NEWS ANALYSIS: Google is reportedly eyeing launching a tablet, and could very well deliver other hardware products in the future. Here’s why the search engine giant should stay out of the hardware business.
When Google first started as a
search company, it wasnt immediately clear what the company would become. Its
founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had an idea to make it much easier for
Web users to find desired sites, and they set out to achieve that while not
being evil. It was a concept that worked, and it helped Google become one of
the most dominant online companies the world has seen.
That dominance has aided Google
in expanding far beyond search and advertising. Now, the company is delivering
an operating system for mobile devices, a cloud-based operating system for
lightweight notebooks, and has acquired Motorola Mobility. Meanwhile, its trying to control the living room with Google TV
, and it has cornered the online video
market with YouTube.
Now, though, theres speculation
that Google might eventually launch hardware of its own. The company could deliver tablets
, and with Motorola Mobilitys help,
smartphones. In just the last two days, Google has received approval from both U.S. and European regulators for its Motorola deal.
Beyond Motorola, theres even talk of Google launching its own home-entertainment
device to take on the Apple TV.
What in the world is the search
giant thinking? Hardware is not where it should be competing. Here are several
reasons Google should stick to what it knows best.
1. It confuses customers
Unfortunately for Google, the
search company is, well, just that: a search company. Consumers today arent
expecting Google to launch new hardware or come up with an HDTV
; todays consumers expect firms like
Apple and Samsung to do that. Google should stick with search, Android and
advertising, and not try to confuse customers with hardware.
2. Taking on Apple? Not a good idea
By getting into the hardware
business, Google would need to compete with Apple on its own turf. Some Google
fans might not think thats a big deal, since Android has handily beaten iOS.
But thats software. Hardware is where Apple makes its moneyand its a
place Google wont want to compete in with the iPhone maker.
3. It hurts vendor relations
If Google ever delivers the
tablet that has been rumored for months or gets too close with Motorola
Mobility and delivers smartphones, the search giant could hurt vendor
relations. Upon doing so, it could watch some of its key partners, including
Samsung and HTC, work closely with other operating systems, like Samsungs own
Bada OS or Microsoft Windows Phone. Google must be like Microsoft and keep to
software. Its the only way to keep vendor relations intact.
4. More patent issues come into play
Currently, the majority of patent
lawsuits ravaging the mobile market revolve around Android. Although Google
developed Android, its only getting hit by one lawsuit from Oracle. However,
if the search giant gets into mobile hardware, it wont be long before it
enters Microsofts and Apples cross hairs. For now, being a hardware maker in
the mobile market means fielding lawsuit after lawsuit from tech giants. And
Google just doesnt need that.