Ben Elliott · Aug 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

[BREAKING] Google Purchases Motorola Mobility

After the original Eclair-premiering Droid redeemed a failing Motorola way back in 2009, the company’s dedication to the Android platform became set in stone. We’ve seen awe-inspiring devices such as the Droid X and the Atrix along with more forgettable entries to the canon of the little green robot, including the Backflip and the Devour. Yet, barring the original Droid, Motorola’s smartphones have been plagued with issues including an unworkable UI (MotoBlur), oft-delayed updates and, perhaps most annoyingly in the XDA community, locked bootloaders.

More recently, Motorola stepped once again into the Google limelight with the introduction of the Xoom, Google’s flagship Honeycomb tablet. Despite an ambitious launch, even the Xoom could not escape Motorola’s flawed support system with advertised features and upgrades taking months to arrive. In the wake of news that Motorola once again seems to be going under (losses of $56 million in this year’s second quarter have been reported, indicating a return to the pre-Droid dark ages), the company lashed out and threatened to fire IP lawsuits at fellow Android manufacturers, a move which had the potential to severely cripple the platform.

However, an unexpected announcement today declared Google’s plans to purchase Motorola Mobility in its entirety for the princely sum of $12.5 billion. While putting an end to the patent lawsuit woes of other manufacturers, this news is potentially game-changing: for the first time since the platform’s conception, Google will have full control over a hardware manufacturer, complete with an existing user base and a respectable device legacy. Google may have worked closely with HTC and Samsung when creating the G1, Nexus One, and Nexus S devices but we can expect to soon see Motorola-made tablets and phones with even stronger ties to the company. For the consumer, this should mean a myriad of varied and well made phones with stock Android, first-in-line updates and unlocked bootloaders – exactly what we’ve been begging of Motorola’s more recent devices.

It’s still early days yet, so stay tuned to find out more about this intriguing twist in the Android story.


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Ben Elliott

ben_duder is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Hi! My name's Ben, and I'm proud to be one of the news writers at xda-developers. I live near London and have spent the last ten years wasting all the money I get my hands on on new gadgets with which to fulfil my technolust. I first got into HTC phones when I found a Lobster 700TV (the HTC Monet) at a very good price, and I'm ashamed to say that I couldn't have cared less about what operating system the phone was running as long as I could watch The Simpsons on the bus. As fellow Monet owners might know, the 'TV' part of the phone's alternate title was somewhat deceiving and was completely abandoned by the service providers in England. However, by then I had already fallen in love with the freedom Windows Mobile had given me. After the Monet came a Universal, with a Touch Pro following that. I've just bought a G1 (yeah, I know, get with the times!) because I'm really interested in Android as a budding operating system and don't think I could ever cope with a 'dumbphone' now that I know what's on offer. Although I haven't contributed much to the site in terms of programming or cooking help, I hope that I can give a bit back by letting you guys know what's new through my articles. If you have any questions, suggestions or complaints about those articles, feel free to get in touch with me via PM using the URL above. View ben_duder's posts and articles here.
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