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  • Jun. 6, 2012, 1:46 PM

    Google (GOOG) unveils a major overhaul to Google Maps and Google Earth (live blog). Highlights include far more detailed 3D imagery, offline caching for mobile versions of Maps, and off-road Street View support. The update comes as Apple (AAPL) reportedly prepares to ditch Google Maps on iOS for a home-grown solution featuring 3D imagery and other technology acquired from startups. One sign of the times: an iPad was used in Google's demo.

    | Jun. 6, 2012, 1:46 PM
  • Jun. 6, 2012, 12:51 PM

    The selloff in Facebook and other social networking names has led Twitter's valuation to fall 15% on private markets. This leads Nicholas Carlson to speculate Twitter, which was valued at $8B in a funding round, will now be more open to selling to Google (GOOG) - a source recently hinted Twitter was open to a deal. Also: co-founder Jack Dorsey is now reportedly spending less time at Twitter than at Square, and CEO Dick Costolo has already sold a startup (FeedBurner) to Google.

    | Jun. 6, 2012, 12:51 PM
  • Jun. 6, 2012, 11:58 AM

    Android's (GOOG) smartphone share will peak in 2012 at 61% before falling to 52.9% in 2016, IDC predicts. It sees Windows Phone (MSFT, NOK) as the biggest culprit, forecasting its share will grow to 19.2% in 2016 from 5.2% in 2012. The iPhone's (AAPL) share is expected to slip to 19% from 20.5%. Making 4-year smartphone forecasts is no easy task - Android was a blip on the radar back in '08. IDC sees total mobile phone sales rising 4% in 2012, and smartphone sales 39%. (previous)

    | Jun. 6, 2012, 11:58 AM | 10 Comments
  • Jun. 5, 2012, 12:54 PM

    Google (GOOG) follows up on its acquisitions of Meebo and KikScore by acquiring Quickoffice, maker of a popular productivity suite for iOS and Android devices. Assuming Google bundles Quickoffice with Android, the acquisition could bolster Android's standing in the enterprise market, where the iPhone (AAPL) is faring better. The deal comes ahead of the expected November launch of iPad and Android versions of Microsoft Office (MSFT).

    | Jun. 5, 2012, 12:54 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jun. 4, 2012, 6:19 PM

    Less than 300K U.S. consumers turned in their feature phones for smartphones each week in May, estimates Horace Deidu after analyzing comScore's latest data. That's down sharply from the 1.5M/week added in November, and, along with disappointing Q1 smartphone sales, suggests U.S. demand for smartphones (and their costly service plans) is finally cooling off. Also of note: Android's (GOOG) smartphone share fell 20 bps M/M to 50.8%, after months of torrid growth.

    | Jun. 4, 2012, 6:19 PM | 4 Comments
  • Jun. 4, 2012, 4:20 PM
    Google (GOOG) is acquiring Meebo, a developer of toolbars used by web publishers to push content to readers and embed messaging/social networking features. Meebo's toolbars could conceivably be used to push Google+ and other Google services, and perhaps also AdSense ads.
    | Jun. 4, 2012, 4:20 PM
  • Jun. 4, 2012, 1:30 PM

    YouTube's (GOOG) big investments in third-party professional content are paying off. Not only is monthly usage soaring, the improved reach of content developers, along with their ability to offer higher-quality content, is drawing the attention of top advertisers. In addition, content developers are being lured by the chance to new revenue streams such as product placements and cross-promotions.

    | Jun. 4, 2012, 1:30 PM
  • Jun. 4, 2012, 12:41 PM

    Google (GOOG) is set to launch a new small business marketing solution that leverages Google+, Offers, Wallet, and other products. By doing so, Google hopes to grow its share of the $21B+ market for local digital ad spending, and better monetize the 20% of searches that are for local info. Google's efforts represent fresh competition for Yelp (YELP -8%), Groupon (GRPN -8.3%), and Facebook (FB -3.4%), and perhaps also social media marketing firms such as BV and CTCT. (earlier)

    | Jun. 4, 2012, 12:41 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jun. 4, 2012, 9:12 AM

