Motorola is apparently not content to tether its lifeline on Google’s Android operating system alone.
According to InformationWeek, and confirmed by industry analysts, Motorola has hired engineers from Apple and Adobe to forge a mobile operating system as an alternative Android.
As in, Motorola is no longer willing to place all its chips in the Android camp. Motorola told me the same thing it told InfoWeek: “Motorola is committed to Android.”
Let’s step back a second. Android, along with some nifty smartphones, has served Motorola well. In the October quarter, Motorola’s Android-based Droid X and Droid 2 helped buoy the phone maker to a $109 million profit for the third quarter. Revenues hit $4.9 billion, up 13 percent from Q3 2009.
People aren’t buying those phones because they say Motorola; they’re buying them because they run Android and Google apps.
But while there are a lot of hardware makers — Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. — who make Android phones, none of them does so exclusively the way Motorola does.
Take it from Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg, who told the publication: “Nobody wants to rely on a single supplier.”
This becomes more salient when you consider the claims from patent experts that Android is at the mercy of Oracle, which is suing Google for patent and copyright infringement because the OS borrows heavily from Java.
With this threat looming, plus the omnipresent fragmentation elephant in the room, why wouldn’t Motorola have a backup and yet … I don’t think building a new OS, if the buzz is to be believed, is the answer.
We don’t need another OS. Sure, choices are great, but everybody is buying Android, iPhone or BlackBerry these days. When was the last time you heard a non-Microsoft or HP employee say they bought a phone with Windows Phone 7 or HP WebOS?
To that end, maybe Motorola can hitch its wagon to a fresh OS from an established player: Microsoft Windows Phone 7.
That’s right. If Motorola is so concerned about being wed to Android I think the phone maker should re-embrace Microsoft WP7, a fine upstart OS that could use the exposure.
Didn’t Motorola abandon Windows Mobile for Android? Yeah, I know, irony alert. But building a new platform is not the way to go. Look at Nokia, latching on to WP7 as Symbian falters.
But whatever the case, I wish Motorola luck. I loved my Razr and I love my Droid X. Rock on, Moto.