GOOG Jan 2020 1760.000 put

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
522.00
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 12:07AM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close522.00
Open0.00
Bid642.40
Ask651.10
Strike1,760.00
Expire Date2020-01-17
Day's Range0.00 - 0.00
Contract RangeN/A
Volume0
Open InterestN/A
  • Google probe to expand into search and Android: RPT
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Google probe to expand into search and Android: RPT

    The 50 attorneys general investigating Google’s advertising practices are expanding the antitrust probe into the company’s Android business as well.

  • Apple's new 16-inch MacBook pro, a Google checking account?
    CNET

    Apple's new 16-inch MacBook pro, a Google checking account?

    Today's major tech headlines include first impressions of Apple's new MacBook Pro, Google possibly offering checking accounts in 2020 and Disney Plus' big launch that included over 10 million sign-ups.

  • Investors are ignoring Trump impeachment proceedings
    Yahoo Finance

    Investors are ignoring Trump impeachment proceedings

    What Trump impeachment proceedings? That's the message from the stock market.

  • MarketWatch

    State AGs prepare to widen probe of Google to include search, Android businesses: report

    The AGs are preparing subpoenas, called civil investigation demands, to support the inquiries, according to a report on CNBC. To date, the investigation has focused on Google’s advertising business.

  • UPDATE 1-Google antitrust probe to expand into Android - CNBC
    Reuters

    UPDATE 1-Google antitrust probe to expand into Android - CNBC

    The 50 attorneys general investigating advertising practices at Alphabet Inc's Google are planning to expand their antitrust probe into the unit's flagship Android business, CNBC reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. Google did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The Alphabet unit also faces two other major inquiries — a U.S. Justice Department investigation and a probe by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee — both of which have broad reviews of the big internet companies underway.

  • Google antitrust probe to expand into Android - CNBC
    Reuters

    Google antitrust probe to expand into Android - CNBC

    Google did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The Alphabet unit also faces two other major inquiries — a U.S. Justice Department investigation and a probe by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee — both of which have broad reviews of the big internet companies underway. Last year, Google was fined 4.34 billion euros (£3.74 billion) by the European Commission, saying the tech giant gave itself an unfair advantage by pre-installing its Chrome browser and Google search app on Android smartphones and notebooks.

  • San Jose wants to end our car culture and slash downtown parking. Is that too much to ask?
    American City Business Journals

    San Jose wants to end our car culture and slash downtown parking. Is that too much to ask?

    Understanding parking — how it’s paid for and how it shapes how we get around and use the limited supply of land in San Jose, especially downtown — is critical in figuring out how government and business are trying to shape the city’s future.

  • Long commutes make India perfect for short video apps like TikTok
    Quartz

    Long commutes make India perfect for short video apps like TikTok

    In India, commuting to work is notoriously slow. Extended travel time makes daily commuters a captive audience, longing for something to do—or to watch. The video-sharing app Firework has found that Indians are ideal users.

  • Big Tech wants into your wallet so they can get more data, like their Chinese rivals
    MarketWatch

    Big Tech wants into your wallet so they can get more data, like their Chinese rivals

    Technology giants are showing a heightened interest in the financial-services industry as they see Chinese tech companies succeeding in payments, an area that could be lucrative for data collection.

  • Benzinga

    Apple Exec: Key To Success Is Not Using 'Cheap' Chromebooks

    Attention students: using a budget priced Google Chromebook instead of an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) laptop will limit your chances of success, in the eys of Phil Schiller, Cupertino's senior vice president of marketing,. Apple oversaw a study many years ago and concluded that successful students are those who are engaged — a "really simple" concept to understand, Schiller said in a CNET interview. After all, kids who want to learn have better success, and in order to learn in the modern era, they need "cutting-edge learning tools," he said.

  • Benzinga

    What Wall Street Thinks Of Google Cache

    Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google announced a new partnership with Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) to launch a new checking account service starting in 2020. Project Cache received mixed early reviews from regulators and the media, but Bank of America analyst Justin Post said a push into banking is the right play for Google and its investors. Google is already facing criticism related to its data collection practices, and adding banking data to the mix could potentially brighten the regulatory spotlight on the tech giant.

