle goes on to say that even though Google said internally that it thought it would need a Java license, it never got one. Because Google went ahead with Java without the license (ostensibly thinking it could do it all itself), Android has become “hugely profitable” for Google.
This is not necessarily the case. Google profits from Android through advertising and search, which are not necessarily a direct manifestation of Java itself. Google does not charge for licenses for Android and provides the source code and Linux kernel the operating system is built upon for free.
As mentioned, Oracle shows where Google copied certain elements of Java, such as source code, Java APIs and various objects and methods. This gets into the heart of the point in contention and will be where the jury must decide how much Google used, what it is worth and if it is even copyrightable.
For the second Mobile World Congress in a row, Google’s Android booth is the coolest in Barcelona. Not just because it’s big and bright, and features free snacks, but because it epitomizes Google’s geekiness.
There’s the same slide to whiz down as Google had last year, and the same free smoothies. But this year, Google has also added a big robot that’s crafting jewel-encrusted Galaxy Nexus faceplates while people watch. There are Android-shaped ice cream sandwiches, to honor the current “Ice Cream Sandwich” version of Android. And there are now two Android-tablet-powered claw-game machines. People have been waiting in line all day to try to win Google goodies, like stuffed Android dolls.
See: it’s geeky! And that’s why it’s suddenly so exciting to this gadget geek that Google is acquiring Motorola.
Here’s the best-case, dream scenario: That after Google and Motorola get over the awkwardness of their combination, they actually start producing some really cool, really nerdy, really futuristic gadgets.
Why? Because Google’s founders and employees are among the smartest, geekiest engineers in the world. They can see the future before a lot of us. They are already dreaming up crazy new devices that aren’t necessarily practical or necessary but could be really, really cool.
And now that they have a hardware company that they own, that they can feel comfortable rejecting products from until they’re really good enough, they might actually be able to deliver some of these things to us geeks.
Last week, when the New York Times reported that Google is really working on computerized glasses, my instinct was to make fun of Google. Just as I might have when it was reported that Google is also working on some sort of computerized speaker system. Because it’s easy to say, “oh, it’s just those crazy Google guys at it again! Wasting time when they should be working!”
But after thinking about it for a few minutes, I changed my mind. Why shouldn’t glasses run software and have cameras and cell service in the future? And why shouldn’t Google be building that sort of stuff?
Heck, Google’s probably one of the only companies that’s smart enough to actually do something like that the right way. And it’s definitely one of the only companies that’s rich enough to fund wacky experiments like these as side projects. Maybe they’ll actually be cool, useful, or world-changing. And if not, then it’s on to the next ones.
Here in Barcelona, Motorola’s booth is a short walk around the corner from Google’s. It’s in a big room and it’s nice enough. There’s a display of Android tablets, some props that you can use to test a Motorola phone’s durability against sand and water, and there is an odd display of people exercising on stage to promote the “MOTOACTV” fitness products.
It’s fine. But it’s nothing special. Sort of like the devices Motorola has been shipping for the last few years. Better than the dark ages after the RAZR burned out, but not the sort of devices you’d pick up and say, “whoa, this is the future.”
And that’s where Google plus Motorola has potential to do truly unique things. Maybe not as Motorola’s main focus; it seems that there will still be a meat-and-potatoes business, where it makes handsets and tablets for carriers, the way it does now. But if part of Motorola’s role could be to serve as Google’s gadget lab, making cool, geeky products that actually ship, that could be fun for us geeks.
Google has made a lot of noise that it’s going to keep Motorola separate, run it at an arm’s length, etc., so as to avoid angering its hundreds of Android partners and probably a few governments. Google has “literally built a firewall” between its Android team and Motorola, Android boss Andy Rubin told reporters here in Barcelona yesterday.
But we can dream!
When it comes to the nuances of the mobile landscape, there are not many people out there more knowledgeable than analyst Chetan Sharma. We have long relied on the work of Sharma at ReadWriteWeb to inform our own reporting and opinions about where the mobile industry is going. For the start of 2012, Sharma turned it around. He surveyed a wide swath of insiders to determine what the biggest stories were in 2011 and how the industry will evolve in the new year.
