A number of prominent analysts believe Google’s $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility and its 17,000 patents are unlikely to significantly affect Apple.
For example, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster reiterated his belief that both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android will remain “winners” in the rapidly expanding smartphone market – with Apple projected to sell approximately 36 million iOS devices in the current September quarter.
“While Android adoption is outpacing iOS, both platforms are share gainers,” he explained. “This confirms our belief that unlike desktops, there will be two or three winners in mobile (iOS and Android and possibly Microsoft).”
Meanwhile, Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley predicted iPhone shipments and market share will accelerate despite Google’s Motorola acquisition.
“On the one hand, the acquisition highlights the risk that Apple’s IP portfolio presents to the Android ecosystem and the competitive strength of Apple’s vertically integrated products,” Huberty opined. ”On the other hand, MMI’s 17,000 patents and Google’s $27 billion cash after the deal raise legal risks for Apple.”
The Morgan Stanley analyst also noted that any “disruption” in the Android ecosystem originating from the Google-Motorola alliance was likely to help bolster sales of Apple’s iPhone.
Similarly, Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank said he remained “confident” in Apple’s position and emphasized Google had paid a 60 percent premium in buying Motorola.
According to Whitmore, the deal is more than likely to create confusion within the Android dev community – and potentially alienate other device manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung.
Whitmore also said he saw the deal as an opportunity for Google to replicate Apple’s approach with iOS by “marrying” hardware and software development to create a more cohesive user-friendly experience.
“Google surely recognizes the poorly marketed cadence of its OS releases and growing product, pricing and branding confusion among consumers and developers… While this acquisition may have been made under the guise of IP enhancement, its roots may lie in Android’s forking, inconsistent user experience and poor momentum in tablets.”
Finally, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky said he believes the deal clears the way for a “Nexus on steroids,” along with the eventual removal of the “Motoblur” skin which “no one will miss.”
Abramsky concluded the Google-Motorola deal was likely to affect other Android manufacturers, while placing additional pressure on RIM and Microsoft. However, like the other above-mentioned analysts, Abramsky does not see the alliance significantly altering the “competitive landscape” for Apple.