  • Google Restricts Data-Sharing for Ads Under Privacy Pressure
    Bloomberg

    Google Restricts Data-Sharing for Ads Under Privacy Pressure

    (Bloomberg) -- Google said it would make changes to its advertising technology to better protect people’s privacy following scrutiny by European Union watchdogs.Starting in February, Google will no longer divulge information to participants in its ad auction about the type of content on a website or page where an ad could appear, the Alphabet Inc. company said in a blog post Thursday.This type of targeting is a major reason why Google was able to absorb the bulk of online ads bought and sold with machines, so-called programmatic advertising. Google doesn’t share its sales from web display ads, but frequently cites programmatic as a key driver of revenue growth.“This change will help avoid the risk that any participant in our auctions is able to associate individual ad identifiers with Google’s contextual content categories,” Chetna Bindra, senior product manager, user trust and privacy at Google, said in the post.Google includes contextual content categories in the bid requests it sends to buyers participating in an auction, indicating whether the website is about news or weather, for instance.That information has helped advertisers avoid displaying ads alongside content they don’t deem suitable for their brands. Google in recent years almost lost major clients after some of their ads ran before extremist videos on its YouTube site.But Google has faced criticism for how it processes data for personalized online advertising.Ireland’s data protection regulator in May opened a probe into how the search giant processes user data in advertising transactions. The watchdog is trying to determine whether Google’s practices are in line with EU strict privacy laws, which mandate transparency and the minimization of data collection.Some feel this is only a small step by Google to increase privacy.“Google will still broadcast ‘bid requests’ that detail what you are watching, reading, or listening to to countless companies,” said Johnny Ryan, chief policy officer at Brave Software Inc., which makes an ad-blocking browser. “These big requests will include information about where you are, and enough data to link things about over time.”Brave has previously filed a legal complaint with European data protection authorities over Google’s ad auction technology.Google said in the blog post Thursday that it already has measures in place to protect user privacy, for instance, by requiring publishers to get consent from individuals for targeted adverts. It said it decided to take the extra step announced Thursday following engagement with data protection authorities.\--With assistance from Mark Bergen.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.net;Stephanie Bodoni in Trier at sbodoni@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Expedia Tells Hotels Adding Resort Fees Will Lower Your Listings on Its Pages
    Skift

    Expedia Tells Hotels Adding Resort Fees Will Lower Your Listings on Its Pages

    As promised a few months ago, Expedia Group began this week to send hotel listings lower in the sort order on its Expedia.com and Hotels.com pages when properties add resort fees to base room rates. Speaking at a lodging breakout session on stage at the Expedia Explore '19 conference in Las Vegas Wednesday, Cyril Ranque, […]

  • Benzinga

    Freight Forwarder Airspace Technologies Relies On Round-The-Clock Machine Learning

    Most of the time when executives in transportation and logistics cite "machine learning," it's little more than a buzzword that evokes vague notions of technology continually improving itself. In a presentation at FreightWaves LIVE Chicago, Rusnak explained exactly how machine learning works, the problems in time-critical logistics it is best suited to solve, how Airspace has implemented it, and the results the forwarder has achieved. Rusnak said machine learning is "programming backwards," that instead of a large code base of complicated if-then logic, machine learning algorithms are dumb and generalized.

  • Goldman Sachs Says These Are the 3 Stocks to Buy; 5-Star Analysts Agree
    TipRanks

