Google buying Motorola for more than just patents, says Eric Schmidt

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has revealed that the search giant and Android purveyor is buying Motorola Mobility for more than just its massive patent portfolio. The $12.5 billion bid for Motorola was originally portrayed as a way to secure patents to protect the Android platform and that Google would not be competing against its own platform partners.

But according to Schmidt during a presentation at the Dreamforce conference, Google's bid is definitely more than just for patents. The company is apparently also seeking Motorola's product business to help expand Android offerings to rival Apple. Below is what Schmidt said:

We did it for more than just patents. We actually believe that the Motorola team has some amazing products coming....We're excited to have the product line, to use the Motorola brand, the product architecture, the engineers. These guys invested the RAZR. We know them well because they're Google Apps users....[We like] having at least one area where we can do integrated hardware and software.

Although Android partners, HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and LG have publicly expressed support for the acquisition, that support was based on the notion that the purchase was to secure the Android platform with the addition of over 17,000 patents. Google's head of Android, Andy Rubin, has even insisted that Google would not give preferential treatment to Motorola for its flagship Nexus smartphones.

Hence, Schmidt's statement seems to go against most of the messages that have been delivered so far to reassure platform partners, some of which are already concerned about their competitive positions in Android should Motorola now have the inside track and an unfair advantage to Google's latest Android developments. Specifically, it's been rumored that Samsung is now reconsidering its commitment to the platform and is investing more heavily in further developing its own homegrown Bada operating system.

[via Business Insider]