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Photo: Keng Susumpow
GOOG Down With Markets
Stocks opened down, but are fighting back, as talks to secure a new bailout for Greece to avoid default continue as well as talks of an exit from the Eurozone. Shares of GOOG are off with the rest of tech. Investors continue to look for Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration; regaining ground in China; resurgence of Google TV and continued growth of YouTube; expansion of social network Google+; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, daily deals, Google Wallet, Google Music, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.9x Enterprise Value / EBIT.Google Steals Apple’s Quality Control Guy For Secret Project (VentureBeat)
Simon Prakash, Apple’s former senior director of product integrity, has just been hired by Google to begin work on a “secret project”, details of which are currently unknown. Prakash spent 8 years with Apple, his last role overseeing product quality control across the company’s product lines. According to LinkedIn, Prakash was the director of engineering design validation at Cielo Communications and a reliability and FA manager at 3Com before joining Apple. Both Google and Apple are being investigated by the Justice Department for allegedly creating a “no poaching” agreement, so the timing of the hire may not be coincidental.
HUD Glasses Are Coming Soon (9To5Google)
Google’s secret lab has reportedly been hard at work developing glasses with a built-in heads-up display (HUD) on one lens. The glasses will be equipped with “hardware near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone,” which means we’ll likely see a 1GHz processor and internal storage. The glasses will also be capable of voice input and output and will be able to capture photos using a front-facing camera. A user may even be able to navigate through menu items with the tilt of the head. The pilot program for Google’s HUD glasses is expected to launch soon. Weird.
Google Working On Secret Project, Testing In Employee Homes (Mashable)
No one is sure what Google has up its sleeve, but the company applied for a Federal Communications Commission experimental licence to test an unnamed prototype entertainment device in its employees’ homes. The device will connect to home electronics through wireless Internet and Bluetooth. Google says the device is still in early stages of development and will be modified after reviewing test results. It could be related to [email protected], Google’s technology to control light switches, alarm clocks and other home appliances through Android devices, or even related to the HUD glasses (above).
Google Calling All Developers For Google+ (VentureBeat)
Google is making a bid for third-party developer interest. According to Google+ developer-relations team lead by Chris Chabot, the new page will be an office-hours-style hangouts and best practices for using the +Platform APIs. So far, the platform consists of read-only APIs and tools for creating user badges. As many developers commented on the Google+ developers page, write APIs — including Twitter and Facebook cross-posting features — are one of the more eagerly anticipated roll-outs yet to come from the Google+.
Google Rolling Out Next Phase Of Residential Broadband Network (Android and Me)
Google’s plans to launch a one-gigabit-per-second residential broadband network has been in the works for nearly two years now. After extensive testing, picking a city and cutting through miles of red tape, Google is finally ready to enter the next phase of development; laying the thousands of miles of cable needed to run their fibre broadband Internet in Kansas City. Once the fibre is set up and the infrastructure is ready to go, Google will begin to bring the service to homes across Kansas City. No specific timeline has been given.
Smartphone Shipments Up Over 60% In 2011 (IDC)
The record sales managed by both Apple and Samsung during the holiday quarter sent smartphone market growth soaring in late 2011. According to IDC, smartphone shipments grew 54.7% in the fourth quarter driven by Apple’s iPhone 4S and Samsung’s Galaxy S II (Android) handsets. Units shipped totaled 157.8 million during the quarter while full-year shipments totaled 491.4 million units, up 61.3% over the prior year.
Online Spending Increased 13% Last Year (MediaPost)
For the entire fourth quarter, online retail spending reached $49.7 billion, up 14% year-over-year, according to comScore. That growth rate represented the ninth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth, not to mention the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates. For the entire 2011 year, U.S. retail e-commerce spending reached a record $161.5 billion, a 13% increase from 2010. Good news for Google.
For The First Time Ever, Smartphones Outsold PCs Last Quarter (Canalys)
Quarterly smartphone sales outpaced PC sales in the fourth quarter of 2011. In fact, it wasn’t even close. Mobile market research firm Canalys estimated that 158.5 million smartphones were sold in the last quarter, compared with 120.2 million personal computers (including tablets).