Google Launches Android One In India

Android’s future lies not in expensive, feature-packed smartphones for the tech elite. Instead, it’s all about getting smartphones to the rest of the world.

Google today officially launched Android One, its initiative for cheap-yet-high quality smartphones for developing countries. The program is debuting in India with three cheap devices starting at around $105 off-contract, and the company is also planning to expand the program to Indonesia, the Philippines, and the rest of South Asia by the end of the year.

While high-end Android devices will be a mainstay among gadget geeks, there’s a much bigger opportunity for Google in focusing on the more than 5 billion people worldwide that currently don’t have smartphones. After getting its hooks into those potential consumers early, Google will likely be able to make them lifelong customers.

Cheap Android devices have already helped the platform dominate smartphone market share (85 percent of smartphones shipped in the second quarter ran Android, according to IDC), but with Android One, Google is aiming to bring some stability to the low-end market. It’s similar to Google’s Nexus line, which highlights what Android can do for higher-end phones (while still focusing on relatively inexpensive off-contract pricing).

Google says it’s working together with phone and component makers by sharing reference hardware designs, which could lead to cheaper devices with high-quality specs. Just like Nexus devices, Android One phones will get updates directly from Google, so users won’t be beholden to the whims of their carriers. The devices also include features that are particularly useful for the developing world, like dual SIM capabilities, expandable storage, FM radio, and removable batteries.

Android Wear is launching in India with phones from Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice. They all share similar specs: A 4.5-inch processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM, a quad-core processor, and a 5-megapixel camera.- the phones look fairly indistinguishable now. But you can expect phone makers to get more creative with their designs down the line. Google also revealed new partners for Android One, including Acer, Asus, HTC, Lenovo, and Qualcomm.

Google has also partnered with Airtel in India to offer free updates over cellular for the first six months. During that time, Airtel customers can also download up to 200 megabytes worth of apps for free every month.

Google also plans to launch an offline version of YouTube in India, which will let consumers rewatch videos without eating up their mobile data.

“Access for access’s sake is not enough,” wrote Google VP Sundar Pichai, who leads Android and Chrome, in a blog post today. “With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.”

And of course, it also helps that all of those new web users will likely be dependent on Google’s services.

Google To Release Two New Smartphones – One Giant

Google is reportedly planning to release two new smartphones this year, one with a 5.9-inch screen and another with a 5.2-inch display, according to Phone Arena’s Michael Heller.
Rumors about Google’s next smartphone have been circulating the Web for months.

We first heard that Google is planning to launch a giant phablet-sized Nexus phone back in July, when Android Police said the device would debut in November. The phone was believed to be a joint effort between Google and Motorola, but Android Police’s report suggests it will launch under Google’s Nexus brand.

At the same time, Motorola has been rumored to be working on two new smartphones — its flagship successor to the Moto X known as the Moto X+1, and a separate device called the Moto S.

Motorola is believed to be testing two different model sizes for this Moto S — a 5.2-inch version and a 5.9-inch variant. This isn’t to be confused with Google’s alleged Nexus X, since Phone Arena says a 5.9-inch Nexus X is already scheduled to go to market. From what we understand, it sounds like the Moto S is a separate device and Motorola is testing it in two different sizes.

Which size makes it to market will depend on the success of the Moto X+1, which is said to be slightly larger than the 4.7-inch Moto X.

So how does this relate to Google’s new Nexus smartphones?

If Motorola decides to bring its 5.9-inch version of the Moto S to market instead of the 5.2-inch model, Google may repurpose that smaller Moto S and brand it as a second Nexus device. So, depending on Motorola’s choices, Google could launch a 5.9-inch Nexus phablet and a smaller 5.2-inch Nexus phone.

A 5.9-inch screen is unusually large for a smartphone. In fact, it’s just about one inch shy of a tablet. The Samsung Galaxy Mega, which comes in both 5.8- and 6.3-inch sizes, is the only other phablet that would compare in size to Google’s upcoming giant smartphone.

There’s no word on when we should expect these phones to debut, but last year Google quietly unveiled its Nexus 5 smartphone and Android 4.4 KitKat at the end of October. It’s also important to note that Google hasn’t confirmed any plans to release new smartphones in its Nexus line just yet.

Question: How do you get the giant in your pocket?

