Google buys Motorola Mobility
One of the biggest news stories this summer was Google’s bid to purchase Motorola Mobility in order to become a hardware manufacturer of cell phones that run on their Android operating system. According to Google’s Press Release, the main intent of this purchase was to create an Apple-like ecosystem for Android in which Google can control the updates and user-experience directly without third-party involvement (from manufacturers such as HTC or Samsung). However, Google is undoubtedly reaching the point where it is involved with the creation or distribution of most types of technology and media, such as operating systems for laptops and cellphones to digital distribution of apps, videos, music, and books. It’s purchase of Motorola signifies not only its intention of controlling and dominating the wireless cell phone operating system market (particularly with patents), but also the insatiable desire of consumers to be instantly connected to their social and mediated environment at all times.
With smartphone penetration increasing amongst societies across the globe, we may be moving closer towards what Deuze (2007) and Mitchell (1999) describe as the “e-topia” futuristic living environment, or the blending digital communication technologies with daily life (labor, leisure, and family time). Google wants to be at the center of this mediated-driven life not only with mobile devices but also with television media, as shown with the release of Google TV last year, and is willing to spend $12.5 billion to do so (New York Times, 2011). An added bonus of this acquisition: Motorola’s television set-top box business, which currently provides devices to the majority of cable television providers.
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