With Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 5.0 speculated to hit the market in the second quarter of 2012,  the question is whether Android-OEM partners can cope up with the breakneck pace at which Google is shelling out upgraded versions of its mobile OS. Now, with the Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) acquisition almost through, Android partners like Samsung and HTC would be more wary as Motorola could be better poised to integrate with new Android versions.
Motorola Leadership Change an Additional Worry
This article on ZDNet succinctly summarizes the infighting among Android partners themselves, leaving aside the direct competition from Apples iOS and Microsoft. While phones from companies like HTC and Samsung are obviously competing on hardware specs, the strategic direction of these companies is increasingly driven by when Google releases its upgraded OS. This may put manufacturers on a distracted course of “How fast can we launch a phone with Android 5?”, rather than looking at the fundamental hardware improvements.
Additionally, the possible replacement of Motorola Mobility CEO, Sanjay Jha, with someone from Google’s ranks could mean that the latter is already placing Motorola on a pedestal, raising further concerns of a formidable Android phone challenging HTC and Samsung.
We currently have a price estimate of near $627 for Google’s stock, which is slightly above the current market price. We will incorporate the impact of Motorola Mobility’s acquisition in our analysis once the deal is formally closed.Notes: