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Google to sell off Motorola's set-top box business as Google TV flounders

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
With its Google TV platform failing to catch on, Google is working on a deal to sell its Motorola Home Business, responsible for building set-top boxes for cable providers.

Google received multiple offers for the cable box division of Motorola last week, according to Bloomberg. Google's interest in selling off the asset comes as the company is looking "to focus on high-end smartphones as it steps up competition with Apple," Monday's report said.

Motorola's cable box business was acquired by Google in a $12.5 billion deal announced last year. Some had initially speculated that the set-top-box business may have been a key part of the acquisition for Google, as it looks to grow its Android-based Google TV business.

But Google's interest in selling the division would suggest that is no longer the case, if it ever even was. Prospective buyers reportedly include Arris Group Inc. and Pace Plc., both of which manufacture cable equipment.

Google may even provide financing to prospective buyers to help finalize a deal, unnamed sources told Bloomberg. They characterized the likelihood of a sale before the end of the year as 50-50.

Google TV


The Google TV platform was unveiled in 2010 with high hopes from the company. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt even predicted late last year that the "majority" of TVs seen in stores in 2012 would run the Google TV platform ? a prediction that did not come true.

One of the first Google TV devices was the Logitech Revnue, which cost that company $100 million in operating profits. Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca said last year that his company was abandoning the product as it "executed a full-scale launch with a beta product, and it cost us dearly."

While Google's interest in the television market is showing signs of potentially winding down with the impending sale of Motorola's set-top-box division, rumors of a growing presence from Apple continue to heat up. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in interviews last week that the television is an area of "intense interest" for his company.

"When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook told NBC. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."

Various rumors have suggested that Apple could build a full-fledged television set, or a more enhanced version of its current Apple TV set-top device, or both.
post #2 of 63

I believe they announced they were likely to sell off the set-top box part of the company before they even had closed on the Moto purchase. It doesn't appear they ever had an interest in that segment of the business.

 

EDIT: I'm correct

http://www.engadget.com/2012/03/07/google-reportedly-considering-sell-off-of-motorolas-set-top-box/

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post #3 of 63
"One of the first Google TV devices was the Logitech Revnue, which cost that company 4100 million in operating profits."

Make that "$100 million."
post #4 of 63


Eric Schmidt:  Google TV on 'majority' of new TVs by Summer 2012:  www.theverge.com/2011/12/7/2618225/eric-schmidt-le-web-paris-google-tv-majority-all-tvs

 

Talk about a guy who believes his own press clippings!!!

 

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post #5 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post


Eric Schmidt:  Google TV on 'majority' of new TVs by Summer 2012:  www.theverge.com/2011/12/7/2618225/eric-schmidt-le-web-paris-google-tv-majority-all-tvs

 

Talk about a guy who believes his own press clippings!!!

 

lol.gif

Yeah, I never saw that one as remotely possible. I'm going to guess it might be partially a misinterpretation from French reports as the original statement if accurately translated from the original French made no sense.

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post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Talk about a guy who believes his own press clippings!!!

 

Of course the sad part is that some STB manufacturing executive will probably take Schmidt up on his "financing" offer and take his company right down the crapper for his efforts.  Why anyone would partner with Motogoogle is beyond me, but companies continue to line up to run the gauntlet...  (Hint: If it was such a sure thing, Motogoogle would do it themselves.)

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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post #7 of 63
What does Google TV have to do with Motorola set top boxes? I'm assuming if you have Comcast or Time Warner cable and your cable box is Motorola the software is not Google TV.
post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

 

Of course the sad part is that some STB manufacturing executive will probably take Schmidt up on his "financing" offer and take his company right down the crapper for his efforts.  Why anyone would partner with Motogoogle is beyond me, but companies continue to line up to run the gauntlet...  (Hint: If it was such a sure thing, Motogoogle would do it themselves.)

If Apple ever releases a TV, you can bet Google will be seen as "salvation" by other companies. They will copy it, they will gain market share, and no one will be able to do something about it. Even if Apple manages to be successful (like they are with phones and tablets), Google will be too, even if they get less money they will still get a lot...

