Motorola Replaces Google Location with Skyhook on Android Handsets

Like other folks this morning I received a press release from Skyhook Wireless PR that said Motorola was replacing Google’s core location services with those from Skyhook Wireless:

Skyhook Wireless, the worldwide leader in location positioning, context and intelligence, today announced that Motorola, Inc. will deploy its Core Location across much of the company’s portfolio of Android-based mobile devices.  Skyhook-enabled Motorola smartphones, which will begin shipping later this year, will have the ability to better support a new wave of location-aware applications by leveraging Skyhook’s precise, reliable, and fast-performing location engine.

Reportedly some Android developers are not entirely satisfied with Google’s accuracy. In my casual observation and usage I’ve never found Google location positioning to be incorrect or bad. But I’m not a developer. Let’s assume that greater accuracy is what Skyhook can offer Motorola. 

I don’t know whether or how this will affect Google services like Navigation on future Motorola phones. That’s an interesting question for another more technically inclined person to answer. Reportedly it won’t affect Android developers.

This would appear to me, however, to be another statement of independence from Motorola vis-a-vis Google in relation to Android. I infer from this as well as other moves that Motorola wants to prevent its brand and handsets from being totally subordinated to Google or becoming simply a vehicle for Google-branded services. 

I’ve reached out to Motorola for comment about the rationale. I may not get a response but I would imagine if I do it would focus on Skyhook’s accuracy or the quality of the service rather than say anything inflammatory or controversial.