    Goldman Sachs Says These Are the 3 Stocks to Buy; 5-Star Analysts Agree

    Are you looking for a tip on the next hot investment? Goldman Sachs has an interesting idea… Move toward US companies with high exposure to international sales. Goldman points out that such companies are on an upswing in 2H19, and that a basket of such stocks has been outperforming both the firm’s other portfolios and the broader S&P 500. For comparison, the firm notes that its ‘international sales exposure’ basket is up 29% this year, compared to the S&P gain of 23%.Stephanie Cohen, Goldman Sachs’ chief strategy officer, in an interview last week talked down fears that the US-China trade tensions are unwinding long-established economic cooperation between the two countries. She said, after a visit to Chinese tech companies in Shenzen, “It’s not that we’re decoupling. If you sit on the ground and you’re talking to companies, people are continuing to talk about ways that they can do business together.”Goldman Sachs has a decades-long record pursuing investment and business openings in China. The firm has partnerships with Chinese banks, and has taken the time to learn the facts on the ground. And now they see opportunity in the US companies that are most exposed to the international scene, where China is working hard to throw its weight around.Looking into Goldman’s basket of stocks with international exposure, we’ve chosen three that TipRanks’ database reveals have shown recent strong gains, a healthy upside potential, and recent Buy ratings from 5-star analysts.KLA Corporation (KLAC)This company services the semiconductor chip industry, providing essential process control and management systems for manufacturers of silicon wafers and integrated circuits, along with quality control and precision metrology. As the industry shifts to new, higher performance chips, and to 5G networks, the need to maintain quality tolerances becomes more important, and KLA, with operations across the US, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific regions is well-positioned to benefit. KLA shares have brought in a disproportionate 97% year-to-date return to the Goldman’s international exposure basket.Looking at the numbers, KLA’s revenue growth over the last few years confirms the company’s importance to the industry. It brought in $2.98 billion in 2016, and has seen that number grow to $4.6 billion in fiscal 2019. In its fiscal Q1 2020 report, the company showed that revenue is still growing, with quarterly sales gaining 12% year-over-year to $1.41 billion.KLA has been active in the past several years making relevant acquisitions. The most recent, metrology tool-maker Capres A/S, was purchased in March of this year for an undisclosed amount. Last year, in a deal worth $3.4 billion, KLA acquired Orbotech, a major producer of circuit boards and flat-panel displays. The deal was completed in February of this year, after clearing regulatory hurdles in China.Writing from JPMorgan, top analyst Harlan Sur sees KLAC shares in a boom period. He writes, “We believe semiconductor capital spending is in the midst of a technology-driven cycle for 7nm/5nm Foundry/Logic, sub-20nm DRAM, and high layer count 3D NAND. As device manufacturing complexities increase, the need to analyze defects and metrology issues at critical points in the IC manufacturing processes increases significantly… [KLA] has diversified end-market exposure through the acquisition of Orbotech." Sur gives KLAC a $200 price target, implying an upside of 13%. (To watch Sur's track record, click here)KLA stock has a resounding “yes” on Wall Street. TipRanks analytics show that out of 12 analysts, 10 are bullish, while 2 remain sidelined. The average price target of $191 shows a potential upside of about 8%. (See KLA stock analysis on TipRanks)Microchip Technology (MCHP)With a market cap of $22.3 billion, Microchip is the sixth largest semiconductor manufacturer in the US. The company produces chips for the microcontroller and microprocessor industry, power management applications, memory solutions, and wireless connection devices. In the 2019 fiscal year, ending this past March, Microchip brought in $5.35 billion in total revenues. Last year, the company acquired competitor Microsemi in a deal with $10 billion.The US-China trade war has hurt Microchip, depressing sales through much of this year. Until this past September, the stock showed high volatility. Even with that, the MCHP is up 30% year-to-date, a solid performance based on the quality and necessity of its products. The company’s first and second quarter fiscal 2020 reports have also helped to allay investor fears. Microchip earnings beat or met expectations in both quarters, while revenues were up year-over-year.Even with the two good quarters, Microchip’s sales are down year-over-year, and the company has revised its full-year guidance downward. In a way, this may be a case of lowering expectations to set up a positive financial report – BMO's top analyst Ambrish Srivastava points out.