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GOOG Fluctuating As Market Stabilizes
The market opened higher this morning but started sliding in the first hour of trading as it is stabilizing after yesterday’s gains. Shares of GOOG are trading sideways. Upcoming catalysts include continued Android growth; regaining momentum in China; updated software, adoption and media partners for Google TV; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services and mapping, gaming, social, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 16x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels and the broader Internet group.
Google Should Focus On Search, Mobile And Social In 2010 (eWeek)
What could Google have in store for 2011? It’s clear the company should focus on three technology sectors in 2011: mobile, search (local) and social. Google faces increased competition from Apple, Microsoft, RIM and others in the mobile computing market. Getting Android on more tablets will be important to counter the rise of the iPad. Google also needs to keep boosting its purview over search and other property traffic from Facebook, which is sucking up more users’ time as the network speeds toward 600 million users worldwide. Matt Rosoff at Business Insider also believes Google needs to start making more money in mobile search.
Google Will Introduce A Billing Process That Actually Works For The Android Market In 2011
(Fierce Mobile Content)
The bigger Android grows, the more absurd the failings of Google’s Android Market become. To be fair, the virtual storefront made significant strides during the latter half of 2010 But the elephant in the room, the absence of a simple, user-friendly app billing protocol, remains. Expect Google to resolve the problem sooner rather than later, likely in advance of the release of Android 3.0, expected sometime in the first quarter. Operator billing will expand beyond Google’s current direct-to-bill partnership with T-Mobile USA across most if not all of its carrier relationships worldwide. Look for PayPal integration as well.
Google Says Its Flight Search Info Stinks As Thesis For Debate On The ITA Software Acquisition (CNN)
CNN aired a debate between a Google spokesperson (Adam Kovacevich) and an attorney representing FairSearch.org (Tom Barnett of Expedia), the coalition forged by Expedia, Kayak and Orbitz to halt Google’s $700 million bid for ITA Software. Kovacevich basically argued Google’s flight search information sucks as it stands today. Barnett countered that the issue is not Google aggregating flight info, but how it’s going about it; creating its own travel product or licence the data from ITA like everyone else does. The arguments were pretty tame and the issue of Google getting too big certainly came up again.
Digital Publishing Heats Up As Google Tries To Undercut Apple (MarketWatch)
Google and Apple have stepped up their battle to win over publishers and become the dominant distributor of newspapers and magazines for tablet computers and other mobile devices. Google is trying to get publishers on board to offer versions of newspapers and magazines for the digital newsstand for the Android Market. Google is trying to drum up support by telling publishers they will give more than the 70% cut of the revenue, undercutting Apple’s distribution model. Read more from Dan Frommer at Business Insider.
RIM Is Fading As Android Gains In Smartphone Race (All Things Digital)
The latest Nielsen figures on U.S. consumer smartphone market share show Apple remains in the lead with more than 28% share as of November. Android, meanwhile, continues to gain and now has slightly less than 26% of the market while RIM has been losing share, but remains in second place with just over 26%. More indicative of the future are the stats on recent phone purchasers. Android is attracting more than 40% of new smartphone buyers, with 27% opting for an iPhone and 19% per cent choosing a BlackBerry.
Tech Luminaries Disagree On The Apple Vs. Google Mobile War Outcome (Fortune)
A pair of veteran high-tech luminaries, both hired by Google within the past 14 months, chose to write on their private blogs this week about how they see the Apple vs. Android competition. The interesting part is that they disagree. Former Microsoft start-up evangelist Don Dodge believes that “both will win because they are playing different games. Android will win the market share battle, but Apple will generate bigger profits.” While Tim Bray, who left Sun Microsystems last year, sees it differently. “I’m less convinced” about the iOS ecosystem.