    Google (GOOG) has acquired the assets and customers of KikScore, developer of an algorithm that seeks to measure the trustworthiness of a business. KikScore will be shutting down, and its product will be merged with Google's Trusted Store Program, which seeks to provide "seals of approval" to online merchants. The move comes as Google reportedly plans to start charging for preferential placement within its product search engine results.

    | Jun. 4, 2012, 9:12 AM
  • Jun. 3, 2012, 5:48 AM

    The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has chosen Apple's (AAPL) "nano" sim card design as the new standard for the next generation of such cards over a rival proposal from Nokia (NOK), RIM (RIMM) and Motorola (GOOG). The new sim is 40% smaller than the micro-Sim used in some devices today.

    | Jun. 3, 2012, 5:48 AM | 13 Comments
  • Jun. 3, 2012, 4:48 AM

    Towards the end of 2011, Groupon (GRPN) was inclined to accept Google's (GOOG) $6B offer, says Frank Sennett in a new book. However, there was dissension from key directors and nagging doubts about whether Google could close the deal. Groupon's exponential growth and projections for more of the same prompted the company to turn Google down.

    | Jun. 3, 2012, 4:48 AM | 2 Comments
  • Jun. 2, 2012, 11:05 AM

    The big tech selloff that's occurred over the last few weeks has resulted in valuations for many large-cap names once more falling to historically low levels. Here are some trailing P/Es for prominent large-caps, none of which take into account net cash and investments: Intel (INTC): 10.6. Microsoft (MSFT): 10.3. Apple (AAPL): 13.7. Google (GOOG): 15. Cisco (CSCO): 9. IBM: 13.6. EMC: 14.7. Dell (DELL): 6. H-P (HPQ): 5.1. On the other hand, Facebook (FB) still has a trailing P/E of 64.5.

    | Jun. 2, 2012, 11:05 AM | 29 Comments
  • Jun. 1, 2012, 6:45 PM

    Thanks to the iPad's dominant share of tablet browsing, iOS (AAPL) grew its share of total mobile browsing to 62% in May, NetMarketShare estimates. That's more than 3x the 19.7% share estimated for Android (GOOG), in spite of its solid lead in smartphone shipments. Even if one assumes NetMarketShare's methodology is imperfect, the figures drive home Google's need to improve its tablet position, given its huge iOS search revenue-sharing payments to Apple.

    | Jun. 1, 2012, 6:45 PM | 6 Comments
  • Jun. 1, 2012, 6:29 PM

    Twitter expects to generate at least $1B in revenue by 2014, sources tell Bloomberg - that figure is well above the $540M eMarketer estimates Twitter will produce that year, and up over 7x from the $139.5M it's estimated to have pulled in last year. Assuming Twitter, which has been working hard to create new ad revenue streams, takes this estimate seriously, it's unlikely it will sell to Google (GOOG) or anyone else at a discount. (also)

    | Jun. 1, 2012, 6:29 PM
  • Jun. 1, 2012, 4:34 PM
    Google (GOOG) risks the ire of Chinese regulators once again by directly alerting users of its Hong Kong search engine (still accessible in mainland China) when they enter a search term that could run afoul of China's "great firewall." Google's Chinese search share, though down sharply since the company shut down rather than agree to censor results, was still pegged at 18% last October. The company also generates ad sales from China through other means.
    | Jun. 1, 2012, 4:34 PM
  • Jun. 1, 2012, 11:34 AM

    Google (GOOG) has until July 2 to change its search results and ad rules or else face court action, says EU antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia. However, Almunia has indicated he's open to a settlement related to the EU's "concerns," the largest of which appears to be the preferential placement given to Google sites within search results. No settlement appears on the horizon for Google's dispute with the FTC.

    | Jun. 1, 2012, 11:34 AM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Alphabet Inc through its subsidiary Google Inc is engaged in improving the ways people connect with information & products including Search, Android, YouTube, Apps, Maps & Ads. It also produces internet-connected home devices & provides internet services.