Is Google Inc.'s acquisition of top Android handset maker Motorola Mobility, Inc. a sign that Google is headed towards a first-party hardware model like Apple? Should other Android phonemakers like HTC Corp. and Samsung Electronics be worried?
It's hard to answer whether the massive deal will even pass U.S. Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice scrutiny, let alone answer far reaching questions like those. But rival phonemaker Nokia Oyj. is happy to inject its predictions into the mix.
At a Helsinki, Finland seminar, former Microsoft Corp. Canada exec. and new Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was channeling a bit of psychic, predicting the deal would take a dire turn for Android handset makers. He warned that they should "watch out", stating to Reuters, "If I happened to be someone who was an Android manufacturer or an operator, or anyone with a stake in that environment, I would be picking up my phone and calling certain executives at Google and say 'I see signs of danger ahead.'"
Mr. Elop opines that the perceived difficulties with the Motorola Mobility acquisition emphasize why Nokia and Microsoft's partnership was a good idea. He states, "The very first reaction I had was very clearly the importance of the third ecosystem and the importance of the partnership that we announced on February 11, it is more clear than ever before."
Ironically, many see things quite differently and draw parallels between the two deals. While Microsoft did not take ownership of Nokia, it entered a deep partnership, which included IP cross licensing and a complete commitment by Nokia to Windows Phone 7. Many Microsoft executives even have migrated to Nokia under Mr. Elop's leadership.
In related news, Mr. Elop hinted that Nokia is moving along with the transition to Windows Phone 7 was heading along well, commenting that 25,000 to 30,000 new apps (presumably formerly Symbian apps) had been delivered by Nokia's developer community to the WP7 platform.