Google Buys Deepmind, Sells Motorola Mobility, Increases Smartphone Share to 78 Percent …and 2014 is only 30 days oldPosted: January 30th, 2014 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Google, Technoid Computer News | Tags: Android Open Source Project, AOSP, Blackberry, DeepMind, Google, Google Android, Google Quantum AI Lab, Lenovo, Microsoft Windows Phone, Motorola, Motorola Mobility | Comments Off on Google Buys Deepmind, Sells Motorola Mobility, Increases Smartphone Share to 78 Percent …and 2014 is only 30 days old
We all thought Google’s 2013 was mammoth, celebrating it’s 13th year of existence the search behemoth ended the year with a purchase – $US3.2 billion for Nest – It began the year by releasing it’s Nexus Tablet range and in between took ownership of the smartphone market, hinted at Glass, dragged it’s stock price over the $US1000 barrier, sold 50 billion apps via Play and stayed well-ontop of search.
That so doesn’t sound impressive enough! Search by Google was astounding in 2013, A billion monthly unique searches, Microsoft’s Bing – the 2nd place getter – managed 290 million a month. Point is, it was good to be Google in 2013, gloating won’t slow the giant, 2014 is likely to be a GREAT year for Google ::::
Google Buys A Robot
Google may have a future selling robots to consumers and devices for your smart home, with yet another acquisition paving the way for the internet giant’s new vision. US media are reporting the search engine giant is in the process of buying artificial intelligence company DeepMind Technologies for $US400 million.
The London-based DeepMind describes itself as a developer of “cutting-edge artificial intelligence” that can learn for itself.
“We combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms,” the company’s website said.
Google confirmed the deal after a report was published on tech website Re/code, but the company declined to name a dollar figure.
DeepMind has already developed software for e-commerce, simulations and video games. Its future uses could vary between developing smarter AI to learn from Google users so that ads and shopping can be targeted, or it could have applications in future products where artificial learning is also important.
Since December, Google has been on a buying frenzy, snapping up robotics company Boston Dynamics – makers of Wild Cat and the humanoid Atlas robots, and home smart appliances maker Nest Labs. It is clear Google sees a future in expanding from its web services and Android mobile platform to devices and services for the home.
Nest has already developed and released two products before Google’s $US3.2 billion purchase; a smart thermostat that learns from your habits and sets room temperatures automatically and a wireless carbon monoxide alarm that aims to reinvent smoke detectors.
Google has appointed former Android operating system head Andy Rubin, a former engineer, to lead its robotics development. Last month, in announcing the move, Google co-founder Larry Page wrote he was excited to see what would come from Mr Rubin’s project.
“His last big bet, Android, started off as a crazy idea that ended up putting a supercomputer in hundreds of millions of pockets,” Mr Page wrote. “It is still very early days for this, but I can’t wait to see the progress.”
Google, which is working on projects including self-driving cars and robots, has become increasingly focused on artificial intelligence in recent years. In 2012, it hired Ray Kurzweil, considered one of the leading minds in the field, and in May it announced a partnership with NASA and several universities to launch the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.
Google Sells Motorola Mobility to Lenovo
Google will sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, following a decline in revenue and some fairly serious job cuts in 2013. Lenovo Group said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy Google’s Motorola handset division for $2.91 billion, in what is China’s largest-ever tech deal as Lenovo buys its way into a heavily competitive US smartphone market.
It is Lenovo’s second major deal on US soil in a week as the Chinese electronics company angles to get a foothold in major global computing markets. Lenovo last week announced it was buying IBM’s low-end server business for $2.3 billion.
The deal ends Google’s short-lived foray into making consumer mobile devices and marks a pullback from its largest-ever acquisition. Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola in 2012. Under this deal the search giant will keep the majority of Motorola’s mobile patents, considered its prize assets.
The purchase will give Lenovo a solid beach-head to compete against Apple and Samsung, as well as smaller but increasingly aggressive smartphone makers like HTC. Lenovo is no stranger to the smartphone market, it’s powered it’s way up the lucrative Chinese market, it’s also not new at buying it’s way into the US market. In 2005 Lenovo purchased IBM’s PC division, giving it an instant sales base in the America’s.
