Ben & David examine Google’s 2005 purchase of Android for a rumored $50M, undeniably one of the best technology acquisitions of all time. But will it top the list of these tough graders? Tune in to find out.
Topics covered include:
- Welcome new listeners! We quickly review the show format for newbies.
- Community spotlight: Patagonia on a Budget from community member Matt Morgante (@mattm on Slack)
- Andy Rubin’s career trajectory and what made him “born to start Android"
- The undeniable “cool factor” of the Danger Sidekick in the early/mid-2000’s, including fans such as Larry Page, Sergey Brin and… Turtle from Entourage
- Android’s original ambition to build an operating system for… digital cameras
- WebTV founder Steve Perlman is pretty much the best friend ever
- Google’s own perspective on Android as their “best deal ever"
- The Android team’s reaction to Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone in January 2007, and redesigning the initial launch hardware
- Announcing Android and—equally importantly—the Open Handset Alliance (“OHA”)
- The much-talked-about "mobile holy wars", between Android’s “open” platform and Apple’s “closed” platform
- The less-talked-about US carrier wars with the iPhone + AT&T in one camp, and everyone else in the Google / OHA camp (including “Droid Does”)
- A quirk of history: HTC at one point acquires a majority share in Beats, resulting a short-lived period of Beats-branded Android phones (still available on Amazon!)
- The real battleground for Google in the mobile platform wars: the economics of “default search” (briefly known thanks to the Oracle/Java lawsuit against Google)
- Google’s detour into smartphone hardware with the acquisition (and subsequent divestiture) of Motorola
- The “fork-ability” of Android via the Android Open Source Project (versus “Google Android”), and the rise of Xiaomi, Cyanogen, Kindle Fire and other platforms
- The ecosystem economics of the Android business for Google
- “Defensive” versus “offensive” acquisitions, and protecting Google’s core search business
- Could (or would) Google have built an Android-like platform without acquiring Android the company (or having Andy Rubin)?
- Framing the technology world’s shift to mobile within (surprise) Ben Thompson’s Aggregation Theory
- The current “moving up the stack” of the competitive playing field as the mobile landscape matures
- Grading: Android versus Instagram?
- The iPhone 7 (and AirPods) announcement
The Carve Out: