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GOOG Down With Markets
Markets are down as home prices dropped more than expected and a miss in consumer confidence. Shares of GOOG are down with the rest of technology. Catalysts include continued Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration; regaining ground in China; any signs of life for Google TV (including Motorola); the roll-out of Google Music, social network Google+ and Google Wallet; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, daily deals, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.8x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels.
Modest Android Sales Could Be Sign That Users Are Switching To iPhone 4S (BGR)
Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt believes smartphone sales dipped sequentially during the third quarter of this year. That is likely due to consumer anticipation for the iPhone 4S, however Android sales weren’t immune either despite the introduction of a number of new handsets. He believes this is an “ominous sign for Android vendors.” It could be the fact that Android and Blackberry users were “waiting to switch to the iPhone.” If true, that’s great for Apple but not a great sign for Google as switching consumers get tied up in 2-year carrier contracts.
Android Overtakes iOS In Terms Of Downloads (GigaOM)
With Android eating up smartphone market share, it was just a matter of time before Google took the lead in app downloads which is what happened in the second quarter of this year, according to ABI Research. Android commanded 44% of overall mobile app downloads compared to 31% for iOS. Android has much bigger install base compared to iOS, with 2.4 users for every iOS user worldwide. ABI predicts that overall global app downloads will hit 29 billion this year, compared to 9 billion in 2010. That figure is fuelled in part by smartphone penetration, which is expected to grow to 46% in 2011.
Google+ Is Like An Octopus Extending Its Tentacles Into Every Corner Of Google (VentureBeat)
Google is gradually integrating Google+ features into all its web products. Google+ social features are coming to Blogger (web-based blogging software) and last week Google+ social features popped up on Google Reader (RSS parsing product). The company sees Google+ as “more than a social network or a collection of communication tools; it’s Google’s plan to bring social information into everything you do on the web, from shopping to search to email and beyond.” Watch out Facebook.
Microsoft Boasts Patent Licenses With Over Half Of Android Handset Makers (AppleInsider)
Microsoft announced that a new patent licence agreement with original design manufacturer Compal means that companies accounting for more than half of all Google Android-based devices now have agreements with the software giant. The current list of 10 manufacturers that now pay Microsoft include Samsung, HTC, Wistron, Quanta, Acer and General Dynamics Itronix. The patent agreements covers any tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer-focused devices running the Android or Chrome OS Platform.
A Different Take On All The Mobile Patent Litigation (Business Insider)
Keith Bergelt heads the Open Innovation Network (OIN), a group that aims to create patent protection around open source software, including Linux and Android. He has a totally different point of view on the assault on Android. Most of the patent litigation going on in the mobile space is more about relative newcomers in mobile phones, mainly Apple and Microsoft, using their cash to stall Android by raising its cost of ownership. A full transcript of his argument can be found here.