Three cheers for Google buying up Motorola Mobility. Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip….wait a minute.
Yes, not so fast my economic development eager beavers. Yes, the deal that was inked between Google and Motorola Mobility Inc. yesterday does include the Horsham plan that’s responsible for cranking out TV cable boxes and several hundred local jobs, but this is Google, people…the future of everything (depending on whom you ask).
Peter Putnam, head of Last Mile Communications, a Bucks County-based video consultant, told Philly.com that he wouldn’t be surprised if Google moved everything out to California over time.
“You don’t really need a set-top box anymore. The way video is evolving, everything is being built into the box. We are getting to where you won’t really need a cable box,” Putnam said.
I know what you’re thinking. Google owns YouTube, right? And there’s a ton of talk about developing its own video service, right? You are right…on both points…but Putnam says that it doesn’t look like Google’s planning to use an external device for said services.
“Every Google TV device I saw at the Consumer Electronics Show this year was built into the TV,” Putnam said.
Uh. Oh. That doesn’t sound good for the folks in Horsham.
Currently, the plant still remains the headquarters for Motorola Home and is still headed by veteran engineer Dan Moloney, who was brought on from General Instruments, the company that occupied the warehouse before Motorola Mobility.
Google’s not saying much of anything, duh. And, neither is the Governor’s office. Remember back in the day when then-Governor Tom Ridge forked up $10 million in tax breaks to keep the General Instruments plant operational? So, you’d think that a similar plan would be developed to ensure the Googles don’t just shut down the 500,000 square-foot building, leaving its more than 1,000 employees unemployed. But, for now, state spokeswoman Theresa Elliott is declining to comment beyond saying that they will “continue to monitor the situation.”
Another zinger. It’s going to come to a point when someone’s going to have to start saying something. But, at least, for now…everything is business as usual. Hey, who knows, maybe they’ll end up getting to use some of those Google Nap Pods we’ve heard so much about.