The Galaxy Gear could be just the first in a long-line of devices. Based on a recent patent filing, Samsung appears to be working on an alternative to Google Glass -- other wearables could follow.
Perhaps that's why Google is pushing back. Various reports have suggested that Google is about to unveil its own smartwatch, a likely possibility given that Google acquired smartwatch-maker WIMM Labs last year. When Google unveils its device, it will compete with Samsung's offering, but will likely work with nearly any Android handset.
Is Google's mobile strategy in danger?
The danger to Google is that Samsung could, at some future date, decide to completely fork Android -- removing Google's apps and services in place of its own. That would be a crushing blow to Google's mobile strategy, as the search giant gives Android away for free in the hopes that it will encourage mobile use of its apps and Web services.
Nevertheless, Samsung has to do something. It's the dominant Android-handset maker now, but that might not always be the case -- unlike Apple, it doesn't have the luxury of having a monopoly on the production of Android handsets.
The first Samsung Developer Conference
To counteract that possibility, Samsung is slowly building its own ecosystem on top of Google's, blending hardware compatibility with software exclusivity. Samsung offers its own apps to compete with Google's, and then uses its hardware to encourage their use. Samsung's native email app, for example, might not be as good as Google's version, but only Samsung's app works with the S-pen, its smart stylus.
Then there are Samsung's deals with other developers: Dropbox gives 50 GB of free cloud storage to owners of most newer Samsung handsets -- discouraging them from relying on Google's competing product, Drive. Twitter's new Android-tablet app, is a Samsung exclusive (for the time being).
More deals could be on the horizon. Sunday marks the start of Samsung's Developer Conference, a first for the company. Both Apple and Google use these conferences to encourage developers to take advantage of their platforms; Samsung's decision to host its own suggests a focus on software going forward.
The Galaxy Gear lock-in
And while it works to court developers, Samsung is already flexing its hardware muscle. Its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch requires an Android handset to function -- but not just any phone running Google's operating system will do.
Right now, the Galaxy Gear only works with Samsung's Galaxy Note 3. Soon, owners of other Galaxy handsets will be able to use the Gear, and Samsung has said it plans to bring compatibility to phones made by other manufacturers, but it isn't clear how that would work. To put apps on the Gear, you need to use Samsung's own app store, which isn't available on Google Play.
google should just buy himax this way they control glass, and google would only own 14 % +, but again you would get into a bidding war.
Like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) , Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF ) relies on sales of mobile hardware for much of its revenue and profit -- but unlike Apple, it doesn't own the operating system powering most of these devices.
It might one day -- sort of. Samsung is increasingly taking steps to differentiate its products from other devices running Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) Android: pushing exclusive apps, partnering with other software developers, and building a hardware ecosystem. In time, Samsung's dominance of Android could prove problematic for Google.
Samsung's big problem
Samsung has a problem of its own -- customer retention. Apple's customers are famously loyal: A recent study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, or CIRP, found that 81% of iPhone owners stayed with Apple when it came time to upgrade. Users of Android are less loyal in general (only 68% in CIRP's study stayed), but Samsung has even more reason to be concerned.
Because Apple controls its operating system, its phones are the only option when it comes to iOS. Users who have poured hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dollars into Apple's ecosystem on books, music, movies and apps is essentially stuck. Sure, they could make the switch to Android, but bringing their media with them would be a pain, and the apps they bought for their old iPhone wouldn't carry over.
Samsung doesn't have this luxury. A customer who pours money into Google's app store, Google Play, is loyal to Google -- not Samsung. Someone with Samsung's Galaxy S3 today could upgrade to an HTC One tomorrow.
I dont joke like that. lol. when someone else posted something to that effect i went to yahoo and it was on home page. we will find out soon enough.
A 250-foot long barge with four stories of shipping containers floating in the waters of the San Francisco Bay may actually be the home of Google’s next big marketing push.
KPIX 5 reports that several experts close to local government authorities that oversee such operations say that the barge is likely home to a major marketing effort, a “kind of giant Apple Store,” in support of Google Glass.
The barge itself is reportedly referred to as “the secret project” by locals, with the shipping containers largely concealed under a bed of black netting.
The theory goes that upon completion, Google will pull the barge up to San Francisco’s Fort Mason, where the floating data center would then become open to the public. For it’s part, Google has declined to comment on the speculation.
CNET agrees with the speculation, pointing out that Google obtained a patent for such an operation in 2009 . But why a floating data-center? They say the water provided a natural cooling center for a massive operation like this and that the water itself is also a sustainable power source.
The patent describes such a facility as a, “system [that] includes a floating platform-mounted computer data center comprising a plurality of computing units, a sea-based electrical generator in electrical connection with the plurality of computing units, and one or more sea-water cooling units for providing cooling to the...computing units."
There’s just one major problem: many of these same experts say Google hasn’t sought the proper permits to open any such operation.
“Google has spent millions on this,” one anonymous source close to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) told the station. “But they can’t park this barge on the waterfront without a permit, and they don’t have one.”
