Although it seemed like a certainty, after buying out Motorola Mobility, Google now says it won't actively go into the hardware business.
Acquiring one of the leaders of the mobile hardware industry and not using that potential to its fullest may seem a bit surprising, but Google said the purchase was all about patent protection, nothing else.
In an interview at a conference hosted by Allthingsd.com, Android head Andy Rubin was quoted as saying, "I don't think you should consider Google's acquisition of Motorola as Google entering the hardware business. This is going to be an arm's length thing...Motorola isn't going to get any special treatment."
Indeed, convincing other mobile manufacturers that the landscape won't significantly change is one of the most important things for Google right now. There are prolific companies churning out millions of Android phones, and with the Motorola acquisition, Google has the power to produce the ultimate Android handsets and make everyone else irrelevant.
So it's a strategic decision to not enter the hardware business. Google realizes that competition is good, and so is having a lot of other companies supporting your platform. Surely no one wants Android to turn into another iOS, where only the company that invented the operating system can make phones that use it.
Of course, like the T-Mobile and AT&T deal, this mobile superpower buyout needs to secure regulatory approval. The deal is far from being closed.