Are Google’s Hardware Dreams Over?

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Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) –- Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick and Bloomberg’s Brad Stone and Jon Erlichman discuss Lenovo acquiring Motorola Mobility from Google for $2.9B and what it truly means for the future of Google. They speak to Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Studio.

Is google trying too hard to be apple?

Yes and no.

No in that the deal in 2012 primarily happened because of interlech chull property.

Tons of litigation, threatened litigation in the android world.

They wanted the patents.

And they wants to quell motorola.

At the time motorola's c.e.o. is making noise about potential slilling them to other players, maybe suing google, maybe looking at windows mobile.

In that -- you know, in that dimension, the acquisition was a success but they also really had some big hardware dreams for motorola.

They brought dennis woodside, longtime executive to run it, hired the head of darpa and brought her into motorola.

Phones were interesting but it never achieved the promise they had for it.

Speaking of dennis woodside, i know you have spoken to him many, many times.

Any indication this was in the cards?

I don't think so.

Obviously now it looks like this was the obvious move.

But as you listened to him talk about the value of this business as part of google, which, of course, you're going to spread that message until you decide you don't want to own the business or find someone to buy it, it did make some sense.

Obviously, it was a little tricky in the sense google through android has so many partners and doesn't want to get any too angry at the sense this is part of the google business.

But we spoke in january most recently at the consumer electronics show.

The moto x and moto g, the lower-priced device, they're trying to have sort of a very small lineup of phones where they can really help rebuild the brand.

Here's a little more of what he had to say at the time -- we are trying to build a global brand around moto.

And motorola was known as a leader in future phoneses but didn't have global brand that could compete with galaxy and iphone.

We're only five months in.

We're seeing moto x stand for really high-quality, experience device in android, easy, intuitive android device compared to some of the our competitors.

I think you can make the argument, emily, the google team that went to motorola to help turn motorola what it is now has actually helped to make it an attractive enough business this the folks at lenovo would be interested in it.

Jon, do we know where dennis woodside is going?

He was -- they were just asked that on "the call." lenovo executives said that woodside and senior executives from motorola mobility team would be going to lenovo.

They were also asked questions about what happens to the operations of the headquarters in illinois and obviously their manufacturing at least putting time pieces of the phones together at a plant in the united states.

They got questions on those, which they kind of dodge but they're trying to say hey, we understand this is an american business.

And we're buying an american business and we're not looking to make it smaller.

All right, jon, now david, obviously, this google is pushing the gas in terms of hardware in other areas when it comes to google glass, when it comes to the rowboatics company that they bought and nest.

Where does this leave google now?

What is google?

I still think google -- motorola was the first big statement they made about hardware.

A lot of people raised their eyebrows at the time but now this is conventional wisdom.

Google is a hardware company as well as search company and bunch of other things.

So i think they are the g.e. of the 21st century is kind of the way i'm increasingly thinking about them.

They are a multibusiness line, software company.

Where they're basically taking software and applying it across the economy, across our lives in some cases they will deliver it in hardware.

In many cases they will deliver in software, over the internet as service business.

I think thr really thinking big picture about how software and processing power and intelligence can improve the lives of people all over the world.

And that's sort of driving their big-picture thinking.

I just see this as -- don't see this as a huge deal for them.

It's a little embarrassing to sell it for this kind of money but their fundamental momentum as hardware company is untroubled by this.

In how times have changed now that nest is more expensive than motorola's handset business.

Brad, you have been inside google x, where they came up with google glass.

They're now designing fashionable frames for google glass inhouse, inhouse at google.

Can google do all of these things well?

Sure, of course they can.

The difference with phones though is that google is primarily a platform operator, right?

It's the administrator of android.

The two worst words in this business are unfortunately, i will have to say them, channel conflicts.

And google has to be this equitable partner to samsung and china and l.g. -- and they just did sign a patent licensing deal with samsung.

My sense was with motorola, which was creating friction in android world.

They were seeing privileging themselves versus all of these other players.

In other spaces, driveable cars, wearables, nest, they don't have to be as equitable.

These are their niv tives.

They can control them.

They don't have to worry about other partners.

Brad stone of bloomberg business week, jonner lickman in

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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