Motorola Acquires Location-Based Services Firm Aloqa

Motorola snaps up Aloqa for its location-based services and Google Android compatibility for an undisclosed sum.

Communications giant Motorola announced the acquisition of Aloqa GmbH, a privately held developer of location-based software and technologies that are designed to enable the discovery of relevant Web content by mobile smartphone users. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Aloqa has joined Motorola Mobility, which is comprised of Motorola's mobile devices and home businesses. Motorola Mobility is expected to be spun off from Motorola in the first quarter of 2011, according to a Motorola company release.

Aloqa's technologies and services utilize the user's context, such as location, identity and social relationships, to proactively inform them of places, events, bargains and other opportunities of which they may choose to take advantage. For example, if Aloqa's software recognizes the user is in a certain region, it will offer the user the top events of the day or special offers of leading discounters in the vicinity. Aloqa distributes its product as a mobile application for smartphone platforms, including Google's open-source Android platform, and the company claims more than one million users have already downloaded its software.

"Aloqa is an exciting addition to Motorola Mobility as its specialized engineering talent and location-tracking technology will significantly accelerate the release of our context-aware mobile services platform," said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services product management for Motorola Mobility. "Aloqa's core technologies, user database, and specialized skills are a strong fit with our planned server-side context delivery architecture and will further enhance Motorola's Motoblur capabilities. We welcome Aloqa's highly skilled personnel to the Motorola Mobility team."

Motorola said Aloqa would also further enhance the company's Motoblur technology, which delivers customized content to mobile device homescreens and allows users to access social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter updates, along with emails, news and favorite apps and widgets all in one place. The company said they plan to integrate Motoblur with Aloqa's open, location-triggered mobile push platform to connect users and publishers of location-aware content in real-time.

"We are proud that a global mobile giant like Motorola chose the Aloqa platform as a core part of its future in location technologies," said Aloqa CEO Sanjeev Agrawal. "Like every startup, we have always dreamed of our technology and product being used by tens of millions of satisfied users everywhere. Being a part of the Motorola Mobility team will help us achieve this goal."

The company's ability to integrate with Android may have played a significant role in Motorola's decision to acquire Aloqa, as Motorola's device segment continues to keep its focus on Android, a mobility strategy that rewarded the company with increased smartphone sales during the second quarter, despite overall sales falling six percent.

Motorola launched six handsets running the Android operating system and saw shipment totals of 2.3 million smartphones and 8.5 million total handsets, during the second quarter its smartphone tally jumped to 2.7 million units, though total handset sales fell to 8.3 million units. Most notable among its second-quarter launches was the Droid X-an Android-running smartphone with a 1GHz processor and 4.3-inch display. In addition to the Droid X, during the second quarter Motorola launched the Flipout and the Charm-both running Android-as well as the world's first Android push-to-talk phone, the more enterprise-geared Motorola i1 on the Sprint Nextel network.