“Unlike the better guidance/commentary we got for December from companies last week, Microchip's guidance is for lower revenues than expectations, and calling for yet another double-digit y-y decline in sales,” Srivastava noted. In his bottom line, however, Srivastava says, “We like Microchip's operating model. We like the valuation, we like the two rounds of estimate cuts we have already seen. We see the company as among the higher rungs of diversified businesses we would like to recommend in our coverage.” His $110 price target implies a 16% upside for the stock. (To watch Srivastava's track record, click here)Hans Mosesmann, 5-star analyst from Rosenblatt Securities, also sees management’s performance as key to MCHP’s share price prospects. He writes, “MCHP's environment remains uncertain, as the trade war and broad-based macroeconomic weakness hinder visibility. Management continues to execute well, however, and has managed the down-cycle with low channel inventory going forward... We continue to believe mid-to-longer term investors will have increasing confidence in management's ability to execute, as the company looks to exit this down-cycle gaining market share in secular MCU/analog markets and increase operating margins.” Mosesmann puts a $115 price target on the stock, for a 22% upside potential. (To watch Mosesmann's track record, click here)Wall Street’s analysts are sanguine about this stock’s ability to gain going forward. Microchip’s Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 12 Buys and 2 Holds. It doesn’t hurt that its $109.31 average price target puts the potential twelve-month rise at 16%. (See Microchip stock analysis on TipRanks) Alphabet (GOOGL)And now we move away from the semiconductor sector and into the internet. We all know Alphabet; the parent company of Google, with a market cap of $893 billion, is the world’s fourth-largest publicly traded company. With over $136 billion in annual revenue, and $30 billion in net income, there is no doubt that Alphabet will hold its position near the top.GOOGL shares are up 24% year-to-date, just slightly outperforming the S&P 500, after an earnings miss in the Q3 report. While revenues were up, at $40.5 billion, the EPS of $10.12 missed the forecast by 18.5%. The earnings slip came as the company increased capital expenditures from $5.28 billion one year ago to $6.73 billion in the current report. The company is increasing spending on its cloud sales force, and has just made a $2.1 billion offer to acquire smartwatch company Fitbit. The acquisition, if approved, will put Google in a direct position to compete against Apple in the smartwatch and wearable niche.Fitbit will make an interesting addition to Alphabet’s ‘other revenue’ category, which includes both cloud systems and hardware. This category saw quarterly revenue of $6.43 billion, beating the forecast of $6.32 and coming in 38.5% above the year-ago quarter.So GOOGL has a firm foundation in its core search engine business, strong ad revenue, and rising revenues in its other endeavors. It’s a solid picture, and explains why the stock makes up 2.26% of Goldman’s ‘international exposure’ basket. Google’s global reach and profitability are undisputed.5-star JMP analyst Ronald Josey is enthusiastic about the Fitbit acquisition, putting a $145 price target on GOOGL and writing, “We believe Fitbit is a natural fit with Google’s current hardware brands that include its Pixel phones, Nest connected home products, and Google home smart speakers under its Made By Google brand, along with its Android OS… we believe Google is investing in developing the hardware and touchpoints that will enable its ambient computing strategy…” Josey’s price target suggests an upside for 12% for GOOGL shares. (To watch Josey's track record, click here)5-star analyst Stephen Ju, of Credit Suisse, focused more on Alphabet’s free cash flow position in his comments, saying, “Google in our view is a controlled outcome, with management looking to drive consistent revenue and FCF growth through the amassing and creation of a portfolio of assets even as the law of large numbers begin to result in deceleration for some of the largest businesses… overall revenue growth has once again settled into a managed ~20%+ range… Google has resumed free cash flow growth this year after two years of investments.” Ju puts a $170 price target on the stock, showing confidence in a bullish 31% upside. (To watch Ju's track record, click here)GOOGL’s Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 25 Buys set in the past three months, against just 4 Holds. Analysts are confident that the company can meet the challenges inherent in the ever-changing digital world. Shares sell for an eye-popping $1,296, but the average price target, $1,455, truly gets into nosebleed territory. The stock has an average upside of 12%. (See Alphabet stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • MarketWatch

