Motorola purchase may bolster Google TV in bid to unseat Apple TV

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Executives for both Motorola and Google made clear on Monday that they intend to take advantage of Motorola's existing presence in the high-definition set-top box space, where the Google TV has failed to gain traction against the Apple TV.



Motorola Mobility's primary business is in creating smartphones, which it will continue to do under Google's ownership. And the search company will also control the more than 17,000 patents owned by Motorola.



But as part of the $12.5 billion acquisition announced on Monday, Google will also gain access to products and devices from Motorola that extend well beyond the mobile phone business. One key element of the deal, acknowledged by executives during a conference call, is Motorola's set-top box business, where the company builds high-definition digital video recorders and other devices.



Motorola's "Video Solutions" line of products also offer sharing of content. One product under that umbrella, "Televation," allows users to rebroadcast live TV to other devices in their home. In addition, Motorola also builds and sells "SURFboard" branded cable modems, Voice over IP telephony adapters, and other hardware.



"They're a leading home device maker, and that's also a big opportunity," Google CEO Larry Page said of Motorola on Monday. "We're working with them in the industry to really accelerate innovation."



Motorola's chief executive, Sanjay Jha, discussed a "great convergence" he sees happening in technology, where the mobile world, with devices like smartphones and tablets, is merging with set-top boxes, allowing users to seamlessly share content between devices.



Jha highlighted the "close relationship" that Motorola has established with carriers and cable providers as a potential asset Google might be able to leverage through its acquisition. He said together, Google and Motorola will be able to "accelerate convergence" in the market.







Executives made no specific mention of the struggling Google TV platform, but Motorola's existing presence in the set-top box market is a clear asset as Google attempts to enter the space. And their comments made clear that Motorola's TV-based hardware and established relationships with cable providers were a selling point in the multi-billion-dollar deal.



While the first generation of Google TV faltered, Apple has found moderate success, selling roughly a half-million units per quarter. But executives at Apple have famously referred to the Apple TV as a "hobby," because it is not in the same caliber of product as the iPhone, iPad, Mac or iPod.



Of course, Apple is already pushing the "convergence" touted by Google and Motorola executives with its own AirPlay technology, release late last year with iOS 4.2. The new Apple TV, powered by the same iOS mobile operating system as the iPhone and iPad, can receive audio and even high-definition video wirelessly from Apple's mobile devices, allowing content to be shown on the big screen.
«134

Comments

  • boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 920member
    Ya know, Moo-gles market cap today is : 179.92B (and fairly high P/E of 20). Apples is 355.46B (15 P/E)



    Apple... just buy'm and take'm out. Get it over with.
  • ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member
    Motorola's set top box (STB) business will do nothing to stem Google's failure to launch Google TV, nor help against Apple TV.



    Why? People don't buy STBs, corporations do. Corporations like Cox Cable and Comcast, who have their own content to peddle, and above all they don't need Google coming in trying to skim money (and viewers) off the top with Google TV bundled into their private-label STBs.
  • madhatter61madhatter61 Posts: 116member
    Interesting that your headlines pit everyone against Apple. Why Can't Google just realize an opportunity and go for it. When Apple brought forth smart phones, there were mobile phones available. Then they brought forth iPad, and created a new and exciting way to communicate better in a mobile way. Now everyone wants to beat Apple... at least according your headlines.



    Wow
  • whatisgoingonwhatisgoingon Posts: 273member
    Um, GoogleTV and Motorola set-top boxes are so fundamentally different, it's not even funny. M-boxes are typically sold/rented by Cable companies to subscribers, to view/record cable subscriptions.



    GoogleTV devices are (or were?) sold directly to consumers, specifically to AVOID cable subscriptions. It enabled users to view TV and movie shows without paying [or perhaps paying netflix and the like for movies].



    The TV distribution companies decided to prevent GoogleTV from displaying their shows easily, and now all those GoogleTV devices are useless for their primary goal [of viewing TV for free].



    Apple's device is more successful because it enables content producers to get paid [both TV and movie content] while making it easy for consumers to access what they want [except for various producers that intent on remaining in the DVD world, screw the internet].
  • alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Yes Motorola makes a lot of CATV boxes for the cablecos.



    and the last thing the cablecos are going to do is let Google eat their lunch by cutting into their PPV and ad action via those boxes by packaging Google whatever into them. that ain't gonna happen.



    Google TV's problem isn't the box anyway, it's the concept that "search" is what consumers want to do on their TV. it's not. they don't. they just want the content they want with as little effort and at as low a price as posssible. but searching for stuff is work.



    Apple TV is much simpler. with iOS 5 whatever you can see/hear/do on your iPad you can put on your TV screen too. no stupid on-screen UI to fuss with. no clunky remote control (did you see that horrible Sony remote for Google TV?). now that's slick. using an iPad sitting on your sofa is fun already, not work. even when you really are searching for something. press the AirPlay button on the iPad and presto! there it is on your TV.



    and for no extra charge. with no additional ads. and no mining of your personal data.
  • cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Convergence was the industry buzzword in 1999 when TiVo debuted. Still waiting...



    The problem with GoogleTV isn't really the hardware or the clunky user interface. It's the lack of content deals combined with a fairly high price. Well, until Logitech slashed their prices, took a massive one-time write-off that erased their earnings, and their CEO left. But even a clearance-priced GoogleTV unit isn't going to fly off shelves when there's little to watch.
  • sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Just tho of the possibilities if Google ships a DVR with the ability to get apps and watch Netflix etc that is like a 10 bucks rental from Comcast. Content problem solved and Google now owns the settle box and Google tv critics are silenced. Quite a strategic acquisition.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post


    Motorola's set top box (STB) business will do nothing to stem Google's failure to launch Google TV, nor help against Apple TV.



