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A Finextra member
A Finextra member 19 August, 2011, 09:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Good piece, and I think your conclusion, that banks must actively consider the Android platform for mobile investment, is right, but perhaps for the wrong reason.

It's clear from Apple's recent legal action against Samung's Galaxy tablet that the action in the mobile technology space is moving from the R&D lab to the courtroom. And as a consequence there's a scramble between Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Google and others for patents.

In order to avoid paying royalties to the others for their OS and devices, each is trying to grab as many patents as possible - Google was recently outbid by an Apple/Microsoft consortium for Nortel's wireless patents, (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/02/apple-rim-google-nortel-patents_n_889251.html) The acquisition of Motorola Mobility is a response to that: Motorola Mobility holds around 1,300 relevant patents. Not as many as Nortel, but still a substantial bargaining chip.

This is the big picture. Tactical consequences are a by-product, I suspect. Google has stated that it plans to continue to run Motorola Mobility as an entirely separate unit. That makes sense to avoid Google competing with its own customers (HTC and Samsung primarily).

Oh, and Google bought only Motorola Mobility. Motorola Solutions (referred to by one of my colleagues as "the walkie talkie bit") was the bigger piece of Motorola - about 60% larger by revenue, and it remains independent.

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