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

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,268member


    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/

  • Reply 2 of 64
    neilmneilm Posts: 656member
    "One of the first Google TV devices was the Logitech Revnue, which cost that company 4100 million in operating profits."

    Make that "$100 million."
  • Reply 3 of 64
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,722member




    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!!!


     


    image

  • Reply 4 of 64
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,268member

    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!!!


     


    image



    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.

  • Reply 5 of 64
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,722member

    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.)

  • Reply 6 of 64
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 64

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 64
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    rogifan wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 64
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    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.  

  • Reply 10 of 64


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

  • Reply 11 of 64


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

  • Reply 12 of 64


    FROM 2007 Article:Amazon's Kindle light a fire under eBooks?


    Quote:


    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    That's a bit of pie in the sky. What will. these Kindle versions cost? From what we see of electronic publishing, the cost will be close to the paper version.



    There are other problems too.



    One is that it can't reproduce color in any way (as I've already mentioned, and you didn't acknowledge), which makes many texts almost useless. I'd just hate to try to use my Gray's Anatomy in B/W, for example.



    The other is that if you can buy a used text, which many students do, because they aren't updated THAT often, at least most aren't. You can sell it back, or to another student. You will recoup about half the cost.



    How is Amazon working that out? So far, you can't resell an electronic text.



    And the cost of the Kindle, unless included in some deal with texts that are needed by the individual student, will still add almost $400 to that text book price, which could raise the electronic text price over the four years (assuming the device lasts four years of daily hard use) to much more than the paper versions would cost when everything is taken into account.





    Maybe someday, this will work. But the technology isn't yet up to it, and the costs aren't either. I'd love to see textbook companies sell $50 texts for $20 in electronic form, but I wouldn't wait for it.


    How far we have come.

  • Reply 13 of 64


    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.

  • Reply 14 of 64

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 64

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 64
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    jragosta wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 64
    This guy is full of Schmidt.
  • Reply 18 of 64
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,979member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 64
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,979member
    rogifan wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 64
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,268member

    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/

Sign In or Register to comment.