Why does Google need hardware patents?
If they're selling their one and only smartphone hardware manufacturing dept. then why are they keeping the patents? I can think of a few reasons,
- They're just keeping them as another part of their overall portfolio purely for income from licensing
- Because of all the patent wars
- HW patents are still needed for their other devices like Nest and Chromecast
- A just in case measure for the future
- They're secretly planning to make their own hardware
Personally I believe the answer is most likely the first and second. Any other ideas?
Re: Why does Google need hardware patents?
2, 3, and 4. Google has never shown an interest in monetizing their patents, they use them defensively. As for 5, I think the sale of Motorola and the rumored detente with Samsung discounts that.
Edit: that's not to say that Project Ara won't come about.