Will Google Leverage Motorola Technology Against Apple?
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) looks to be pulling out the big guns that it bought last year, and its target is the market share that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been clinging onto and defending for the last six years.
Since the launch of the first iPhone, Apple has been dominating the U.S. smartphone market, as well as many other countries’ smartphone markets. It didn’t hurt that the iPhone was essentially the first smartphone on the scene and didn’t have a lot of initial competition.
As time went on, Google launched Android, which gained mass appeal and appeared in all ranges of devices. This allowed Android to soar to the top of the charts for most popular smartphone operating systems. However, Google and many others still haven’t managed to take away Apple’s lead in the U.S. in terms of market share by manufacturer.
According to a report by comScore, Apple has actually manage to gain some market share, rather than lose it. In the three-month period that ended in December, Apple had a 36.3 percent market share in the U.S. In the subsequent 3-month period, Apple boosted that share to 39 percent. Samsung (SSNLF.PK) followed, increasing from 21 percent to 21.7 percent. HTC came in third, actually losing market share and dropping from 10.2 percent to 9 percent. Google’s Motorola Mobility unit, which it acquired last year, dropped from 9.1 percent to 8.5 percent. Google’s Android operating system as a whole even lost some market share, going from 53.4 percent down to 52 percent.
In its attempt to push back against Apple, Google will leverage its Motorola Mobility unit. Last year, Google purchased Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.4 billion, making it the company’s largest acquisition ever.
According to Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Officer Dennis Woodside, the unit will be producing a new smartphone, the Moto X, and unveiling it by October of this year. Of course, it would take a significant show of force for the device to put a dent in Apple’s lead.
One thing the company is doing that will likely build up some positive opinions of the device is that it’s going to manufacture the devices here in the U.S. Woodside said in an interview at the D: All Things Digital conference that the Moto X would be manufactured near Fort Worth, Texas, and that about 2,000 jobs could be created in the process. A spokeswoman for the company said Flextronics International (NASDAQ:FLEX) would be making the device.
The device itself will have to be impressive to chip away at Apple very much, but Woodside seemed to think it could be. He said the device will include two processors to improve battery life, which is usually pretty low on smartphones. Woodside also said the phone would have a number of awareness features, allowing it to know when it was in a car and react based on that context, for example.
It seems that Google is also using Motorola Mobility to look into wearable computing devices. The unit is currently working on technologies that allow devices to identify users. Some concepts include digital tattoos and subdermal microchips. Though these technologies may not go over amazingly well with the average consumer, perhaps the Moto X will.
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