Thursday, August 18, 2011

Google's Acquisition of Motorola Mobility: Its Impact in Korea

Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility is making big news around the world, but particularly here in Korea, home of two major handset manufacturers, Samsung and LG.  As noted by The Chosun Ilbo, Google's US$12.5 billion takeover of Motorola Mobility not only allows the search giant to obtain a portfolio of more than 17,000 patents but also gives it the capability to roll out cheap-and-cheerful smartphones within a year or two.
The same paper published an opinion piece entitled "Korean IT Industry Needs to Make Fundamental Changes." It reads in part,
"The world's largest Internet company Google has acquired Motorola Mobility, the mobile phone unit of the U.S. company. So far Google has supplied its Android operating system free of charge to smartphone and tablet PC manufacturers, but now it has gone beyond the software industry and entered the hardware market. Motorola ranks eighth in the global smartphone market, but it is still a formidable force. The company was the first to market a mobile phone in 1973 and has around 17,000 mobile communications patents.
The smartphone market is divided between Apple's iPhone, which has an 18 percent stake, and Android-based handsets, which control 48 percent. Microsoft, another software powerhouse, has already teamed up with Finland's Nokia and is competing fiercely for a larger slice of the pie. Amid rumors that Microsoft may buy Nokia, we cannot rule out the possibility that the global smartphone market could be dominated by Apple, Google and Microsoft, which all have both OS development know-how and handset manufacturing capability."

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