Google's Bid to Be Everything to Everyone

A rumored audio device and new testing facilities hint at the search giant’s hardware ambitions
Illustration by Sophia Martineck

Rarely has any company put so much on the line as Google has with its purchase of struggling cell-phone maker Motorola Mobility. When the $12.5 billion deal was announced last August, analysts focused primarily on what Motorola’s more than 17,000 patents (rather than its hardware expertise) would do for Google, which was in the midst of an escalating legal skirmish with Apple and others over its Android smartphones.

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