    Apple stock falls after Maxim joins the bear camp

    Shares of Apple Inc. are down 0.7% in premarket trading Thursday after Maxim Group analyst Nehal Chokshi downgraded the stock to sell from hold. He expects that the company's March-quarter revenue will come in 14% below consensus estimates and that fiscal 2020 revenue will end up 6% below consensus figures. "We expect operating profit to decline year over year due to our below consensus iPhone view, despite ongoing growth in services and wearables," he wrote. Chokshi also projects a deceleration in Apple's wearables, home, and accessories category in fiscal 2021 due to what could be tougher competition from a combined Alphabet Inc. and Fitbit Inc. . He set a $190 price target on the shares, which have gained 68% so far this year to reach a recent $264.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 19% so far in 2019.

  • Bloomberg

    Microsoft and Salesforce Strike Partnership, Helping Thaw Chilly Relations

    (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc. are connecting more of their software and Salesforce will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud for part of its business, a thaw in a relationship that grew chilly several years ago when both companies pursued the same acquisition. The agreement, to connect some of Salesforce’s software with Microsoft’s Teams corporate chat and use Azure for Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud, expands an existing strategic relationship forged in the early days of Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s tenure. But the relationship grew strained in 2016 after Microsoft beat Salesforce to acquire LinkedIn and Salesforce complained to European regulators about the deal. The two companies have not announced any partnerships since. Microsoft and Salesforce compete for customers who want cloud-based software programs for customer management. Nadella, who once ran that business for Microsoft, has invested more effort into bolstering his company’s products in that area. The LinkedIn purchase was a key part of that plan, and Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff was said to have been angered at Microsoft’s actions. Still the two companies, among the biggest makers of cloud-based corporate applications, have many areas in which they can cooperate and Microsoft wants to lure large technology company customers to Azure, which trails cloud-computing market leader Amazon.com Inc. As part of the deal, Salesforce will connect its Sales Cloud and Service Cloud with Microsoft’s Teams, the companies said Thursday in a statement. Teams is trying to gain customers from rival Slack Technologies Inc. Salesforce had previously run Marketing Cloud on its internal systems, but uses other cloud providers for different parts of its business. The San Francisco-based company has leveraged infrastructure cloud deals as a way to sweeten partnerships. In 2017, as part of a tie-up with Alphabet Inc. to connect Google Analytics to Salesforce programs, Salesforce said it would host some of its core services on Google Cloud Platform as it expands globally—calling Google a “preferred public cloud provider.” The following year, Salesforce dubbed International Business Machines Corp. a "preferred cloud services provider" as part of an alliance to use IBM’s artificial intelligence with Salesforce software. It also does business with Amazon Web Services.Microsoft and Salesforce's deepening partnership in some areas comes amid greater competition between the companies elsewhere. Salesforce said in June it would pay more than $15 billion to buy Tableau Software Inc., a maker of analytics programs. Tableau and Microsoft compete in the market for business intelligence software. To contact the authors of this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.netNico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Pollack at apollack1@bloomberg.net, Alistair BarrJillian WardFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Benzinga

    Can Google's New Quantum Computer Hack Bitcoin?

    By Bruce Ng Ever since Bitcoin was created, the perennial question, asked by skeptics and advocates alike, could be condensed into four simple words:  Can Bitcoin be hacked?  The perennial answer: No, ...

  • TheStreet.com

    [video]Facebook Pay Is a Less Risky Onramp to Social Commerce, Following Libra Backlash

    Facebook Pay is rolling out on Messenger and Facebook in the U.S. first, with plans to expand to Instagram and WhatsApp eventually.

