Earlier this month when Steven Elop, the CEO of Nokia, was in China discussing the Q4 rollout of their new Windows Phone, the N9, he made an interesting comment about Google purchasing Motorola.
It creates a great deal of uncertainty for the Android ecosystem. I'm sure it is of great concern for many of the Android participants.
Elop also said that the effects of the deal will only be realized over time and that it will also affect hardware manufacturers' allegiances to the platform.
Android hardware manufacturers like HTC and Samsung are already getting squeezed for every Android phone they produce and Microsoft is making a lot of money off of Google's Android patent infringements. It also doesn't help that Google has made some decisions in the past that might not have been in the best interest of manufacturers, like when they decided to decline Microsoft's offer to join the Rockstar Consortium which would have given them access to the Nortel patents and possibly prevented further patent infringements in the future. Now Google getting their hands on Motorola adds a whole new element to the situation.
Find out what this could mean for Android users after the break.
From Google's point of view it is probably a good move to purchase Motorola as a method of safeguarding their Android OS. It is possible that they foresee HTC and Samsung's commitment to the platform as shaky even though it has been so widely adopted. Nokia isn't an option either as Elop decided their future was best put in the hands of Windows Phone 7 and they really have no plans to put out devices with the Android OS on them. It's also possible that Microsoft will incentivise manufacturers to move away from Android with some enticing Windows Phone 7 licensing.
While HP seems content to stop making hardware, they didn't axe their webOS software which is probably looking better and better as an Android alternative to manufacturers right now. HTC has also said that it was looking for other software to license but didn't mention webOS by name. Like Elop said, only time will tell the nature of this deal but if Google doesn't find a way to quickly turn things around, they might have to start paying Microsoft to produce their own Android devices.