More competition in Smartphone Market


With the introduction of Nexus One by Google the competition in the smart phone market is getting tougher. Google had a share of iPhone already with its search engine and maps products being the default in it and now they have their own smart phone as well which is a direct competitor to iPhone.

Now some recent developments which caught the attention of my eye include the news that Apple is in talks to Microsoft to replace Google in its products with Bing. Now this is pro-active! They have anticipated the danger but this is not the best reaction. Check out the following news:

This looks like just an immediate course of action. Apple’s dependence on other big names to provide services will not last long as Microsoft’s pink phone is also in the pipeline.

There is no other search engine at the moment to replace bing in iPhone. Apple’s best course of action is to focus on their product and work to make it the best as they have done in the past. Everyone would love the iPhone which they already are familiar with. But it looks like Apple will have to withdraw from some of its smart phone market share as others jump in!


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Google in late stages to buy Twitter

Here’s a heck of a rumor that we’ve sourced from two separate people close to the negotiations: Google is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter. We don’t know the price but can assume its well, well north of the $250 million valuation that they saw in their recent funding.

Twitter turned down an offer to be bought by Facebook just a few months ago for half a billion dollars, although that was based partially on overvalued Facebook stock. Google would be paying in cash and/or publicly valued stock, which is equivalent to cash. So whatever the final acquisition value might be, it can’t be compared apples-to-apples with the Facebook deal.

Why would Google want Twitter? We’ve been arguing for some time that Twitter’s real value is in search. It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn’t even have a horse in the game. In a post last month called It’s Time To Start Thinking Of Twitter As A Search Engine, I wrote:

More and more people are starting to use Twitter to talk about brands in real time as they interact with them. And those brands want to know all about it, whether to respond individually (The W Hotel pestered me until I told them to just leave me alone), or simply gather the information to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong.

And all of it is discoverable at, the search engine that Twitter acquired last summer.

People searching for news. Brands searching for feedback. That’s valuable stuff.

Twitter knows it, too. They’re going to build their business model on it. Forget small time payments from users for pro accounts and other features, all they have to do is keep growing the base and gather more and more of those emotional grunts. In aggregate it’s extremely valuable. And as Google has shown, search is vastly monetizable – somewhere around 40% of all online advertising revenue goes to ads on search listings today.

If this is accurate, it’s a brilliant deal for Google – the value of Twitter is only going to go up over time. And it will be Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone’s second sale to Goolge – they sold Blogger to them just five years ago. But there’s one big question – where’s Microsoft in all this? Letting Twitter go to Google only hurts them, badly, in the long term search game. This is an asset they need to be competing for aggressively.

Of course, it’ll be sad to see Twitter become just another subsidiary of Google, if this happens. I would have liked to have seen the company spread its wings a little longer to see what it could do.

Updated: Yet another source says the acquisition discussions are still fairly early stage, and the two companies are also considering working together on a Google real time search engine.



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Opinion: Google’s Android OS is coming to the desktop this year

March 9, 2009 (Computerworld) It’s not news that Microsoft will get Windows 7 out as fast as possible this year. Vista has been a complete dog, so Microsoft will rush to deliver what is essentially a cleaned-up, lightweight version. What is news is that Google will have its own contender for desktop operating system king: Android.

Android, you ask? What would a Linux-based phone operating system be doing on the desktop? Running it, perhaps. You see, Matthäus Krzykowski and Daniel Hartmann, founders of start-up Mobile-facts, discovered late last year that Android has two product policies in its code. Product policies, they explained, are instructions in an operating system aimed at specific uses. Android’s two policies are phones and MIDs (mobile Internet devices). You probably know MIDs by their more popular name: netbooks.

The light begins to dawn, doesn’t it? But just because a program says it can do a job doesn’t mean it can actually deliver the goods. Recall, for example, just how well Vista ran on "Vista Capable" PCs.

So, Krzykowski and Hartmann decided to see if they could get Android to work on a netbook.

It took them about four hours to compile Android for an Asus’ Eee PC 1000H. Then, they reported on, "we got the netbook fully up and running on it, with nearly all of the necessary hardware you’d want — including graphics, sound and wireless card for Internet." In other words, Android is already a desktop operating system.

OK, but that doesn’t mean anyone is actually going to build and sell Android-powered computers, does it? Yes, that’s exactly what it means.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Samson Hu, chief of Asus’ Eee PC business, said Asus has assigned engineers to develop an Android-based netbook by the end of the year — though he said it hasn’t decided whether to ship such a product.

But in this economy, would any company waste expensive engineering on a project that might not ship? I don’t think so. Android makes sense for Asus, which has already shown a willingness to back a Linux maverick.

As for applications, the wide array of open-source software that all Linux distributions share would be available, but so would Google’s Chrome Web browser and its wealth of Web-based applications. You can bet those are going to work very well with Android/Chrome.

I’m sure Asus won’t be alone in adopting Android. According to Barclays Capital analyst Israel Hernandez, netbooks are the one bright spot in the PC market. Android just makes them cheaper and more profitable.

I put it to you: If you were in charge of a computer company in a lousy market, and one of your choices was to invest more in the one product line that’s showing signs of life, would you do it? If you had a choice between paying a considerable chunk of cash for Windows and a lesser sum for Android, what would you do? Before answering those questions, you’d have to decide whether people would be willing to buy something other than Windows. Most haven’t been, but when the alternative is from Google, which is now as well known as Microsoft, there’s a real chance things could be different.

I predict that by December, we’ll see not only Asus selling Android-based netbooks, but at least a half-dozen other vendors doing so as well. In bad times, businesses have to be smart, and Android on netbooks is a smart move indeed.


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