 

Just because they can copy everything (just like something) and as long as it is "cheap", people will be waiting with open arms cheering for google and samsung.

post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

What does Google TV have to do with Motorola set top boxes? I'm assuming if you have Comcast or Time Warner cable and your cable box is Motorola the software is not Google TV.

True - at present.

You're missing, however, the potential. It would not be hard for Google to convert the set top boxes to run Android. They could still be supplied by the cable companies and do exactly the same thing that set top boxes currently do, but would have the option to run Android apps and/or Google TV in addition to acting as a set top box. It would also have the potential to serve as yet another way for Google to stick its nose into your business and track your personal actions.

Now, if the rumor is true, they have decided that this isn't a viable option for them, but it certainly is a possibility.
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post #10 of 63

I really despise this convention of referring to a company which is wholly and completely owned by another company as if it were somehow a separate entity.  It's a ridiculous fiction.  

 

This article purports to be about "what Google and Motorola are going to do," when in fact it's just Google.  This isn't a case of "Google TV might be in trouble because Moto won't make the remotes."  Google TV is just failing, and Google has decided to stop making the remotes, not Motorola.  Motorola actually doesn't even f*cking exist anymore.  

post #11 of 63

Google is probably just waiting to knock off whatever Apple does. They don't need motorola's technology to do that.

post #12 of 63

Ugh! Google. I only use Google for search. Everything else they touch is crap. Disjointed, ad intensive, crap. No thanks. :)

post #13 of 63

Given that Google Fiber has a completely different STB and uses a Nexus as a remote, it appears that google is looking to take on the Cable companies directly, and with that, having a STB business that sells to carriers seems to be counter to 'being the pipe' initiative.

post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I really despise this convention of referring to a company which is wholly and completely owned by another company as if it were somehow a separate entity.  It's a ridiculous fiction.  

 

This article purports to be about "what Google and Motorola are going to do," when in fact it's just Google.  This isn't a case of "Google TV might be in trouble because Moto won't make the remotes."  Google TV is just failing, and Google has decided to stop making the remotes, not Motorola.  Motorola actually doesn't even f*cking exist anymore.  

Best post! Agreed.

post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


True - at present.
You're missing, however, the potential. It would not be hard for Google to convert the set top boxes to run Android. They could still be supplied by the cable companies and do exactly the same thing that set top boxes currently do, but would have the option to run Android apps and/or Google TV in addition to acting as a set top box. It would also have the potential to serve as yet another way for Google to stick its nose into your business and track your personal actions.
Now, if the rumor is true, they have decided that this isn't a viable option for them, but it certainly is a possibility.

my guess is this http://fiber.google.com/about is their long term tack. Moto STB was at best just a manufacturing capacity... Selling off the carrier specific designs is clearing the decks to a single focus on a big profit (cable carriers) market.

post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

True - at present.
You're missing, however, the potential. It would not be hard for Google to convert the set top boxes to run Android. They could still be supplied by the cable companies and do exactly the same thing that set top boxes currently do, but would have the option to run Android apps and/or Google TV in addition to acting as a set top box. It would also have the potential to serve as yet another way for Google to stick its nose into your business and track your personal actions.
Now, if the rumor is true, they have decided that this isn't a viable option for them, but it certainly is a possibility.
Still it seems to me AI connecting the two is a bit of a stretch considering it sounds like Google was planning to unload Motorola's set top box business from the get go. Of croutes that doesn't mean Google TV is a massive success, clearly it's not.

This is interesting though as so many think the route Apple needs to go is with in the TV space is a set top box.
post #17 of 63
This guy is full of Schmidt.
post #18 of 63
It's interesting. I've been wondering about this since the acquisition. I believe that the cable box division is currently the only one that's still growing, and that is profitable, which is why it's receiving offers.

