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GOOG Off In A Choppy Market
The market is seesawing along the flatline. Shares of GOOG are off as the rest of tech hangs on for dear life. Tomorrow at 12:30pm ET, Google will host a press event for the “next dimension” in mapping. Investors continue look for Android momentum on smartphones and tablets and monetization and integration of Motorola; 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 10.3x Enterprise Value / EBIT.
Google Should Fear A Facebook / Apple Combination (CNet)
A few words from Apple CEO Tim Cook surely got people thinking. He called Facebook “a great company.” Then he added, “We have great respect for them. I think we can do more with them. Just stay tuned on this one.” Cook already told investors this year that Facebook is the company that is most like Apple. If you asked Google’s Larry Page which company is most like Google, would he really say Motorola? Is it excessively fanciful to think that a few elevated people at Google listened to Cook’s perhaps mischievous words and suddenly felt a little chill?
Google Doubles Down On Social Media (Social Media Today)
May shaped up to be a momentous month for Google. There were three seemingly unrelated developments that outline the future of Google’s social strategy. The company merged its local search product, Places, with Google+, to create Google+ Local. They also launched the Knowledge Graph as well as introduced the G+ social share button on YouTube. Google is doing its level best to pump life into Google+. By forcefully integrating its search engine (Knowledge Graph), geo-local (Maps and Places), and social video (YouTube) capabilities with its Google+ social network, the company is clearly doubling down on social.
Just How Vulnerable Is Google? (GigaOM Pro)
Last week, Google received an ultimatum from the European Commission’s antitrust head. Simultaneously it re-introduced its vertical shopping search site as a pay-to-play program for merchants. Regardless of whether you think it is “evil” or not, Google has shown a lot of me-too products with lagging innovation. While it’s a mistake to characterise Google as a one-trick pony, it’s worth examining just how vulnerable Google may be in its core businesses.
Google Acquires KikScore And Shuts It Down (Search Engine Watch)
Google acquired KikScore, a trust seal company for an undisclosed amount. They also announced that as of later this month, their service will no longer be available to their 1,700+ customers. They recommend that customers “check out the Google Trusted Store product as an alternative to the KikScore service.” KikScore said Google has acquired their technology and “certain assets.”
Google Launches Google Shopping (ViralBlog)
Google is transforming the free search listings in the U.S. into to a commercial model. This seems like a big change for Google, as they had previously took a stand against paid inclusion. This new product discovery experience will be called Google Shopping. Google believes that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. Product Listing Ads have richer product information without requiring additional keywords or ad text. This is one of the company’s many attempts to enter the e-commerce market.
The State Of The U.S. Smartphone Market (pingdom)
According to comScore, more than 100 million Americans now own a smartphone, a number that keeps growing. One of many signs that smartphone adoption is exploding is that as of May this year, 9.1% of all web usage in the U.S. happened via mobile devices. Two years ago, that number was just 3.3%. Notable trends include:
- The dramatic fall of BlackBerry
- Android has reached a plateau
- iOS is growing faster than Android
- iOS has been pulling away from Android since last fall
- Windows Phone is gaining, but slowly
Apple’s grip on the US mobile market is strengthening.
CHART OF THE DAY: Android Growth Has Fallen Off A Cliff (Business Insider)
Android makes up the majority of the smartphone market right now, but that might start to change if recent sales growth trends continue. The number of new users who purchased an Android smartphone steadily declined throughout the first four months of this year, according to an analysis of recent comScore data by Asymco’s Horace Dediu. In fact, Android net user growth in April hit its lowest point for any month since 2009. “The concern has to be that rather than seeing the net adds growing–as they have for two years with only two contiguous months of decline–Android net adds have been falling for four months,” he writes.