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GOOG Up As Market Rises
The markets are up in early trading, despite initial jobless claims missing expectations. Shares of GOOG are up strong as tech rises. Investors continue look for Android momentum on smartphones and tablets and actually monetizing that operating system; clarity on the Motorola acquisition; regaining ground in China; the resurgence of Google TV; continued growth of YouTube; expansion of social network Google+; and progress in other initiatives (location-based services, mapping, Google Wallet, Google Music, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.1x Enterprise Value / EBIT.
Android On The Decline As Apple Dominates (Forbes)
Despite the best efforts of Google and the Android Axis, Apple continues to dominate the U.S. market for smartphones. Based on first quarter reports from Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt estimates that Apple had 59% of the U.S. smartphone market from the country’s top three carriers in the quarter. That was up from 36% a year ago, although down a bit from 63% in the December quarter, a period in which Apple launched the iPhone 4S. The fundamental problem for Google is that people prefer the iPhone to Android.
Google Finally Launches Its Dropbox Killer (Various via Scoople)
Google recently announced its long-awaited Google Drive cloud storage service which provides users with 5GB of free storage integrated with Google Docs and other Google Services. Google Drive will allow users to upload and access all their files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs, etc. This is the search giant’s answer to services like Dropbox. It is being presented as a service that allows users to “create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff”. Drive makes details searchable and will convert scanned-in documents to text as well as check images for recognisable landmarks that can be searched later. How far does Google go in terms of ‘owning’ your files?
Schmidt Takes The Stand, Says Sun Wanted $50M To Co-Develop Android (Reuters)
Google’s former CEO told jurors that he was confident that the Android smartphone platform was developed legally, and that top executives at Sun Microsystems did not object to the project now at the centre of a high-stakes court battle. Schmidt said Sun wanted roughly $30 million to $50 million in 2006 to jointly develop a mobile platform with Google. However, negotiations between the two companies faltered. Google argued that Oracle launched the lawsuit only after Oracle decided it would be unable to develop a smartphone on its own.
Google Is Doing It Again, Selling A Nexus Phone Direct (All Things Digital)
Google is getting back in the business of selling Android phones direct to consumers. Of course they will. Google wants to follow the Apple model of making and selling its own phones. In addition to solving a bunch of other problems, the business opportunity is too big to ignore. It will sell an unlocked version of the Galaxy Nexus via its Google Play online store, under new “devices.” The company is expected to sell the Nexus tablet in the not too distant future as well.
Expectations For Android Were High (Business Insider)
In a PowerPoint submitted into evidence in the litigation between Google and Oracle, in July of 2011 Google expected Android to generate a $120 million year run-rate from ad sales, with 47% quarter-to-quarter growth. Ads were expected to reach $1.2 billion in revenue by next year. It comes as no surprise that Google ads on iOS are a larger part of Google’s revenue than Android, despite ads being the dominant revenue generator for the Android platform. Google also had high expectations for its music platform.
The iPad Will Continue To Dominate Tablets, Windows Will Steal Share From Android (Forrester)
Tablets are rapidly becoming the primary device of choice for millions of people. Forrester Research says that sales of tablet computers worldwide are predicted to hit 375 million in 2016. That compares to 56 million tablets purchased worldwide in last year, or a compound annual growth rate of 46%. The iPad will represent one-third of all tablet purchases by 2016. Google’s Android operating system will actually see a net decline in market share due to the launch of Microsoft Windows 8. That said, Microsoft’s new tablet OS won’t really start taking off until 2014. Are you spending more time on your tablet than your PC or laptop?