At some point, Google is going to have to write off a lot of money on this purchase.
post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Still it seems to me AI connecting the two is a bit of a stretch considering it sounds like Google was planning to unload Motorola's set top box business from the get go. Of croutes that doesn't mean Google TV is a massive success, clearly it's not.
This is interesting though as so many think the route Apple needs to go is with in the TV space is a set top box.

It is related, because both do approximately the same thing, though from different directions. If they were still interested, why would they drop both products? True, they dropped the "ball" on the other one, but this gives them a big in with the cable companies, and now, they will have given that up. With Google Tv floundering, this just makes it less likely to succeed.
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


It is related, because both do approximately the same thing, though from different directions. If they were still interested, why would they drop both products? True, they dropped the "ball" on the other one, but this gives them a big in with the cable companies, and now, they will have given that up. With Google Tv floundering, this just makes it less likely to succeed.

They aren't giving up a license to the related IP according to the press reports, and they're not giving up on GoogleTV efforts either going by work they've put into it this year. These are the updates and enhancements announced in just the past 60 days.

http://googletv.blogspot.com/

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post #21 of 63
Google was arrogant trying to build hardware for content without getting agreements setup for content providers. Sure they got there hardware out there faster than Apple but it was pointless when all of the content it was supposed to provide was blocked by the content providers! Also Google's price point was way off base at more than $200 more than anything out there. There first one with Logitech was over $600 if you got all of the accessories which was ridiculous! There second attempt then left out most of the content providers so you could only put on content of your own which most people aren't interested in.
So FAIL, FAIL to Google. They didn't learn from there first mistake and made it worse the second time around.
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

True - at present.
You're missing, however, the potential. It would not be hard for Google to convert the set top boxes to run Android. They could still be supplied by the cable companies and do exactly the same thing that set top boxes currently do, but would have the option to run Android apps and/or Google TV in addition to acting as a set top box. It would also have the potential to serve as yet another way for Google to stick its nose into your business and track your personal actions.
Now, if the rumor is true, they have decided that this isn't a viable option for them, but it certainly is a possibility.

I can't believe nobody else sees that same potential. Wouldn't be surprised if Samsung buys it.
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post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

my guess is this http://fiber.google.com/about is their long term tack. Moto STB was at best just a manufacturing capacity... Selling off the carrier specific designs is clearing the decks to a single focus on a big profit (cable carriers) market.

I read a article yesterday that said it would cost Google about $140 billion to wire up the entire country. What company do we know that has $120 billion laying around?

http://www.electronista.com/articles/12/12/09/cost.of.covering.half.us.population.exceeds.cash.reserves/
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post #24 of 63
IMHO the failure of Google tv was the plane fact that it didn't deliver the experience it promised. Your show when you want it. Seriously? Not over the network's dead a** body.
Look, the tv people exist because we watch advertiser's commercials. So why the hell is Google playing middle man. Television is advertising incarnate. The business between the tv people an ad folk is that he tv people will bring the ad folk billion dollar eye balls.
IMHO Google tv fu**** with that model. It provided too much goddamn distraction .
The onjy way to get programs when you want them anytime is when the networks write those rules. Period. That's my 2 cents.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Given that Google Fiber has a completely different STB and uses a Nexus as a remote, it appears that google is looking to take on the Cable companies directly, and with that, having a STB business that sells to carriers seems to be counter to 'being the pipe' initiative.

Some cable companies also own content, so taking them on could make forging content deals more difficult also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Eric Schmidt:  Google TV on 'majority' of new TVs by Summer 2012:  www.theverge.com/2011/12/7/2618225/eric-schmidt-le-web-paris-google-tv-majority-all-tvs

Talk about a guy who believes his own press clippings!!!

lol.gif

I'm sure he finds the lack of success of Google TV curious.
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by b9bot View Post

Google was arrogant trying to build hardware for content without getting agreements setup for content providers. Sure they got there hardware out there faster than Apple but it was pointless when all of the content it was supposed to provide was blocked by the content providers! Also Google's price point was way off base at more than $200 more than anything out there. There first one with Logitech was over $600 if you got all of the accessories which was ridiculous! There second attempt then left out most of the content providers so you could only put on content of your own which most people aren't interested in.
So FAIL, FAIL to Google. They didn't learn from there first mistake and made it worse the second time around.

