Google also lined up endorsement quotes from partners, including Samsung and HTC. Behind the scenes, however, device manufacturers could be preparing to lessen their dependence on Android and look to other operating systems. Such a move is unlikely to happen in the short term because of Android’s strength. In the second quarter, Android accounted for 43 percent of worldwide smartphone sales, up from a 17 percent market share a year earlier, according to Gartner Inc. Apple’s iOS, which is a closed system, commanded an 18 percent market share.
For Robert Merges, director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology at the University of California at Berkeley, the larger question is whether Google is interested in Motorola Mobility’s capabilities beyond its patent portfolio. If intellectual property was the primary draw for Google, the company could decide that it only needs people to maintain Motorola’s vast patent portfolio.
“If you’re an employee or somebody hoping Motorola stays in the game and stays as a corporate presence, this may not be good news for you,” Merges said.