Google is now a hardware maker

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Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) closed its $12.5 billion takeover of Motorola Mobility on May 22, about 9 months after the deal was initially announced. The closing took place after Chinese regulators approved the purchase on May 19. Regulators in the United States and Europe had approved the deal earlier this year.

Google appointed executive Dennis Woodside as the new CEO of Motorola. Woodside has been in charge of advertising for Google in the United States, and brings no experience in technology manufacturing to Motorola. Motorola was once the dominant cell phone maker in the United States, but its last big hit was the Motorola RAZR, which was introduced in 2005. More recently, Motorola has focused on Android phones such as the Verizon Droid, and on Android tablets, such as the Motorola Xoom.

Google CEO Larry Page made the announcement in his blog and explained why he was putting Woodside in charge of Motorola.

"I've known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he's been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google's biggest bets," Page said. He also noted that Woodside was already building a new team at Motorola. "He's already off to great start with some very strong new hires for the Motorola team," Page said.

Google has said that it plans to run Motorola as a separate company, partly to settle concerns of Google's other hardware partners, and partly because Google itself has no real experience running a manufacturing company. By taking over Motorola, Google puts itself on a level similar to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which manufactures devices and builds the software to go with them.

Android, of course, has many device makers, and that's Google's problem as well as its advantage. By owning a hardware company, many analysts have predicted that Google will be able to get a handle on the fragmentation of Android by building a reference platform, and by being able to control updates.

Google's purchase of Motorola also gives the company access to over 17,000 patents related to cell phones and other mobile technologies. This could prove critical in Google's defense against Apple's charges that Google is copying the iPhone, and is stealing Apple's mobile device technology.

For more:
- see the Google blog post

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