“Using Motorola, just as Lenovo used the IBM ThinkPad brand, to gain quick credibility and access to desirable markets and build critical mass makes a lot of sense,” said Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett. “But Motorola has not been shooting the lights out with designs or sales volumes in smartphones. So the value is simply in brand recognition to achieve market recognition faster – and to expand the design and marketing team with talent experienced at U.S. and Western markets.”
Lenovo hasn’t exactly come out of nowhere, the Chinese tech-giant ranks 5th in the smartphone world with a solid 4.5 percent share of the global market, that’s up from 3.3 percent 12 months ago and virtually naught going back 2 years.
Google head, Larry Page believes Lenovo will be able to “scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem”, and keep true to its brand.
“The smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices,” Google CEO Larry Page wrote in a blog post. “It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo—which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world.”
In March 2013, 1200 staff from Motorola Mobility lost their jobs as a continuation of 4000 jobs cuts made in August 2012.
Page added that Lenovo’s acquisition does not necessarily mean that Google’s other hardware initiatives will change. “The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry.”
For Google, the sale is a solid solution to a persistent headache, Motorola’s losses have widened in recent quarters. It also shows that Google is willing to step back from the handset arena and throw its weight behind device makers that propagate its Android software, Kantar analyst Carolina Milanesi said.
“It all points to Google thinking in the short run that they’re better off betting on Samsung and keeping them close,” Milanesi said. “And of course now they’re enabling a second strong runner – Lenovo – in the Android ecosystem.”
In 2012, analysts saw Google’s Motorola acquisition as primarily a way to secure the company’s trove of patents amid the technology sector’s increasing legal battles, rather than a bona-fide push into the handset business. Many industry observers were surprised that Google did not immediately sell-off the hardware division after the deal closed, choosing instead to operate Motorola as a separate company. Google did however offload Motorola’s cable television set-top box business to Arris Group Inc for $2.35 billion at the end of 2012.
Lenovo has no need to go back to the banks to raise cash for the acquisition, the Chinese company’s chief financial officer Wong Waiming said.
Lenovo will pay $US660 million in cash, $US750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares, and another $US1.5 billion in the form of a three-year promissory note, the companies said in a joint statement. Most of Motorola’s patents will remain the property of Google, the deal is subject to approval by both US and Chinese authorities.
Android Smartphones Continue to Rule the Galaxy
Android smartphones continue their dominance, making up 78 percent of the 1 billion units shipped worldwide in 2013, according to ABI Research. Most of the growth in Android came from Android Open Source Project – AOSP – sales of these devices increased by 137 per cent year-on-year.
During Q4 2013, 221.5 million Android AOSP smartphones were shipped, accounting for 77 per cent of the global market, up from 146.7 million in Q4, 2012.
“The growth of AOSP is significant for Android’s owner Google, because AOSP does not offer Google’s services due to their unavailability in China, impacting Google’s ability to monetise the Android ecosystem,” said Nick Spencer, senior practice director, mobile devices at ABI Research.
Apple’s iOS smartphones iPhone – only made up 18 per cent of the market in Q4 2013, with 51 million Apple smartphones shipped globally.
“Apple continues to avoid a low cost smartphone product to target these markets, focusing instead on its traditional premium segment, where growth is harder to achieve due to fast approaching market saturation,” said Mr Spencer.
But the story is shifting when it comes to looking at what the engine is behind that growth. Samsung, the handset maker that has led the charge for Google’s OS, is “now coming under real pressure in most regions” as it faces stronger competition from local players in markets like China. There, Xiaomi led in sales for the last 12 weeks of 2013, and other Chinese handset makers like Huawei also continued to gain ground. It’s still Android, but delivered in different, more locally focused packaging.
Globally, Microsoft Windows Phone took 4 per cent market share, growing 19 per cent from Q3 2013, while BlackBerry took 1 percent market share, growing 42 percent since the previous quarter.
