THE GOOGLE INVESTOR: Big Developer Scrapping Android Due To Fragmentation

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GOOG Up With Markets
Strong February retail sales results are driving the markets higher. Shares of GOOG are up with the rest of tech. Investors continue look for Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide, especially with the Motorola acquisition integration; regaining ground in China; resurgence of Google TV; and continued growth of YouTube; expansion of social network Google+; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, daily deals, Google Wallet, Google Music, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.8x Enterprise Value / EBIT.Siri Could Be A Big Thorn In Google’s Side (Barron’s)
Barclays Capital Internet analyst Anthony DiClemente thinks that Siri “remains a threat [to Google] as long as Apple retains significant mobile OS share,” given that Google has said mobile will be 20% of all paid search, and that two thirds of mobile searches are presently coming from Apple’s iOS devices. Siri is a speech-oriented technology that directs users to a variety of data sources so it can “circumvent traditional search engines and provide the user with answers that may have originally required a search.” If Siri does disrupt traditional search then Google will have a problem. Do you think Siri is underestimated?

Zombieville Developer Abandons Android Due To Fragmentation (SlashGear)
Game developer Mika Mobile has revealed it plans to abandon Android after development and support investment vastly outweighed revenue, blaming OS fragmentation and dozens of hardware versions as key frustrations. The developer, responsible for Zombieville USA and Battleheart among other titles, claims it spent around 20% of its time in 2011 dealing with Android but sales to Android users only contributed 5% of total revenue. It’s the broad span of Android variants and different hardware types that cause the biggest headaches. An issue Apple will never have.

Google Wants To Double Google+ Users This Year (Bloomberg)
Google aims to more than double the number of people on its social-networking service this year, which has already reached 100 million active users. The growth of Google+ has surpassed any estimates the company had, said Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president in charge of social initiatives. “We’re pretty blown away by the adoption of Google+,” he says in an interview to Bloomberg TV. “Google+ is the next generational of all of Google becoming unified because it understands you and your relationships. And so all services get better.” I don’t buy it.

Google Chooses Asus Over Motorola For Co-Branded Tablet (Digitimes)
Google is rumoured to have plans to release a 7-inch tablet device as early as May this year, and it has chosen a partner for the co-branded venture. But it isn’t who you’d expect. Motorola has been spurned for Asustek who won the contract to produce the new, presumably Android-powered, tablet. Google has apparently been seeking partners for the venture in Taiwan, even considering both HTC and Acer until it decided upon Asus.

Bing And Google Gain Search Share In February (Business Insider)
Yahoo continued losing search market share in February, while Google and Microsoft’s Bing both gained according to comScore. Microsoft powers Yahoo search, but the two companies have basically switched positions over the last year. Without hurting market leader Google at all. In fact, Google is now at 66.4%, its highest point since December 2010. This only counts Web-based searches in the U.S. Google is probably even more dominant outside the US and on mobile platforms.

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