real-time news and commentary for investors
Wednesday, Sep 18
Google launches anti-aging firm, takes YouTube offline, preps Nexus 5
- Google (GOOG +0.5%) is launching Calico, a company that will "focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated disease." Apple/Genentech chairman Arthur Levinson will be Calico's CEO, as well as an initial investor.
- Google is short on details, but full of lofty ambitions. Larry Page: "I believe we can improve millions of lives. It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art—one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation—to take this new venture forward." Tim Cook also provides some kind words about Levinson.
- Calico is the latest in a line of "moonshot" projects to be backed by Page. Others: Glass, Loon, self-driving cars, space elevators
- Meanwhile, in a more prosaic initiative, YouTube is giving mobile users the ability to save video clips for offline viewing for 48 hours. The videos will still feature ads, and uploaders will be allowed to opt out.
- The move could bolster YouTube's already-dominant share of mobile video viewing. Mobile now accounts for over 1/4 of YouTube's total views, and over 40% of its U.S. views.
- Also: Digitimes reports Google's Nexus 5 smartphone will arrive in October and feature a mid-range price in spite of having high-end specs.
- FCC docs and rumors indicate the Nexus 5 will be made by Nexus 4 partner LG, and will feature a 5" 1080p display, 13MP camera, and Qualcomm (QCOM -0.6%) Snapdragon 800 CPU.
- If the Nexus 5 has unsubsidized pricing close to that of the Nexus 4, it should sell well.