GOOG (NASDAQ:GOOG) Bouncing With The Market
Stocks are wavering as GDP numbers were revised downward, European debt fears continue to rattle stocks and the U.S. debt committee’s failure to reach a deal. Shares of GOOG are bouncing along break even. 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 (see below); and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, daily deals, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.6x Enterprise Value / EBIT.
Samsung To Use Google To Power TV Sets (The Wall Street Journal)
Samsung confirmed that it’s nearly finished cutting a deal with Google to use Google TV software to power its TV sets. It seems like a strange move, given that Samsung’s Smart TV apps platform has been pretty successful. The platform facilitates about 50,000 app downloads each day. Not too mention all the talk about revolutionizing the TV along with Apple. That said, Google’s new Google TV 2.0 software is a huge step up from the previous generation.
Apple Owns The Developer, Not Likely Flocking To Android Anytime Soon (Fortune)
According to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, Apple owns about 85-90% of current mobile app spending in terms of lifetime developer revenue. That provides Apple with a huge advantage over other mobile OS platforms. And Munster suggests Apple will keep more than 70% of mobile app revenue share for the next three or four years. That alone will keep developers from flocking to Android or Windows and likely keep Apple from freaking out if Google moves a few more devices per year than it does. Perhaps Google could make up for it in ad dollars?
Google Cut the Price Of Flailing Chromebooks (Various via techDygest)
Google gave Chromebooks a refresh for the holidays, introducing a new Samsung Series 5 notebook and dropping the price of Acer and Samsung Chromebooks $100 to $299. But Google should keep cutting prices and make them free. By giving Chromebooks away in a carrier-subsidized model, Google might just create something useful out of an otherwise unimpressive product. And while more expensive, tablets can accomplish many of the instant-on and tighter security features while having a much more portable design and support for offline apps.
Facebook Working On That Rumored Android-Powered Phone (All Things Digital)
Facebook is working on a phone being led by CTO Bret Taylor with the codename “Buffy.” The mobile OS is said to be based on a modified version of Android (helloooo fragmentation) and the hardware for the phone is being built by HTC. Facebook has 350 million active mobile users and relationships with 475 global mobile operators. While mobile is no doubt critical to Facebook’s future, moving directly into the phone business is fraught with challenges. I don’t think getting into the handset business is the answer.
Heather Leonard is the Google analyst at Business Insider.