A second source confirmed that Google has inquired about “hypothetical operations” that would be water-based but has not specified how or for what purpose any such enterprise would be employed.
Another challenging facing any such enterprise would be in justifying why Google would need the new operation to be water-based.
“The law is crystal clear in this case: The Bay is not to be used for something that can be built on land,” BCDC director Larry Goldzband told the station.
they will blow past these numbers.
16:10 EDT CALD theflyonthewallcom: Callidus raises FY13 revenue guidance to $108.5M-$109.5M from $106M-$109M
Consensus $106.84M. Based upon Q3 performance the company raised FY13 revenue guidance. :theflyonthewallcom
16:10 EDT CALD theflyonthewallcom: Callidus raises Q3 revenue guidance to $28.5M-$29M from $26M-$27M
Consensus $26.59M. Based on preliminary, unaudited financial results the company expects to report Q3 financial performance that exceeds the high end of its previously issued revenue guidance. Sees SaaS revenue growth of 22%-25% year over year. Sees SaaS billings growth of 32%-35% year over year. Closed two 7-figure license deals during the quarter, which are included in revenue for the quarter. :theflyonthewall.
how messed up is that.
The adoption of smart devices has led to massive increases in productivity and lifestyle change. While it has slowed growth of some industries, like personal computers, it has given birth to new businesses and accelerated the growth of existing ones. The memory market is one such business that is witnessing positive changes as a result of this evolution, among other factors like a surge in average selling prices of DRAM chips and healthy demand fluctuations.
Micron's bright days are here
Micron (NASDAQ: MU ) , one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers, reported robust results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. This reinforced the outlook for a sustainable turnaround. The acquisition of Elpida and Rexchips happened at the most appropriate time, as it has provided Micron with much-needed additional production capacity to benefit from the revival and growth of overall demand. The acquisition of Elpida has made Micron the second-biggest player in the semiconductor business with roughly 28% of the market share.
Taking off with Elpida on board
Someone rightly said that when the time is right, all things seem to fall in place. The fire at the SK Hynix facility in China amplified Micron's luck and accelerated its turnaround efforts. While the fire fortunately did not result in any casualties, it did enough to disrupt the company's production cycle for almost a month. This incident pushed up the prices of DRAM memory chips by approximately 5%, as highlighted by the company. The elevated price level will persist for a considerable time and will enhance revenue in coordination with growing demand.
In addition to boosting production capacity, one of the big advantages of Elpida's acquisition comes from increased penetration in mobile DRAM markets. As this article states, the demand for mobile DRAM chips is poised to increase approximately 70% on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2013 because of the upcoming holiday shopping season.
As I mentioned, the era of smart devices has offered a massive opportunity for expansion to the chip makers. Elpida's specialization in mobile DRAM chips and a strong R&D facility will help Micron in reaping big gains at the right time.
The market leader: Samsung
The market leader in DRAM markets, Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF ) , is gearing up for the holiday season by employing considerable resources to produce chips. Its dominance in the smartphone as well as semiconductor markets is expected to offer an unimaginable amount of scope, generating massive revenues in the fourth quarter. It is only prudent that Samsung focuses on its semiconductor business, as the price rise caused by the fire shall persist for a few months and will generate big gains for the giant that has not been fully serious about the semiconductor business till date.
In terms of smartphones, it is expected that Samsung will launch the Galaxy S5 early next year. The Galaxy S4 failed to pick up expected sales numbers, and the launch of Apple's iPhone 5s and 5c in September made matters worse for the Korean giant. A score of reports were full of praises for the iPhone 5s and its sales justified all of the claims. Samsung will have to come back with an equally valuable product to offer solid competition to Apple.
Why Sandisk matters
Sandisk (NASDAQ: SNDK ) , a big player in flash memory storage solutions, is also working hard in order to widen its market reach. The company hopes to do this by innovating on products in addition to expanding into new product markets. The company has adopted an inorganic growth strategy by acquiring SMART Storage Systems, opening up the enterprise storage solutions market for the company.
The company has also successfully created the fastest memory card to date, surely making identical products look slow and obsolete. We will have to wait and see whether Sandisk will be able to efficiently execute its expanding product portfolio and establish a considerable reputation in the enterprise storage solutions industry. Its success would have a considerable impact on future stock movements.
Micron's stock price has really popped over the last year. Among other reasons, it is the stability of its improved operations that's compelled investors to stay invested in the stock.
Micron's plan to start paying its acquired debt (especially to fund Elpida's acquisition) will lead the company to a comfortable position for funding future operations. Additionally, management is drawing up adequate plans for CapEx timing over the remainder of fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014. A good timing strategy around CapEx and debt repayment would ease the pressures on its cash balance.
The acquisition of Elpida and buyout of controlling interest in Rexchips, coupled with improving demand conditions, has charted a success path for Micron. The management's commitment to maximizing shareholder value is a big bonus as well.