Other operating systems that did not report many shipments for the quarter were BlackBerry 10, Firefox, Microsoft Windows Mobile and Symbian.
Will Google’s Android OS dominate in 2014?
RELATED! Five Reasons it was Good to be Google in 2013
2013 marked Google’s 15th anniversary, however the search giant that is Google showed zero complacency, exuding none of the fanfare of previous world-dominating tech monoliths, indeed for many the landmark celebration went completely unnoticed.
For Google 2013 was simply another year, steaming on to solidified its place at the center of almost every arena in internet economy.
In the quadrangle of the internet age, sidled up with Apple, Facebook and Amazon, Google is the only one to have competed in all arenas including: retail, hardware, television, social networking and search. Although it performed better in some arenas – wink wink, Plus Google – it’s a hardship to write-off Google from any of them.
Google’s 2013 success was the result of a largish range of new product releases, acquisitions and long term project coming to fruition. From Google Glass, Chromecast, Play,Moto X and all the way back to it’s roots, search.
The one thing Google hasn’t done is remained still. We’ve rounded up some of Google’s most important moments of this past year, moments that contributed to the giants exponential tech-rise ::Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! Google’s Hot New Buy, Nest
The behemoth that is Google, has announced it’s first acquisition for the year, it’s buying Nest, a smart thermostat maker set up by former Apple genius and iPod visionary, Tony Fadell, in a deal said to be worth $US3.2 billion/$AU3.5 billion.
This latest big-ticket buy continues a move by the California-based search giant into consumer electronics hardware, adding smartphone-synced thermostats to its Motorola Mobility smartphones, Nexus mobile devices, Chromecast, and the promised release of Google Glass some time this year.
Nest Labs makes internet connected smoke detectors and thermostats. The company set about reinventing simple, but essential household devices in 2011 with the launch of it’s Nest Learning Thermostat and follow up product, Protect, a smoke alarm controlled by mobile devices :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! Lenovo Buys IBM Low-end Servers
The long-awaited acquisition comes nearly a decade after Lenovo bought IBM’s loss-making ThinkPad business for $1.75 billion.
The sale of the low-end server operation, which still needs US government approval, will allow IBM to focus on its decade-long shift to more profitable software and services.
IBM said earlier this month that it would spend more than $1.2 billion to build up to 15 data centres on five continents, in an effort to expand its cloud services and reach new clients and markets.
Lenovo’s acquisition will lift its market share in the server area from 2 per cent to 14 per cent :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! Taken Control, The Mobile Market Runs on Google’s Android
The uncool kid on the block, Google’s Android, now controls more than 80 percent of the global smartphone market, with Microsoft’s Windows Phone also experiencing explosive growth according to new numbers.
The worldwide mobile market shipped an amazing 467 million new phones in the third quarter of 2013. Mobile researchers IDC said figures show the overall market grew 39.9 percent to 261.1 million units, up from 186.7 million a year ago.
The clear market leader was Google Android, shipping upward of 210 million devices, more than the total number of smartphones sold for all platforms combined quarter on quarter.
The platform now claims an amazing 81 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, but wait there’s more :: Read the full article »»»»
REBLOG! Google glass Gets Makeover
Google has unveiled a set of fashionable prescription frames and shades for its Glass Internet-connected eyewear in an image makeover to give it broader appeal before a mass launch in the United States later this year. Google also announced a deal with Vision Service Plan, the largest U.S. optical health insurance provider, that will allow consumers to get prescription lenses specially fitted to the device.
A stamp-sized electronic screen mounted on the side of a pair of eyeglass frames, Google Glass can record video, access email, provide turn-by-turn driving directions and retrieve info from the Web by connecting wirelessly to a user’s cell phone.
The version of Glass available until now was mounted on a titanium band that rested on the bridge of the wearer’s nose, resembling a pair of glasses without lenses and inspiring a bit of ridicule – from a parody on “Saturday Night Live” to a popular blog poking fun at its users. Google’s website on Monday showed off a new selection of four different frames, in styles including “Bold” and “Curve”, available for $225 each, and a couple of different sunglass shades for $150 each :: Read the full article »»»»