Blackberry / MCAFEE Story

go to Bloomberg TV
or my Facebook page has the video :   Jack Bass – placed on Facebook today)

McAfee: Dump Your Smartphone to Protect Privacy: Video
Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee discusses his internet privacy concerns on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg TV)

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) — Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee discusses his internet privacy concerns on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

 

 

Apple Update

AAPL : NASDAQ : US$550.50
BUY 
Target: US$570.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
Apple designs, manufactures, and sells PCs, portable digital music players, and mobile communication devices, along with related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions globally. The company was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.

Technology — Communications Technology — Wireless Equipment
SOLID RESULTS WITH HEALTHY GROSS MARGIN, BUT SOFTER IPHONE SALES IMPACT GUIDANCE
Investment recommendation:

Apple reported December quarter sales at the high-end of its previous guidance range with EPS above its implied guidance. However, total sales were below our expectations due to softer than anticipated iPhone sales of 51M versus our 54M estimate. While we anticipated softer Q2/F14 sales with seasonally lower iPhone and iPad product sales post the Holiday quarter, Q2/F14 guidance was below our expectations. Specifically, while our estimates anticipated a sharp Q/Q decline in iPhone sales during Q2/F14 consistent with Apple’s implied guidance, we anticipated this decline from our 54M December quarter estimate versus the 51M reported. Given the anticipated sell-off in the shares tomorrow combined with our belief Apple has a stronger pipeline of new products for C2014 versus C2013, we maintain our BUY rating. We also believe the continued large share buyback program should contribute to a return to EPS growth in F2014/15. We reiterate our BUY rating but lower our price target to $570.
Investment highlights
 Apple reported December quarter sales of $57.6B and EPS of $14.50 versus our $58.4B/$14.27 and StreetAccount consensus estimate of $57.5B/$14.09. While iPad and Mac sales exceeded our expectations, iPhone and iPod sales were below our estimates.
 We believe Apple’s soft Q2/F14 guidance is consistent with our expectations for a roughly 25% sequential decline in iPhone units post the Holiday season. We also note on a year-over-year basis, Apple’s guidance does not include inventory builds for iPhones or iPads, includes greater revenue deferrals and unfavorable F/X to create tougher year-over-year comparisons for growth. We were impressed with stronger gross margin results and guidance than our estimates.
 Primarily due to our lower iPhone unit estimates and somewhat due to a sharper decline in our iPod sales expectations, we lower our F2014 EPS estimate from $44.85 to $42.86 and our F2015 estimate from $50.24 to $47.56.
Valuation: Our $570 price target is based on shares trading at roughly 12x our F2015 EPS estimate

Apple Update

AAPL : NASDAQ : US$520.63
BUY 
Target: US$580.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
Apple designs, manufactures, and sells PCs, portable digital music players, and mobile communication devices, along with related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions globally. The company was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.

Technology — Communications Technology — Wireless Equipment
STRONG IPHONE 5S DEMAND WITH IMPROVED SUPPLY, VERY STRONG INITIAL IPAD AIR SALES BUT IPAD MINI SUPPLY CONSTRAINED; UPDATING DEC Q ESTIMATES
Investment recommendation:

October/November U.S. carrier and global surveys indicated very strong iPhone 5s sales with improving levels of supply, steady iPhone 5c sales, and very strong initial sales of the new iPad Air. However, our global supply chain analysis and surveys post the iPad mini with retina display launch on November 12 indicated the new iPad mini is supply constrained and is expected to remain so throughout the December quarter. Given these trends, we anticipate a more favorable Dec Q iPhone/iPad mix for Apple towards the higher-ASP iPhone 5s and iPad Air versus iPhone 5c and iPad mini. For F2014/15, we believe a TD-LTE iPhone launch with the world’s largest carrier China Mobile could bolster March quarter sales and offset some of the post-holiday seasonal trends in western markets. We also believe the continued large share buyback program should contribute to a return to EPS growth in F2014/15. We reiterate our BUY rating and $580 PT.
Investment highlights
 Our Oct./Nov. surveys indicated strong iPhone 5s sales, as it was by far the top selling smartphone globally and at all four tier-1 U.S. carriers. Further, while the Gold iPhone 5s SKU was still supply constrained with long wait times, the other iPhone 5s SKUs showed marked improved availability versus last month. Please see our industry report published today, titled “Q3/13 handset market summary and Oct./Nov. survey: Apple poised for Q4/13 smartphone and tablet share gains; introducing 2015 global handset estimates” for details. Given these trends, we slightly increase our Q4/F’14 iPhone unit estimates and ASPs from 51.5M/$620 to 52M/$624 due to stronger iPhone 5s sales versus the iPhone 5c.
 Our November surveys also indicated very strong initial iPad Air sales. However, our global supply chain analysis and surveys indicate the iPad mini with retina display, launched Nov. 12, is supply constrained and could remain so throughout Q1/F’14. Given these trends, we change our Q1/F’14 iPad/iPad mini unit estimates and blended iPad ASPs slightly from 12.8M/11.5M/$454 units to 13.5M/11.2M/$465.
 Primarily due to these changes, we raise our F2014 and F2015 EPS estimates from $42.75/$48.23 to $43.48/$48.78.
Valuation: Our $580 price target is based on shares trading at roughly 12x our F2015 EPS estimate