  • Bloomberg

    Macron and Merkel Are Caught in a New Cold War

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- “Technological sovereignty” is one of the European Union’s buzzwords of the moment, conjuring up an image of a safe and secure space for zettabytes of home-grown data, free from interference or capture by the U.S. and China.Both France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel have used the phrase to kick-start all sorts of initiatives, from artificial intelligence programs to state-backed cloud computing. The new European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen has etched the concept into her political guidelines.It’s a noble goal, if only because it acknowledges Europe is anything but technologically sovereign right now. The internet behemoths are in America and China — Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd — and an estimated 92% of the Western world’s data is stored in the U.S., according to the CEPS think tank. China accounts for more than one-third of global patent applications for 5G mobile technology. Amazon boasts that 80% of blue-chip German companies on the DAX exchange use its cloud services business AWS. The trigger to do something about it is the race for supremacy between Beijing and Washington, which is spilling over into the tech sector and undercutting the EU’s ability to protect its turf. President Donald Trump’s ban on Huawei Technologies Co. and his attempts to bully allies into doing the same was a wake-up call, however valid his security concerns. The U.S. “Cloud Act,” which forces American businesses to hand over data if ordered regardless of where it’s stored, was another. Both China and the U.S. see the EU as an easy mark in the global tech tussle. And they’re right. Europe’s problem is that recapturing sovereignty is neither easy nor cheap. Take cloud computing, one area where France and Germany are eyeing the building of “sovereign” domestic infrastructure for use by national and European companies. This is a $220 billion global market dominated by U.S. suppliers with market values of close to $1 trillion, which invests tens of billions of dollars every year on infrastructure. Their power isn’t just technological: When Microsoft Corp. spends $7.5 billion on an acquisition such as GitHub, a forum for open-source coding, it’s bringing valuable developers into its own orbit. Likewise, Amazon’s AWS has the scale, cheap pricing and perks that lock in customers.France and Germany won’t win a head-on battle in this field. Paris is still smarting from a failed attempt years ago at building a sovereign cloud for the princely sum of 150 million euros ($165 million). Germany has Gaia-X, which looks like a common space for the sharing of data by the leading lights of the DAX , from SAP SE to Siemens  AG. It’s hard to see how such initiatives will lead to true digital sovereignty, though; not just because of a lack of serious investment, but because it’s hard to avoid using U.S. cloud tech.Still, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if this trend led to France and Germany collaborating more — laying the groundwork for more ambitious spending — and to Brussels doing what it does best: setting the rules of engagement for tech companies everywhere. Digital commissioner Margrethe Vestager is already demanding tougher enforcement of data protection laws and taking a consistently muscular approach to antitrust violations by the Silicon Valley and Seattle giants. It’s not sovereignty, but it’s a start.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at llaurent2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Google plan to lock down user data draws fire from advertisers

    Google is planning to limit advertisers’ access to personal data to address user privacy concerns in a move criticised by online ad agencies as self-serving for the powerful search group. The US tech company will from next February stop advertisers from viewing information that breaks down the content of an app or web page — ranging from music to sensitive topics such as drug abuse — when they bid for display adverts. that found some of the UK’s most popular health websites have been sharing sensitive data, including medical symptoms and diagnoses, with companies including Google.