I think they have content agreements in place. I know I've seen some news articles in the past few months reporting on Google agreements with media providers, including music, movies and such.

 

EDIT: Yeah, here ya go.

http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/19/google-strikes-licensing-deal-with-european-music-publishers-gains-access-to-5-5m-tracks-across-35-countries/

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57542161-93/google-play-android-becoming-entertainment-powerhouses/

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post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

What does Google TV have to do with Motorola set top boxes? I'm assuming if you have Comcast or Time Warner cable and your cable box is Motorola the software is not Google TV.

 

I was expecting Google to replace windows CE with Android on those boxes.  Google is lacking vision on this.  Well if they dump that division it pretty much means Apple will have an edge with cable operators. Lets hope they sell before Apple comes out.

 

The problem with some cable operators is they think there business is peachy and just wont adapt until they face extinction.  I dont think Apple will ever get everyone onboard, but they dont have to.  If you are cover by 2 or 3 offerings and Apple is on just one of them, people will make the switch and the ones not onboard will only see the problem when its too late.


Edited by herbapou - 12/10/12 at 9:52am
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Given that Google Fiber has a completely different STB and uses a Nexus as a remote, it appears that google is looking to take on the Cable companies directly, and with that, having a STB business that sells to carriers seems to be counter to 'being the pipe' initiative.

 

I see 120/mo for there TV + internet packages but cant get the details because my IE freeze when I get to that site.  Anyone knows how they package channels?

 

Going head to head with Cable is going to be hard considering they also have to build a new distribution network everwhere. They are still using a BOX. imo the way to change that market is to have the TV do everything in a consistent interface. To do that you need to get deals with cable.

post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I think they have content agreements in place. I know I've seen some news articles in the past few months reporting on Google agreements with media providers, including music, movies and such.

 

EDIT: Yeah, here ya go.

http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/19/google-strikes-licensing-deal-with-european-music-publishers-gains-access-to-5-5m-tracks-across-35-countries/

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57542161-93/google-play-android-becoming-entertainment-powerhouses/

 

Thats for VOD, they are pretty much building themselves the equivalent of itunes. This is not a live TV play.

post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

 

Thats for VOD, they are pretty much building themselves the equivalent of itunes. This is not a live TV play.

Here's a partial list of live TV content providers that Google has negotiated licenses for. It's not a complete list as I couldn't log-in to the plans themselves so these are some of the newer additions.

 

Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, HLN, hTV, infinito, MLB Network Strike Zone (as part of an add-on package),TBS, TCM: Turner Classic Movies, TNT and truTV.

 

BabyTV, Big Ten Network, Fox Business Network, Fox College Sports Atlantic, Fox College Sports Central, Fox College Sports Pacific, Fox Deportes, Fox Movie Channel, Fox News Channel, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, FS Kansas City, Fuel TV, FX, HSN2, KPXEDT2 - Qubo, KPXEDT3 - ION Life, Nat Geo Mundo, Nat Geo WILD, National Geographic Channel, Speed, Utilisima, 

 

ABC Family, ABC News Now, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, Longhorn Network, Ovation, SOAPnet, TBN, TBN Enlace, Velocity

http://googlefiberblog.blogspot.com/

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post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

If Apple ever releases a TV, you can bet Google will be seen as "salvation" by other companies. They will copy it, they will gain market share, and no one will be able to do something about it. Even if Apple manages to be successful (like they are with phones and tablets), Google will be too, even if they get less money they will still get a lot...

Just because they can copy everything (just like something) and as long as it is "cheap", people will be waiting with open arms cheering for google and samsung.

I can already tell you that Consumer Reports will pan Apple's someday-maybe TV set, for the simple reason that its not Android enough for them, but of course, they won't just come out and say that.

