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Google+ now has 10 million users -- even Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly onboard, scoping out his rival.  (Source: Google+)

Chrome is now the world's fastest growing web browser, with 160 million users.

Google co-founder Larry Page seems to be handling the pressures of being CEO well.  (Source: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Google+ and the Chrome browser are also success stories

In the face of concerns about legal attacks from Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), and earnings concerns, Google Inc. (GOOG) continues to show it isn't leaving its starring role in the tech industry anytime soon.  The smartphone and internet search leader on Thursday reported a record revenue of $9.03B USD.  GAAP net income (profit) was at an impressive $2.51B USD.

The strong showing should go a ways to dispelling the cloud of pessimism that has surrounded Google in recent weeks.  Indeed Google stock has soared up 13 percent in pre-market trading.

The pickup of Google+ has been particularly impressive.  New chief executive Larry Page regaled the audience of the earnings call with figures.  Namely, he revealed that Google+ had reached 10 million users, despite being invite only and only in existence for a few weeks.  He also indicated that Google+ users are very active on their new social network, sharing over 1 billion links a day with their friends.

Mr. Page even took the opportunity to deliver a bit of a shot at rival Facebook's loose privacy controls.  He states [transcript], "Our goal with Google Plus is to make sharing on the Web like sharing in real life, as well as to improve the overall Google experience. Circles lets you choose with precision who you’re sharing with. Not surprisingly, this has been very well received, because in real life we share different things with different people."

Facebook users will recognize the hidden meaning here; the world's largest social network has clumsy privacy controls that in most cases result in sharing things with all your friends -- or in some peoples' cases -- all the world.  Google clearly is a bit more privacy-conscious.

Google's Chrome web browser is also doing quite well.  The company reports it has 160 million users.  Mr. Page remarks, "Chrome is the fastest growing browser."

Turning to Android, Google's smart phone juggernaut, Google says that it now has 135 million active devices.  This total is significantly lower than Apple's, which has 200 million iOS devices active as of June.  Of course, much of the differential is likely due to the iPod Touch -- which has no major Android competition -- and the iPad tablet -- which has vastly outsold Android tablets.

In phones the numbers are likely much closer, but unfortunately neither company broke down the active device numbers into categories.  The closest clue with regards to the health of iOS versus Android is the number of phone activations a day.

Apple in June said it was at 275,000 a day.  In June, Google said it was at 500,000 a day, with Android Manager Andy Rubin declaring on Twitter that activations were increasing at a 4.4 percent weekly growth.  During the earnings call Google seemingly confirmed this growth rate, by announcing activations of 550,000 handsets a day, a figure Mr. Page calls "a huge number, even by Google’s standards."

Looking back, in April Google was at 350k activations, so the growth has indeed been impressive.  Apple chief executive Steven P. Jobs has claimed that Google is lying about its activation totals, believing his company is still ahead, despite the large gap in the reported totals.

Google still trails Apple in apps and app downloads.  At the earnings call Mr. Page announced total app downloads had reached 6 billion, well behind the 15 billion downloads Apple users have logged.

Mr. Page brushed off monetization concerns about the company's core products, such as Android, Google+, and the Chrome browser.  He comments, "Now people rightly ask, how will we monetize these businesses? Of course, I understand the need to balance the short-term with the longer-term needs, because our revenues and growth serve as the engine that funds our innovation. But our emerging high usage products can generate huge new businesses for Google in the long run, just like search."

"And we have tons of experience monetizing successful products over time. Well-run technology businesses with tremendous consumer usage make a lot of money over the long term."

Overall, the earnings serve as reassurance that all Google's key properties are firing on all cylinders, competitively.  However, outside concerns, such as lawsuits and antitrust investigations remain serious obstacles for Google.



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Google+ is irrelevant
By Tony Swash on 7/15/2011 2:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
Google+ maybe be very interesting and may grow really big but like Android it is largely irrelevant to Google's earnings. Google is an advertising company, 95% of it's earnings come from advertising.

The really interesting development in relation to Google's earnings was revealed by this article

http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/20...

The story is essentially that Google seems to have increased it's take of the ad income at the expense of it's partners .Google’s own sites, such as search, gmail, etc showed 39% growth in ad income in the most recent quarter compared with the year ago quarter, to $6.23 billion.

Google partner sites grew at nearly half the rate: just 20% compared with a year ago, to $2.48 billion. This huge disparity between the growth rates of Google sites and partner sites is without precedent for most of its history.

What does this mean? It is not clear what mechanisms are at play here but such a shift in trend is unlikely to have been accidentally and it is reasonable to conclude that it is as a result of Google deliberately clawing back in-house earnings that previously went to partners.

What are the implications? Clearly there is a limit to how much Google can claw back partner earnings and so in order to repeat the upward lurch in earning in future Google will have to find other sources for increasing revenue. It is also unclear what the long term impact on partner allegiance will be if Google adopts a strategy of clawing back revenues.




RE: Google+ is irrelevant
By kodekov on 7/16/2011 7:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
Tony I think I speak for all of us when I say,
NO ONE LIKES YOU!
NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY!
YOUR FANBOYISM HAS RUN SO DEEP YOU CANT THINK STRAIGHT!
YOU WILL NEVER BE #1 IN STEVE JOBS LIFE!


“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs














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