BlackBerry Hold ( only if you must)

BBRY : NASDAQ : US$6.52
BB : TSX
HOLD 
Target: US$6.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
BlackBerry Ltd. is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of wireless solutions for the mobile communications market. Through development and integration of hardware, software and services, the company provides solutions for access to information including email, messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications.

Technology — Communications Technology — Wireless Equipment
OCT./NOV. SURVEYS INDICATE CONTINUED WEAK SALES TRENDS; LOWERING ESTIMATES
Investment recommendation:

Following very disappointing August quarter results, our Oct./Nov. handset sales survey work indicated very weak sales trends with falling BlackBerry 10 prices and continued high levels of inventory. Following the unsuccessful funding of Fairfax Financial’s $9/share bid, we believe a sale of BlackBerry is no longer imminent and few – if any – candidates remain to purchase the company in its entirety. While we maintain our belief BlackBerry will ultimately end up selling the company due to the difficult competitive smartphone market and low probability BlackBerry 10 can return BlackBerry to sustained profitability, we now believe a breakup is more likely than an outright sale and fundamentals will continue to deteriorate over a now longer public sale process under new management. Despite lowering estimates, we maintain our $6 price target based on our unchanged sum-of-parts analysis.
Investment highlights
 Given BlackBerry’s announced exit of the consumer smartphone market and increasing competition from ever-more-capable low-cost Android smartphones in emerging markets, our surveys indicated rapid BB7 share losses. In fact, we believe consumer BlackBerry sales are down more than 50% Y/Y. In addition, our surveys indicate continued soft BB10 enterprise sales, driven by upgrade delays from legacy BB7 enterprise customers given the uncertainty around BlackBerry’s future and increasing competition from BYOD devices, from Apple and Samsung in particular.
 Therefore, we are lowering our F2014 BlackBerry unit estimates from 19.7M to 19.0M, or down 33% Y/Y. In fact, as summarized in our global handset survey and Q3/13 global handset market report published today titled “Q3/13 handset market summary and Oct./Nov. surveys: Apple poised for Q4/13 smartphone and tablet share gains; introducing 2015 global handset estimates”, we now estimate BlackBerry has only 1.4% smartphone market share, down from 4.2% in Q3/12 and from 15% in Q3/10.
 Despite BlackBerry’s significant restructuring to lower operating costs, our forward estimates remain below break-even levels. With our lower unit sales estimates, we are lowering our F2014 pro forma LPS estimate from $(0.82) to $(1.09) and our F2015 estimate from $(1.24) to $(1.28).
Valuation: Our $6 price target is based on our unchanged sum-of-parts valuation

Research In Motion – Jefferies Upgrade

Image representing Research In Motion as depic...
Image via CrunchBase

Research In Motion

(RIM : TSX : $17,41
Turning things around?

Shares of Research in Motion finished the week strong after Jeffries upgraded the stock to a bullish rating saying RIM’s new BlackBerry 10 devices performed as well or better than rivals in recent tests. The analyst said that recent trials of BB10 test devices showed vast improvements over existing smartphones. “Recent tests and demos have shown a  solid browser, smooth touch interface, and intuitive navigation. We now believe the operating system performance could be better than or equal to Android Jelly Bean and likely on par with iOS 6.

Additionally, the analyst said that “checks indicate that large app developers are going to put resources into developing BB10 apps. Previously we had thought they would take more of a wait-and-see approach.” On top of the positive outlook for BB10, the report said that the BlackBerry maker will allow BlackBerry email and messaging (BBM) on iPhones and Android devices, possibly leading to increased licensing revenue for RIM.