The consensus top story was the rise of Android and its dominance over the ecosystem. A close second was the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The Kindle Fire, intellectual property battles and “other” issues round out the top five. Who will succeed in 2012? How will developers make money? What will be the breakthrough category in mobile in 2012? Sharma’s results are below.
Google The Most “Open”
This may come as a joke to most many industry followers, but Sharma’s insiders vote Google the “most open player in the mobile ecosystem” for 2012. Granted, the options are not that much better, but Google rocked the competition with a little less than 70% of the vote while no other player, including Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, the carriers, OEMs or Amazon got more than 10%. This is the fourth year that Google has been the most open in the mobile according to Sharma’s polls, though the percentage has been decreasing since its peak in 2010.
So much for “clopen?”
Really, there is a lot more to being “open” than just the vague espoused by the so-called “clopen” argument. Google has made the entire Ice Cream Sandwich source code available online to anybody that knows how to use it. Are there problems with the update process? Certainly. But, you do not see anybody trying to put iOS/webOS/Windows Phone on the Kindle Fire or HP TouchPad.
The insiders are still high on mobile payments as the breakthrough category for 2012. There were a lot of advancements in mobile payments in 2011 but the thought of paying with your smartphone is still more of a dream than reality for most consumers. About 23% of consumers have now warmed up to the notion of mobile payments according to a recent report. The next breakthrough category is mCommerce followed by mHealth, enterprise and near field communications. Sharma’s insiders are not nearly so high on mobile advertising as they were a year ago.
The survey predicts that the financial sector will be the leader in mobile payments. This fits in with what we have seen in the latter half of 2011 where the technology and financial sectors started to merge. No other company or industry vertical got more than 20% of the vote, with the cellular operators (Verizon/AT&T etc.) and startups (Square/Dwolla/LevelUp) competing in the space.
Movers & Shakers
What company is going to make the biggest mobile acquisition in 2012? The group thinks that Microsoft has the biggest potential to purchase something large. Many of the pundits in the survey probably think that Microsoft will be forced to make some kind of major plunge like putting in a takeover bid for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion or going all the way with Nokia and just subsuming the company into the Redmond umbrella.
Google, as always, is could be a viper ready to strike and snap up a large mobile company. It has done so before and surprised the industry each time with both AdMob and Motorola. The carriers are likely to make more content and developer acquisitions in the coming years than they have previously showed interest in before.
The most influential person in mobile last year was Steve Jobs, followed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Android creator Andy Rubin came in fourth behind … Angry Birds?!
Mobile Web, Native Apps, Monetization & The Cloud
Is 2012 going to be the Year Of The Mobile Web? Most of the respondents said that the “mobile Web will start to become more relevant.” About 13% fewer answered that “apps will continue to dominate” than did so in 2011.
Mobile cloud computing will increase in 2012. That includes people tying data services to their smartphones but also developers tying their applications to the cloud. Enterprise is the leading use-case for the mobile clouds with storage and media each taking 20% and apps close behind at 19%.
You can see the full survey results from Sharma’s insiders here.
Overall, we can use Sharma’s survey as an accurate roadmap of what to expect in 2012. More mobile Web, more cloud, more disruption while Android and Apple dominate and the rest of the ecosystem has to play catch up.
There are 20 questions in total in Sharma’s survey. Head on over and let us know how you would answer each of the survey questions in the comments.
So, there is going to be a Facebook Phone, if a week long series from AllThingsD can be trusted. It will come from HTC, the same original equipment manufacturer that brought us the ChaCha and the Salsa, some of the first smartphones with the “F” button concept that brought users straight to a Facebook interface for a social layer baked right into the device. Facebook needs to continue its hard push into mobile, but does a dedicated device, based on Android, make any sense?
Foremost, Facebook might want to consider changing the name of the mobile platform. Facebook Phone does not inspire confidence in consumers. It was code-named Buffy when it was being developed by a team of top-notch engineers more than a year ago. That was a derivative of the “social layer” that was nicknamed “slayer” by the group. One of the reasons that Google has done so well is because Android sounds cool and Google did not change the name when it bought the company from Andy Rubin in 2005. There is a lot of potential things to like, or hate, from a Facebook Phone. We examine those and it is also the topic of this week’s ReadWriteMobile poll. Vote below.
