CEO Larry Page keeps suggesting there's something more to today's announcement of Google's $12 billion dollar acquisition of Motorola Mobility than just Android phones. On a conference call with investment analysts, Page noted that Motorola is also a "leading home device maker" and that Google plans to work with them to "accelerate innovation." Google's blog post on the deal also gives a big nod to Motorola's history of innovation, calling the company "a market leader in the home devices and video solutions business."
While Google is giving plenty of lip service to the opportunity to "support and expand the Android ecosystem" with Motorola's resources, not the least of which are its tens of thousands of patents, Motorola also makes an awful lot of products that could be of interest to Google. Here's a few new or much improved Google products we might see in the coming years if the deal goes through.
Google TV/ a new Google settop box – The most obvious non-phone play in the deal is the opportunity to supercharge floundering Google TV by adding one of the biggest makers of settop boxes into the mix. Motorola also brings solid relationships with cable companies that blows the possibilities for Google's move on to home TV screens wide open.
Google Broadband All-in-one Solution – We know that Kansas City will be the first place to be part of Google's ultra-high speed broadband network experiment, but that's about all we know. Acquiring a major manufacturer of Cable and DSL modems can't hurt the effort to get more folks hooked in to Google's fiber network in the future.
Google Voice home phones – Google's been expanding Google Voice lately, and Motorola makes wireline handsets. It's not too big of a leap to imagine a Google VoIP home-phone replacement product similar to what Vonage offers.
Google GPS – Motonav is Motorola's navigation technology used in its standalone GPS units. Integration with Google's broad suite of location-based products. Google-branded nav units with integrated Earth and Street View seems like a possible winner.
Google Bluetooth – It will be interesting to see if Google chooses to innovate on Bluetooth at all, now that it has a major headset manufacturer under its umbrella. I can imagine new voice commands that integrate with Google Voice, Maps, Music Beta, and GMail just for starters. But something tells me this one won't be a top priority.
Google remote access software – Motorola owns Timbuktu remote access software. While it's not a major player in the market, I can see Google using this sort of product to add new functionality to its cloud-centric vision for computing. Use Google to access your Google Chromebook anytime from anywhere, if you were silly enough not to store everything in the cloud like Google hopes you will . . .