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post #32 of 63

Apple is still the only player in the industry that truly understands design.

 

Anyone can cram yet another "feature" into a box slammed together by some OEM, but making it polished, perfecting the basics, and building around simplicity is something that comes down to philosophy, not committees and focus groups. 

post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt even predicted late last year that the "majority" of TVs seen in stores in 2012 would run the Google TV platform ? a prediction that did not come true.

 

And you thought Ballmer had a monopoly on saying outrageously stupid things (about technology).

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post #34 of 63
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
I can already tell you that Consumer Reports will pan Apple's someday-maybe TV set, for the simple reason that its not Android enough for them, but of course, they won't just come out and say that.

 

"While the Apple Television received the top score in every field of our test, is cheaper than all comparably featured competitors, and received the top score on our users' scoring system, we cannot recommend purchasing it at this time."

 

When asked about this line, Consumer Reports had the following to say, "We do not comment on our testing procedure."

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post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

If Apple ever releases a TV, you can bet Google will be seen as "salvation" by other companies. They will copy it, they will gain market share, and no one will be able to do something about it.  ...

 

Boom. That's the #1 reason why Google TV totally failed.

 

There was nothing from Apple for Google to copy, other than Apple TV.  And Apple TV is only $99.

No way to undercut that price -> no way for Google to profitably steal that idea.

 

Instead, Google copied WebTV.  And I think we all know how that turned out for Microsoft.

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post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

 

Boom. That's the #1 reason why Google TV totally failed.

 

There was nothing from Apple for Google to copy, other than Apple TV.  And Apple TV is only $99.

No way to undercut that price -> no way for Google to profitably steal that idea.

 

Instead, Google copied WebTV.  And I think we all know how that turned out for Microsoft.

 

Excellent point.  'HA, HAH!' to GOogle Tv.

 

Serves them right. :D

 

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post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Here's a partial list of live TV content providers that Google has negotiated licenses for. It's not a complete list as I couldn't log-in to the plans themselves so these are some of the newer additions.

 

Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, HLN, hTV, infinito, MLB Network Strike Zone (as part of an add-on package),TBS, TCM: Turner Classic Movies, TNT and truTV.

 

BabyTV, Big Ten Network, Fox Business Network, Fox College Sports Atlantic, Fox College Sports Central, Fox College Sports Pacific, Fox Deportes, Fox Movie Channel, Fox News Channel, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, FS Kansas City, Fuel TV, FX, HSN2, KPXEDT2 - Qubo, KPXEDT3 - ION Life, Nat Geo Mundo, Nat Geo WILD, National Geographic Channel, Speed, Utilisima, 

 

ABC Family, ABC News Now, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, Longhorn Network, Ovation, SOAPnet, TBN, TBN Enlace, Velocity

http://googlefiberblog.blogspot.com/

 

Ye, but  those are for Google Fiber.  Still would be nice to see how they package channels.  imo it will be just another cable company like all the others...

post #38 of 63
Google is the new Microsoft. Let's buy companies and write down most of what we paid for it. Meanwhile, Apple buys small companies for a few hundred million to build BILLION dollar businesses from them. Google is a one trick pony company but a GREAT ONE TRICK PONY - but nothing more. Google is an ad placement and ad big data company, nothing more - now that they don't get a peek at the future via Apple labs, they have zero to offer in terms of hardware & software UI ... they'll have to go back to borrowing from MS (docs, mail) ... if they can't even make a TV interface, are you really going to let them design your driverless car?
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Ugh! Google. I only use Google for search. Everything else they touch is crap. Disjointed, ad intensive, crap. No thanks. :)

 

 

I don't even use it for that. Bing has become a good replacement for most things, and Microsoft gives me points for using it. There are some cool alternatives to both, such as DuckDuckGo. 

post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


I don't even use it for that. Bing has become a good replacement for most things, and Microsoft gives me points for using it. There are some cool alternatives to both, such as DuckDuckGo. 

Good to know, thx.
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