Crux of Facebook’s Mobile Plan: The Web
The Facebook Phone will be built on Android probably in much the same way as Amazon did with the Kindle Fire. Yet, also much like the Kindle Fire, Facebook’s approach will be centered on the mobile Web.
Facebook has two distinct beliefs in its approach to its platform: it is built of the Web and it is inherently social. Think of the Open Social Graph as a tree that roots itself across the Internet. That graph branches almost everywhere that the Web can go. It is the core strength of the company and there is no way that Facebook would create a smartphone that did not inherently tap in to that great strength. Take a look at how Facebook was designed to write once, run everywhere and get into the nitty-gritty of Dave Fetterman’s words and you will have a good understanding of the approach that Facebook takes.
Image: Fetterman on stage at f8.
This is the base for the “slayer” concept. Adding a social layer to mobile to such depths that no other company can. We have seen apps use social as an engagement layer through services like Socialize, but that is a drop-in SDK, not a platform. Facebook as a platform could lay on top of Android and push everything through Facebook’s services, such as messaging, photos (Facebook is, after all, the biggest photo sharing site in the world), Skype, events and contacts. The way Facebook wins on Android is by making Facebook the portal to the Web, in your pocket wherever you go.
But there is a different, and very important, side to this conversation that is not just about the Web and the slayer concept. An application ecosystem is paramount to success in mobile.
Reconciling Facebook and Android Apps
We have known for some time that Facebook will push an HTML5 Web app ecosystem through its platform. Facebook CTO Bret Tayler say at Facebook’s f8 developer conference that the company has no immediate plans for a centralized app repository. Given Facebook’s focus on sharing, that makes perfect sense. By making app discovery social, Facebook increases the amount of connections it can make between users, increasing the strength of the social graph.
This is where Facebook can take a note from an unlikely name in the mobile space that does social app sharing very well: BlackBerry.
One of the keenest things that Research In Motion has done with the BlackBerry Messenger is the ability to send apps as data packets to friends. If you want to share an app with a fellow BlackBerry user, send it through BBM and the recipient will download it upon arrival. Facebook does not have that particular function yet but it is within easy reach of the Facebook Messenger app, which is a stand-alone app from the Facebook platform on mobile devices. In terms of viral growth, that is probably Facebook’s best bet of spreading Web apps through mobile devices.
A prong of Facebook’s mobile attack will be how it evolves with HTML5 applications. We have studied that several times on ReadWriteWeb and the crux is lays with the above notion of the Web. Yet, no matter how many Web apps the Facebook developer ecosystem can build with HTML5, Android will always have more and, in many ways, better apps.
Is this really a problem for Facebook? The answer, likely, is no. In a Facebook Phone, the company could fairly easily institute a sharing button for native Android apps. The primary question though is whether Facebook allows the full Android Market onto its platform devices. Many users will want it but there are alternatives, such as GetJar, which already is a great way for Kindle Fire users to escape the ardent filter of the Amazon Appstore.
Apps naturally lead to the question of payment. Facebook Credits would have to be the default system for Web apps through its platform devices. The growth potential there is great for Facebook and its developer ecosystem. Yet, how does Facebook handle non-Web apps, especially if there is Android Market integration? Does Google Checkout have to live next to Facebook Credits? This is one of the reasons that Amazon makes it basically impossible to access the Android Market on the Kindle Fire, so as to push all payments through its One-Click purchasing solution. Facebook has to decide where it straddles the line of “open” when it comes to its platform and using Android. The app ecosystem, unto itself, could not pose many problem. More apps, more people, better for all. The transactional nature of payments and the flow of money? Big problem.
Benefit To The Ecosystem?
The why of a Facebook Phone is straightforward: mobile is where users are going to be spending the vast amount of their computing time in the near future. How: through HTC with the mobile Web layered on top of Android tied strongly to the Facebook social graph.
How does a dedicated Facebook Phone benefit the mobile ecosystem? Does it give users an option that they would rather use outside of iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Symbian, Tizen , webOS or Bada? Does the concept of a social layer sell devices? Can Facebook develop an enticing enough app ecosystem to pull users from the other platforms? This is the crux of the poll for this week. Vote and let us know in the comments what the benefit of a Facebook Phone would be.