  • Motorola Brings Back the Razr as $1,500 Foldable Smartphone
    Bloomberg

    Motorola Brings Back the Razr as $1,500 Foldable Smartphone

    (Bloomberg) -- Motorola is rebooting the iconic Razr flip phone as a 6.2-inch smartphone with a foldable display that gives the Lenovo-owned brand a unique selling point against Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.’s finest.The new device reprises the Motorola Razr name and looks like a modernized version of the original. It costs $1,499 and will be available for pre-order in December in Europe and as a Verizon exclusive in the U.S., ahead of its retail arrival in January. For Lenovo Group Ltd., which has a tiny fraction of the global smartphone market, it's an effort to build brand awareness in the U.S. via a halo device.Launched in late 2004, the first Razr became a cultural icon in the U.S., sold 130 million units and was the face of the phone industry before Apple launched the iPhone in 2007. Motorola’s new model has a shot at some fame as well, as it’s set to become the first true foldable phone on the market — every other device so far could more properly be described as a foldable tablet — and company executives have told Bloomberg they are confident that their design won’t succumb to the durability issues that pushed back Samsung’s Galaxy Fold launch.The 2019 Razr is no bargain, but compared to the $1,980 Galaxy Fold or Huawei Technologies Co.’s $2,600 Mate X, it’s the most affordable member of the most expensive modern phone category. The compromise that users will have to accept with the Razr is in some of its specifications: it has a small battery at 2,510mAh and runs the older Android 9 Pie operating system on Qualcomm’s sub-flagship Snapdragon 710 chip. It lacks the 5G option and bountiful memory of its rivals. Aside from the U.S. and Europe, it’ll also be on sale in Latin America, Asia and Australia.Motorola President Sergio Buniac said he doesn’t see the launch as a “silver bullet” for rocketing Motorola’s sales up to Apple and Samsung numbers. Over the past several quarters, Motorola has turned its mobile business from a flailing unit of China’s Lenovo to profitability in many markets, he said. The new Razr is intended to continue that even without strong sales. Buniac said he’s hoping for “a little bit more” demand than supply, while Lenovo Chief Operating Officer Gianfranco Lanci said “it will bring greater awareness to the brand, especially in key markets like North America.”Motorola’s take on foldable phone design is markedly different to the first batch of foldable devices. Instead of a vertical hinge that makes it open like a book, the new Razr opens and closes like a classic flip phone. Closed shut, the phone is a square that’s about half the size of an iPhone 11 Pro Max, and Motorola has used the foldable technology to make one of the most portable phones on the market. In the process, it’s brought back the action of flipping the phone shut to hang up calls, which is something most premium smartphone consumers haven’t done in at least a decade.Samsung is planning to introduce its own square-shaped foldable phone as its second Galaxy Fold device early next year. Until that time, Motorola looks set to be all alone in offering a regular smartphone capable of collapsing into a pocket-friendly clamshell.“We wouldn’t be bringing the product to market if we didn’t think it was ready,” said Buniac, underlining Motorola’s belief in the reliability of its particular hinge and fold design. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold had issues with air bubbles popping up beneath the display and tiny particles getting trapped under the screen. Touting a so-called zero-gap design,  Buniac said “Our expectation is that we will have a reliable product, and as we launch you will see, but we are confident in what we achieved.”In a brief hands-on test with the Razr, the handset felt and looked impressive. Its screen felt fragile, but the device’s design chief Ruben Castano said “We feel like we’ve really developed a robust solution,” pointing to stainless steel structural plates between the bottom of the inner screen and the device’s internals. He says that layer will help prevent particles like sand from going into the device’s electronics and breaking the display. There’s also a 2.7-inch exterior touchscreen for quick access to commonly used functions and checking notifications.Similar to Samsung, Motorola will offer 24-hour turnaround replacements under a standard warranty for display failures, and it will charge $299 if the issue falls out of warranty in the U.S. The phone will be sold via Verizon Wireless as the exclusive launch carrier in the U.S. and will be available at Verizon and Walmart stores from January.The Razr’s inner display appeared impressive with a high-resolution panel whose crease was more subtle than the one on the Galaxy Fold. When unfolded, the Razr operates like most other Android phones, running a full touchscreen version of Google’s operating system. The external screen is designed for light interactions like answering calls and texts, but like the front screen on the Galaxy Fold, it’s not something most consumers are likely to use much. The new Razr is a flip phone at heart and that’s how most people will want to use it.Castano said that Motorola started working on a foldable design around 2015 and that its biggest challenge was being able to match the first Razr’s ability for the phone to be fully shut with no gap. Like the original Razr, the 2019 model has a chin at the bottom that houses electronics such as the LTE antenna. it also has a notch at the top of the main display, lacks a headphone jack, and will be available only in black and with 128GB of storage without further upgrade options. Its camera and battery specs are underwhelming, though Motorola promises “all-day battery life” without quoting an exact number of hours.Motorola’s other big task will be to prove itself at the super premium end of the market that’s long been dominated by Samsung and Apple. Since the first Razr, the Motorola brand has worn many hats, having served as a middling iPhone counter with the Verizon Droid, gone through a $12.5 billion Google acquisition and eventually ended up in the hands of Lenovo. It now needs to rebuild its own brand identity.But the Razr’s shortcomings may very well not matter. This device is designed to appeal to those nostalgic for the flip phone era, for whom specs may not be a priority, as well as the early adopters of new technology, who are more tolerant of first-generation imperfections. To contact the author of this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at mgurman1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Vlad Savov at vsavov5@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Apple launches research app in push to gather users’ health data

    Apple is racing to collect healthcare data from its customers, launching a new research app that it claims will “advance science” by harvesting information from its huge base of iPhone users and Apple Watch wearers. The world’s largest company by market value is hoping millions of users will opt in to its new “Research App” and participate in an array of medical studies that rely on its electrocardiogram sensor, decibel meter and menstrual cycle-tracking functions. could, in turn, generate outcomes that Apple would then use to build new products.