THE GOOGLE INVESTOR: This Is How Fragmented Android Really Is

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GOOG Down With Market
Stocks are off as the Philly Fed manufacturing numbers look bad and initial jobless claims miss estimates. Shares of GOOG are down with the falling tech tape. Investors continue look for Android momentum on smartphones and tablets and monetization; 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 10.9x Enterprise Value / EBIT.Five Google Nexus Phones Available For The Holidays (The Wall Street Journal)
Google is planning to give more than one manufacture early access to Android builds. That’s a major change of plans, breaking with current tradition of giving only one manufacture an early look at the latest version of the OS to help build a Google-branded Nexus device, which it has done three times in the past. This would give Google the ability to have up to five pure Google devices on Android 5.0 (aka “Jelly Bean”). The five Nexus devices would be available by Thanksgiving of this year,  just in time for the holiday season.

This Is How Fragmented Android Really Is (TechCrunch)
Android developers complain about fragmentation? Well, Animoca,  a Hong Kong mobile app developer has seen more than 70 million downloads, and says it does quality assurance testing with about 400 Android devices. That’s testing with 400 different phones and tablets for every app they ship. And the number of handsets from the lower-end Asian manufacturers is also growing rapidly. It puts a real dent in Eric Schmidt’s prediction that developers might start going Android first within six months (and that was three months ago). And if you really don’t buy fragmentation, check out this chart.

Baidu Wants A Platform On Top Of All Mobile Operating Systems (TechCrunch)
Baidu wants to see Baidu Cloud make an appearance on all major mobile operating systems, including Windows Phone and iOS. Baidu Cloud is a suite of apps tied into Baidu’s storage, music, and search offerings. The company is interested in eventually producing a Windows Phone with Baidu Cloud, as well as an iOS device, although how the latter would be accomplished is unknown given Apple’s controlling attitude toward its devices. The Baidu Cloud which launched yesterday operates atop a forked version of Android 2.3. That’s gotta hurt. Your number one competitor in China is using you to steal mobile users.

Chrome On iOS Is Going To Have A Tough Go Of It (GigaOM)
Google’s Chrome browser is assumed to be coming for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices by Macquarie (USA) Equities Research. The report suggests it could reduce the amount of money Google pays to Apple for the use of Google searches in the native iOS Safari browser. Given the growth of iOS devices sales and usage, the reduction in such payments could be meaningful if users transition from Safari to Chrome on iOS. That said, the odds of a third-party browser on iOS becoming a major success are very limited at best because none of them can be set as the default browser. Bring on the second wave of browser wars.

Google Launches Knowledge Graph Search (All Things Digital)
Google formally launches some anticipated and previously glimpsed semantic features. Known as the “Knowledge Graph,” it is a two-year-old project that evolved in part out of Google’s acquisition of Metaweb in 2010. Google now says it understands 500 million entities and 3.5 billion attributes and connections. When users search for a term that triggers the Knowledge Graph, they’ll see a box of information on the right-hand side of the search results page. Seems to be filled with a lot of crap. At least on an interface level, Microsoft is on a similar track with Bing. Do you think this is better than personalised search?

Google Is In Talks To Buy Meebo (All Things Digital)
Google is in talks to acquire Meebo, according to two sources close to the situation. The price for the company would be about $100 million. Meebo has dedicated the past seven years to all sorts of different social products and customers and has raised more than $60 million during that time.

Another Strike Against Google Music, Limiting Deauthorization (CNet)
Google Music is catching some heat for reportedly limiting the number of devices that can be deauthorized from the service. The service now only allows users to deauthorize four devices per year. Previously, users could deauthorize as many devices as they’d liked without worrying about hitting a limit. When Google Music launched late last year, many folks had high hopes for the service. It allows users to access their music collections from different devices. However, it has faced trouble gaining any traction in the face of iTunes, Pandora and Spotify.

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