Editor’s note: This morning news broke that Google has acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The move is a fork for Google in that it is getting into the device business on a large scale for the first time in its history. The big discussion is surrounds the fact that part of Google’s acquisition of Motorola is to “defend Android” from patent lawsuits from the likes of Microsoft, Apple and others. Motorola has 17,000 mobile patents with another 7,500 pending. Google hopes to use those patents to protect Android and the entire ecosystem, including other Android original equipment manufacturers outside of Motorola, against attacks.
The below transcript is the highlights from the conference call that Google and Motorola held this morning after the announcement. Questions from analysts and financial companies have been stripped so as to show the answers to pertinent issues from Google and Motorola.
Larry Page – Google CEO
I’m very excited to announce that we have entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility this morning, an agreement that has been unanimously approved by both Boards. I believe the combination of the two companies is going to create tremendous shareholder value, drive great user experiences and accelerate innovation.
In May 2005 I met Andy Rubin for the first time. Andy had a crazy vision for the mobile industry. He wanted to align the standards across the mobile industry and the Internet. Andy felt that it was inefficient for each hardware manufacturer to have developed software constantly. Andy had a vision for an open-source platform that would accelerate the pace of innovation in the industry and deliver compelling user experiences.
That was just six years ago and Android is now one of the leading platforms in the industry. Andy has grown tremendously — or Android, I should say, has grown tremendously since its launch in November of 2007. More than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide through a network of 39 manufacturers, 231 carriers in 123 countries. And there’s more than 550,000 Android devices are lit up every day, that’s just amazing progress.
Turning our attention to Motorola Mobility, they have an amazing track record of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and the development of intellectual property, which helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today.
Motorola’s innovation in the mobile space has led to a number of industry milestones, including the introduction of the world’s first portable cell phone nearly 30 years ago and the StarTAC, the smallest and lightest phone on earth at the time of the launch.
Not long after the launch after Android Motorola Mobility had a new CEO and he got together with Andy and they shared a vision for the mobile industry. Sanjay made a big bet; he bet big on Android as the sole operating system across all of Motorola’s smartphone and tablet devices. That bet has seen him transform Motorola Mobility into one of the leading Android smartphone developers in the world.
It’s no secret that Web usage is increasingly shifting to mobile devices, a trend I expect to continue. With mobility continuing to take center stage in the computing revolution, the combination with Motorola is an extremely important event in Google’s continuing evolution that will drive a lot of improvements in our ability to deliver great user experiences.
Motorola Mobility has a great team with experience in developing solutions for mobile computing and for the home devices market. I’m impressed by the transformation of Motorola Mobility that the team there has initiated. I think they have an exciting product roadmap, a strong vision for the future and are poised for growth.
I think there’s an opportunity to accelerate innovation in the home business by working together with the cable and telco industry as we go through a transition to Internet protocol. Motorola also has a strong patent portfolio which will help protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.
Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing our work with all of them on an equal basis to deliver outstanding user experiences. We built Android as an open-source platform and it will stay that way. We’ve committed to that since the formation of the Open Handset Alliance nearly four years ago. Our plan is that Motorola will remain a licensee of Android.
Having spoken to some of the key partners of the Android ecosystem, they share our enthusiasm for this combination. I’m really excited about the acquisition and the possibilities it opens up for the Android ecosystem. My intention is to work closely with the Motorola teams and let Sanjay and his management team drive the business, that way we can supercharge both the Android ecosystem as well as the Motorola business.
David Drummond – Google Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
We’ve been saying for some time that we intend to protect the Android ecosystem; it’s under threat from some companies who are looking to use patents (technical difficulty).
And so I think while I’m not prepared to talk about specific strategies, we think that combining with Motorola and having that kind of a patent portfolio, which Sanjay can talk about in a moment, to protect the ecosystem is a good thing.
Sanjay Jha – Motorola Mobility Chairman & CEO
Thanks, David. Just talking about the patent portfolio that we have here at Motorola Mobility, we have over 17,000 issued patents worldwide, we have on top of that over 7,500 patent applications in process. We have tremendous strength not only in wireless standards but also wireless non-essential patents which are the patents which are required to deliver competitive products in the marketplace. And as a result of the combination of these patents we believe we’ll be able to provide much better support to the businesses at Motorola Mobility as well as support the Android ecosystem.
