Google Should Streamline Motorolas Mobile Product Line

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-05-22

Google Now Owns Motorola Mobility: 10 Things It Should Do With It

Now that Google has officially paid its $12.5 billion to take over Motorola Mobility the fun starts for the search giant. It can focus its efforts on improving Motorola Mobility, seeing once and for all what it€™s now taking over and hopefully find ways to unlock value that the company€™s former management just couldn€™t.

Moreover, Google can set out to justify to its shareholders why paying so much cash for a mobile firm really makes so much sense. It will be a challenge that should reveal how smart Google€™s top executives are as investors and managers.

However, as Google considers its plans for Motorola Mobility, the company must be careful. Leaving the mobile firm alone is, of course, not a good idea, but trying to do too much is also a mistake. At this point, Google must make decisions with scalpel-like precision to ensure that its shareholders don€™t end up questioning its acquisition. Five years from now, Google should endeavor to have its shareholders look back at the acquisition and say that it dramatically improved both Google and the mobile marketplace it€™s competing in.

Read on to find out what sort of things the search company should do with Motorola Mobility to unlock its value and justify its high price.

1. Deliver tablets

Although Motorola was one of the first Android vendors to deliver a tablet with its Xoom slate, the company hasn€™t made a mark in that space. The time has come for Google to help Motorola make that mark and deliver tablets. To not do so would be a mistake.

2. Distance itself to appeal to vendors

One of the biggest concerns regulators had with the acquisition is the possibility of Motorola and Google getting too close and hurting other Android vendors. The smart move for Google would be to maintain just the right amount of management distance between the companies and show that it€™s not giving Motorola any preferential treatment.

3. Remember patents

One of the main reasons Google acquired Motorola was to have access to its patent portfolio. With those patents, Google can do a much better job of protecting itself against Oracle, Apple and others and maybe even help its Android partners better defend themselves. It€™s a big opportunity for Google.

4. Think about Motorola€™s software prowess

Although Motorola was using Android in its handsets, the company was able to modify the operating system with its own software skins. Google should keep that in mind and do its best to take advantage of Motorola€™s software expertise. Who knows what its developers could come up with?

Google Should Streamline Motorolas Mobile Product Line

5. Get Motorola to focus on innovative Chromebooks

Google last year unveiled Chromebooks, but since then, the company has all but ignored the new form factor. Unfortunately, its vendor partners have ignored it, as well. Maybe Motorola can be the company to focus on Chromebooks and resurrect the devices. With one successful launch, Chromebooks could be back on the map.

6. Poach the best talent

One of the nice things about buying a company is having the option to pick through its best talent and bring those folks on board at the parent company. Although Motorola hasn€™t been doing so well, the company has some high-quality talent. Google should find those folks and bring them back to the mothership.

7. Simplify Motorola€™s device lineup

Motorola has been making poor decisions over the last several years by delivering far more devices than necessary. With Google€™s help, the company can now reduce the number of products it sells and focus on the products that have the best chance of being a hit with customers. The fewer, more innovative devices it releases, the better.

8. Layoffs are a double-edged sword

According to TechCrunch, Google is planning to lay off many of Motorola€™s employees after it has a chance to find out where the company can reduce staff. Although layoffs are often used to reduce costs, Google should think twice about them at the moment. The search company really doesn€™t know just yet what it has taken over. It€™s best to find out before jumping for layoffs.

9. Bring back Motorola€™s innovation

Over the years, Motorola has been an innovator in electronics and communications. However, over the last several years, the company has fallen short in market-changing innovation. It€™s about time Google uses its cash and Motorola€™s own investment budgets to bring back significant innovation at the company. Without such innovation, Motorola will never be able to justify the high price Google paid for it.

10. Take the fight to Microsoft

Finally, it€™s worth pointing out that Motorola and Microsoft are currently locked in a bitter patent dispute over the H.264 industry standard. Motorola would like to see Microsoft€™s Xbox 360 and even Windows 7 banned from sale. Although Google could take the high road here and try to move past the lawsuit, it really shouldn€™t. Now is Google€™s chance to go head-to-head with Microsoft. Why not take the chance?

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