Sep 16th, 2010

aloqaMotorola continues to add software and mobile application properties to their collection of services, today announcing the acquisition of Aloqa. The transition occurs just as Aloqa passes 1 Million users, a coincidence that probably isn’t that coincidental – great timing on the PR front.

Aloqa is a location based business directory, information portal, and advertising network of sorts that can better be described/explained by the video below:

Looks promising – no? But as Motorola diversifies they must also remember to stay within their core competencies and competitive advantages. The continued acquisition of 3rd party apps and services will eventually be diluted if the company isn’t sticking to a focused game plan on pursuing mobile strategy.

From a hardware perspective, I’m now happy to give Motorola the benefit of the doubt. On the software side? They’re making strides but I think the end result remains to be seen. But let’s face it- this market is INCREDIBLY young and it can’t hurt to try and get an early move into what could assist juggernaut status.
Check out the press release:

Motorola Acquires Aloqa GmbH
Acquisition to Enhance MOTOBLUR(TM) with Context-Aware Mobile Platform and Related Services

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced that it has acquired Aloqa GmbH, a privately-held, leading developer of location-based software and technologies that are designed to enable the discovery of relevant web content by mobile smartphone users. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Aloqa has joined Motorola Mobility, which is comprised of Motorola’s Mobile Devices and Home businesses. Motorola Mobility is expected to be spun off from Motorola, Inc. in the first quarter of 2011.

Aloqa’s technologies and services utilize the user’s context (location, identity and social relationships) to proactively inform them of places, events, bargains and other opportunities of which they may choose to take advantage. For example, if Aloqa’s software recognizes the user is in a certain region, it will offer him the top events of the day or special offers of leading discounters in the vicinity. Aloqa distributes its product as a mobile application for smartphone platforms, including Android, and more than one million users have already downloaded its software.

Aloqa will further enhance Motorola’s MOTOBLUR(TM), which delivers customized content to mobile device homescreens and allows users to access Facebook™, MySpace and Twitter updates — along with emails, news and favorite apps and widgets — all in one place. MOTOBLUR(TM) will integrate Aloqa’s open, location-triggered mobile push platform to connect users and publishers of location-aware content in real-time.

“Aloqa is an exciting addition to Motorola Mobility as its specialized engineering talent and location-tracking technology will significantly accelerate the release of our context-aware mobile services platform,” said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services product management for Motorola Mobility. “Aloqa’s core technologies, user database, and specialized skills are a strong fit with our planned server-side context delivery architecture and will further enhance Motorola’s MOTOBLUR(TM) capabilities. We welcome Aloqa’s highly skilled personnel to the Motorola Mobility team.”

“We are proud that a global mobile giant like Motorola chose the Aloqa platform as a core part of its future in location technologies. Like every startup, we have always dreamed of our technology and product being used by tens of millions of satisfied users everywhere. Being a part of the Motorola Mobility team will help us achieve this goal,” said Sanjeev Agrawal, chief executive officer of Aloqa.
About Aloqa GmbH

Aloqa is the first company to allow publishers with location-based content to proactively push content onto mobile devices for free. Aloqa’s application pushes notifications in real-time about nearby events and social opportunities – with relevancy based on the user’s current location, pre-defined interests, and social networks. Aloqa has offices in Palo Alto, California, and Munich, Germany. More information about Aloqa can be found at www.aloqa.com.

The company’s initial mission was to transform mobile phones from being “not very good small PCs” to devices that “proactively serve users contextually relevant information.” I like that representation of the initial state of mobile phones, especially considering Android has already changed that perception. Mobile phones are now “pretty good small PCs” but in the coming years they’re going to be a lot better. Let’s see if Aloqa has anything to do with that continued growth.

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