    Why? People don't buy STBs, corporations do. Corporations like Cox Cable and Comcast, who have their own content to peddle, and above all they don't need Google coming in trying to skim money (and viewers) off the top with Google TV bundled into their private-label STBs.



    I think you're right but it does make me wonder if Apple could do well by licensing the AppleTV tech for set top boxes and TVs to get a fully integrated HEC.
  • blursdblursd Posts: 123member
    Google TV is trying to unseat Apple TV ... what is this ... a game of musical chairs?
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,056member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post


    Motorola's set top box (STB) business will do nothing to stem Google's failure to launch Google TV, nor help against Apple TV..





    I agree but not for the reason you give.



    Google's failure was with content and Motorola's hardware won't help with that if they keep up their game plan of doing what they want and asking permission after they get slapped over it



    Apple on the other hand, has content deals in place with very likely more being worked on as we speak. And that content doesn't need a 'real' tv, Apple's little black box and folks current tv is just fine.
  • sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,295member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post


    Yes Motorola makes a lot of CATV boxes for the cablecos.

    and the last thing the cablecos are going to do is let Google eat their lunch by cutting into their PPV and ad action via those boxes by packaging Google whatever into them. that ain't gonna happen.



    Totally agree with this. GoogleTV entered the arena and got b!tch-$lapped hard by the entertainment industry by blocking GoogleTV from accessing their content.



    Now if Google thinks entering the market by hijacking Motorola's (crappy) cableTV boxes and stealthily inserting their Android software and advertising to go with it, providers like Comcast would probably dump Motorola for another manufacturer.



    Google, keep dreaming.
  • jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,265member
    Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility won't turn the Google TV frog into a prince.
  • sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blursd View Post


    Google TV is trying to unseat Apple TV ... what is this ... a game of musical chairs?



    Damn. Beat me to it. That's exactly what I'm thinking.
  • melgrossmelgross Posts: 28,494member, moderator
    I was wondering if AI would have an article about this.



    I disagree that this will help Google TV, as I'm seeing some analysis state. I believe, firmly, that this will, in the long term (these days, that means two years), kill it. Moto makes good money on their set top box business. It's one of the business's for them that's pretty reliable. But it totally relies on the goodwill of the cable companies.



    If the producers of cable content don't want Google Tv to succeed, and they sell shows to the cable industry, who produces their own as well, how do you think they will present their case to Google about Google TV? I think they will tell them that they will buy boxes from Samsung and others instead of Motorola if they continue pushing Google TV.



    Which would Google support? I think it would have to be the set top box business. That's actually a success.
  • rolandgrolandg Posts: 628member
    Here's my spin on it: While it might be easy to get your content from an iPad onto your TV screen via an Apple TV, it's a real hassle to get content from your TV onto your mobile device. In Apple's ecosystem, one has to buy it through iTunes with no immediate connection to what one is watching.



    Maybe Google integrates the means to seamlessly transfer the program you are watching onto your Android devices right along with the ads to lure the cable/content companies into the deal. Maybe add a cloud service along the lines of Google Music...?
  • shawnbshawnb Posts: 155member
    I wouldn't call it "unseating Apple TV", I'd call it potentially moving this who-cares product category into the mainstream.



    Instead of being threatened by Internet TV, cable co's could enter into revenue sharing agreements (both ads and content). Google provides the boxes, ads, and possibly even serve up some of the content. Cable co's then make money off of Internet TV instead of competing against it. Much like the evolution of TiVo, consumers would get a better (integrated) experience without having to buy (and hassle with) a separate box.



    Aside from YouTube, what original content does GoogleTV have? Looks like most content now is provided by Netflix and Amazon Video.



    Also, last I checked, RedBox is eating alive both the VOD and AppleTV-type services.



    Unrelated note, will be interesting to see how long it takes for Motorola to start pumping out cable/DSL modems with Google Voice integrated...
  • btblombergbtblomberg Posts: 63member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post


    Motorola's set top box (STB) business will do nothing to stem Google's failure to launch Google TV, nor help against Apple TV.



    Why? People don't buy STBs, corporations do. Corporations like Cox Cable and Comcast, who have their own content to peddle, and above all they don't need Google coming in trying to skim money (and viewers) off the top with Google TV bundled into their private-label STBs.



    Exactly. And service providers like Comcast and AT&T will only but STBs that work with their systems and their plans. I have Motorola STBs for U-verse, but they are based on Windows CE. You can't tell me that Google/Motorola will make AT&T abandon a Windows based rights system for one Google makes up. Carriers want control as always, someday this may give. Then again it may take 6 months to 2 years+ to realize whatever Goole envisions for this.
  • SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 23,627member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Just tho of the possibilities if Google ships a DVR with the ability to get apps and watch Netflix etc that is like a 10 bucks rental from Comcast. Content problem solved and Google now owns the settle box and Google tv critics are silenced. Quite a strategic acquisition.



    It's quite possible the only direction forward for Google is to now start acquiring cable companies.
  • wovelwovel Posts: 943member
    I love my Apple TV, but I am unsure what is going to be unseated. Sure it sold significantly more then Google TV, but it is not like Apple is the king of the set-top box.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,561member
    AppleTV (in its current form) is a rounding error for Apple. Google/Motorola can have it (in its current form).



    Although, I wager that they can't/won't.



    And, when Apple introduces its TV, it will all be moot anyway.
Sign In or Register to comment.