Andy Rubin – Google Senior Vice President of Mobile (Android Founder)
I spoke yesterday to I think it was the top five Android licensees and they all showed very enthusiastic support for the deal. Android obviously was born as an open platform; it doesn’t make sense for it to be a single OEM. We want to go as wide as possible and obviously all of our existing OEM partners help make it what it is today.
I’m really excited about this deal and I think while there are competencies there that aren’t core to us so, we’re also — as I mentioned, we’re operating — we’ll plan to operate Motorola Mobility as a separate business so that they have competency there.
And I’m really excited about protecting and supporting the Android ecosystem. And I think that their patent on Android two and a half years ago has really paid off and there’s evidence from their success in the smartphone space.
And we really believe that Motorola Mobility has tremendous opportunity for growth and will really create a lot of value in the future.
And we really believe in the plans of the Motorola team, Sanjay and their vision for the future and really expect them to be successful. So I think this is a really unique opportunity and one that I’m tremendously excited about.
Sure, this is David. Look, I think that we’ve seen some very aggressive licensing demands in the Android ecosystem and we think this is a result of having the patent portfolio we’ll be able to make sure that Android remains open and vibrant and the kind of platform that lots of companies can (technical difficulty).
On Motorola and Ecosystem
Thank you. Look, I mean, Motorola existed as one of the really, really early licensees of Android, they were a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance. After this transaction nothing changes, they’re going to be a separate business and it’s business as usual for Android. So I see it as basically protecting the ecosystem and extending it as well.
On Regulatory Concerns
Sure, this is David. On the first question, this is a transaction obviously given its size that will require regulatory approval and a number — certainly in the United States, certainly in Europe and possibly some other jurisdictions.
We’re quite confident that this will be approved. We believe very strongly this is a pro-competitive transaction and there are lots of reasons for that. But a couple of them — Android has clearly added competition, innovation, increased user choice. We think that protecting that ecosystem is pro-competitive almost by definition.
This is not a horizontal transaction. Google has not materially been in the handset business, so we think there are — so this certainly doesn’t draw those kinds of concerns and we certainly think this is a very competitive transaction.
In terms of the — you mentioned terms of the agreement. I think we’ll be filing the agreement between Motorola and Google’s public filings. We’ll have the details of the agreement in those filings and those will be forthcoming shortly.
On Nexus Device Strategy and Ecosystem
Sure, and to add to Larry’s points, we have this strategy where we have the Nexus program and we have this lead device strategy.
That strategy has worked quite well to help focus the team. What we do is we select each — around Christmas time of each year we select a manufacturer that we work very closely with to release a device in that time frame.
That includes also semiconductor companies and all the components that go in the device. And essentially the teams huddle together in one building, they jointly work on these development efforts, they go on for 12 — nine to 12 months and ultimately at the holiday season or right before it devices pop out that are based on the this effort.
We don’t expect that to change at all. The acquisition is going to be run as a separate business; they will be part of that bidding process and part of that lead development process. And obviously Android remains open to other partners to use as they are today.
On Patent Defending
I think we’ve said for some time that we need to build our patent portfolio to make sure that Android and other businesses can be successful. So we will continue to do that.
Yes, absolutely. Thanks, Patrick. I think one thing I’d say is that we are really excited about this whole business and working with the Motorola team and all the employees and all the hard work there that’s gone on over the years. And we at Google are very excited about this and I think the Motorola Mobility folks are as well and there’s tremendous opportunity here.
Android is growing like crazy; we think that will benefit all partners in the Android ecosystem including Motorola. And we’re very excited about those opportunities going forward. It really allows us to supercharge the whole Android ecosystem.
They made a great bet on Android that was really successful and that’s made them the leading Android smartphone maker and we really believe that Motorola Mobility is poised for tremendous growth. And furthermore I’d say that the leading — they’re a leading home devices maker, that’s also a big opportunity. And we’re working with them and the industry to really accelerate innovation.
So with that I want to thank everyone for joining us on such short notice and thank all of the employees at Motorola Mobility and at Google for all of their hard work and for all of you for spending time with us this morning.