Google roundup: PT hikes, car alliance, Bitspin

|By:, SA News Editor

Bernstein has hiked its Google (GOOG +0.3%) PT to $1,350 (a new Street high) from $1,200. UBS is only a little less optimistic, raising its PT to $1,300.

Google announces at CES it's partnering with GM, Honda, Audi (previous), Hyundai, and Nvidia (NVDA +1.3%) to create the Open Automotive Alliance, a consortium looking to bring Android-powered in-car navigation/infotainment systems to market. The first cars supporting the platform are expected by year's end.

There's no shortage of competition in the automotive computing space. Ford/Microsoft's MyFord Touch platform and Apple's Siri Eyes Free (supported by several automakers) are two prominent examples. But the OAA's strong industry backing, together with Android's developer support and Google's powerful apps/services ecosystem - Google Maps and Now should be particularly useful for in-car solutions - should make it a tough competitor.

Google's effort could be a negative for Nuance (NUAN -1.5%), which offers its Dragon Drive voice recognition platform for the automotive market, and PND vendor Garmin (GRMN -0.1%), which has been trying to sell advanced infotainment systems to automakers.

Google has acquired Bitspin, developer of popular alarm clock app Timely. Look for some of Timely's features and UI elements to appear in future Android releases.