THE GOOGLE INVESTOR: Android Hits 44% U.S. Smartphone Market Share

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GOOG Mixed With Markets
Stocks are mixed as Bank of England said it would buy bonds, officially doing QE2 UK-style, while in the U.S. new applications for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, below expectations. The market is also processing the loss of technology icon Steve Jobs (see below). Shares of GOOG are trading sideways. Catalysts include third quarter earnings announcement Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. ET; continued Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration; regaining ground in China in search and pushing forward in mobile; any signs of life for Google TV (including Motorola); the roll-out of Google Music and social network Google+; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, Chromebooks, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 10.4x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels.Android Hits Nearly 44% U.S. Smartphone Market Share (comScore)
comScore released its latest figures that, unsurprisingly, show continued growth for both Google and Apple in the U.S. smartphone market. Google’s Android is seeing a steady upward climb now reaching 43.7% market share, while Apple’s iPhone seems to be slowing a bit with smaller incremental changes. Apple is now at 27.3% but that should get a boost with the free iPhone 3GS (with two-year contract) and launch of the new iPhone 4S.

Someone Has Balls On Wall Street, Downgrades Google (ComputerWorld)
Jordan Rohan, analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, believes that Google is “weakening” and maturing while interest is shifting to Facebook, which increasingly is a competitor to the search giant. As such, he downgraded shares of GOOG from a “Buy” rating to a “Hold.” Rohan said Facebook now occupies 30% of the total time people spend on the Internet, “the Internet’s centre of gravity is shifting from Google to Facebook.” Meaning, Facebook is king of the Internet now. That has to hurt.

What Siri Means For Google, You Might Not Use It As Much (Business Insider)
The big reveal at Apple’s iPhone event earlier this week was a built-in voice recognition app. A “personal assistant” named Siri. You can do things like ask about the weather or search Yelp for a nearby restaurant listing. If it actually works, iPhone customers will be using Google a lot less. And despite Android leading in market share, iOS continues to have the largest mobile Internet market share at nearly 55%. Apple wasn’t going to sit back and let Google take that traffic. Siri is the first step.

Google Earth Hits 1 Billion Downloads (MSNBC)
Google Earth came to life as a rich, visual program that brought the world to your fingertips in a whole different way. Putting satellite imagery right on our computer desktops. Today, the application reached 1 billion downloads. The number covers desktop client downloads as well as mobile apps and the Google Earth plug-in. Check out some of the crazy images found on Google Earth.

Eric Schmidt Mourns The Loss Of Steve Jobs (The Wall Street Journal)
Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google and a former Apple board member, said of Steve Jobs’s death: “Today is very sad for all of us. Steve defined a generation of style and technology that’s unlikely to be matched again. Steve was so charismatically brilliant that he inspired people to do the impossible, and he will be remembered as the greatest computer innovator in history.”

Bearish Pattern Taking Shape In Shares Of Google (OptionsMONSTER)
A potential bearish pattern is developing on the daily chart of Google. A six-month basis chart shows the baseline for a potential inverted “cup and handle” formation (or the opposite of a bullish continuation pattern that marks a consolidation period followed by a breakout). Around the $490 area is the trigger point. A sustained move below that line would see the pattern become active and could have potential downside to the $420 area.