The battlefield continues in the war of ecosystems

Today Google announced to acquire Motorola Mobile division. Superficially a strange move; why would Google danger its position as open platform maker by creating his own devices that compete his partners? The explanation can be found in the battlefields in the war of the ecosystems that definitely has started and will come to new heights the second half of this year as Apple will go for even more market share with their iCloud offer and Nokia and Microsoft will finally introduce their integrated products. Google is clearly focusing on more control too with the open platform philosophy as a marketing story mainly.

There are two aspects to it. Google will have discovered that there is a crucial role for controlling all aspects of the ecosystem getting to the next step in user loyalty. Rumors on 30% returns by clients of their Android phones underlines this. With full control over all touch points, there is a better chance to be a serious competitor to Apple. This goes also for Google+ and all services that have more design focus than ever. It helps to build a better ecosystem and create trust for the clients, also those with devices from other manufacturers. And they would be more capable of controlling the quality of the apps, the success factor of the new operating system.
It would not easy to challenge Apple in this of course, but Google will have more chance together with an experienced player.

Another more hidden aspect can be find in the dungeons of lawsuits and patent wars. In this article it is extended described what is happening. On the background a fierce battle is going on fighting each others patents.
All in all a clear sign that the control on the ecosystems is crucial in the next phase of the Internet and the war is severe. And is not over yet for sure.

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.

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