GOOG (NASDAQ:GOOG) Up With Markets
Stocks are shaking off early losses as consumer confidence shatters expectations. Shares of GOOG are up strong, over 1%. Catalysts include continued Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration; regaining ground in China; resurgence of Google TV; 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 13x Enterprise Value / EBIT.
Google Nexus Tablet Launch Will Affect Partner Sales (DigiTimes)
Google chairman Eric Schmidt made comments during a press conference in mid-December that suggested his company was working on building its own Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet (still rumor however). That could have an adverse affect on tablet sales for Google’s Android partners. If Google deploys a newer Android 4.1 operating system on its tablets, it could force other vendors, such as Acer, Lenovo and Asus to launch devices powered by an older Android 4.0 build, resulting in more customers favoring Google’s tablet over competing devices.
Google Funding Mozilla To Further Browser Development (ReadWriteWeb)
Chrome engineer Peter Kasting took to his Google+ offered a simple answer as to why Google was keeping Firefox alive. “Google is funding a partner,” not a competitor. He goes on to say, “It’s very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible.” Basically, the success of Firefox is really about driving ad dollars and users to Google. By keeping the friendly competition going, it ensures everyone is at the top of their game and speeding up the innovative process.
Will Apple Make The Perfect TV While Google TV Continues To Disappoint? (The Perfection Paradox)
The single biggest reason Google TV didn’t work was it didn’t solve any of the biggest shortcomings of our living room television viewing experience. It made it more complicated. Apple, meanwhile, will approach the market with the aim of making TV simple again. Henry Blodget at Business Insider says that TV users just want to press “on” and watch what they want to watch. That’s it. Steve Jobs probably figured out how to allow TV users to press “on” and then say, “The Jets game,” or “Addams Family” or “The next Sopranos episode” or “our Hawaii vacation videos” and have the TV just play them. Not screw around with a remote that looks like it could power the Pentagon.
UC Berkeley Decides To Go With Google Apps Over Microsoft Office (Business Insider)
The University of California at Berkeley (Go Bears!) just decided to move off its old email system and chose Gmail over Microsoft’s Office 365. The school decided it could get Google Apps up and running faster and for less money. Particularly interesting was that to move to Office 365, the university would have had to do a double migration. First to an on-premise version of Exchange, then to the online version in Google Apps. This pokes a hole in Microsoft’s claim that Office 365 is a true cloud-based competitor to Google. It goes to show why Gmail increasingly has an advantage among highly cost-conscious organizations.
More Discussion On Google+ For Businesses: Is It Efficient? (OPEN Forum)
For big brands, Google+ is probably a good investment. But is Google+ an efficient use of time for small businesses? Here are the positives:
- SEO Boost
- Host Hangouts
- Expand Distribution
- Early Adopter Connection
- Segment Audience
Here are the negatives:
- Difficult Administration
- Facebook / Twitter Still Reign
- Lack Of Integration
- Small Growth
Where Is The Next Big Smartphone Boom? (VentureBeat)
The U.S. and China currently have the world’s largest potential smartphone and tablet markets, but many other countries are ripe for wider smart-device adoption in 2012 according to market research firm Flurry. With 109 million users, the U.S. makes up 41% of the current global iOS and Android install base, followed by China with 13%, the U.K with 6.5% and South Korea with 6%. China has the biggest pool of potential smart-device owners, with 122 million people who can afford a smartphone or tablet followed by the U.S. with 91 million. India has 75 million possible smart-device users, followed by 65 million in Japan, and 34 million in Brazil and in Germany.
Heather Leonard is the Google analyst at Business Insider.