Distilling market noise into market sense

VisionMobile is the leading research company in the app economy. Our Developer Economics research program tracks developer experiences across platforms, revenues, apps, tools, APIs, segments and regions, via the largest, most global developer surveys.

No, Google is not going ‘horizontal’ by selling Motorola

Another excellent move by Google: Offload Motorola Mobile Devices to Lenovo, while keeping the patents to themselves.

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Skimming through the news this morning, I found there is apparently a lot of confusion about the planned sale of Motorola by Google. From decrying a huge loss by Google by such infotainment sites like Wired and Slate, to seeing Google giving up on copying vertical integration of Apple (hardware + software + services), like Stratechery by Ben Thomson.

Let’s look at things from a broader perspective. The acquisition of Motorola was necessary to protect Android, after Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry outbid Google for Nortel patents. The Apple-Microsoft-BlackBerry trio made it very clear that they intend to put a drag on then-fledging Android ecosystem and extort royalties from Android OEMs. The cost of doing nothing was huge for Google – just think how much more nasty the patent wars may have turned out for Android if the acquisition hadn’t taken place. Any “profit and loss” analysis of the Motorola deal must account for the opportunity cost associated with Motorola patents. Android is, was and will be critically important for Google’s core online ad business, as I will explain in a bit.

The elusive long-tail of mobile shipments

[The era of smartphones is upon us, as penetration increases from 11% in 2008 to over 25% in 2011. But what of the remaining three quarters of the market? Marketing Manager Matos Kapetanakis talks smartphone numbers and takes a look at the elusive long-tail of feature phone shipments] Dawn of the smartphone era Smartphone penetration…

The post-Motorola dilemma: Same old-Google or the new Apple?

[Google’s pending acquisition of Motorola creates a dilemma: Google must choose between staying true to its core business or reshaping into the new vertical giant that will challenge Apple at its own game. Research Director Andreas Constantinou discusses Google’s dilemma and why both outcomes stand to radically change the rules of the Android Empire] Google’s…

The mobile services landscape: Can OEMs compete with platform vendors?

Growing competition and price pressures push handset makers to seek new ways to differentiate. This increasingly means services. VisionMobile Research Partner Michael Vakulenko compares service offerings of leading handset makers, explaining why OEMs will struggle to create meaningful differentiation through services.

The Android Monopoly and how to harness it

[Behind Android’s stellar success is a love and hate relationship with handset vendors. Android is a critical launchpad for PC-borne OEMs like Dell and Acer, but a short-term life support for mobile vendor incumbents like Sony Ericsson and Motorola. Research Director Andreas Constantinou looks at how OEMs can leverage on virtualisation to get the best…

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