Google Inc.’s 36-per-cent revenue surge smashed Wall St.’s expectations and eclipsed concerns about mounting expenses, sending the Internet giant’s shares up more than 12 per cent.
Google’s profit also topped forecasts in a quarter that showed the company is powering ahead in areas outside of its dominant Internet search business, including mobile and online video. The next challenge is whether it can duplicate that success in social networking.
Executives told analysts on a conference call the company had signed up more than 10 million people for Google+: the company’s biggest foray into the hot social networking arena and the vanguard of its battle with Facebook and Twitter for websurfers’ time and attention.
Over 135 million Android smartphones or tablets – made by the likes of Motorola and Samsung Electronics – had been activated in total. And its Chrome browser is now employed by more than 160 million users, CEO and co-founder Larry Page said.
Shares of Google were up 12.3 per cent at $594.50 in after-market trading, or just a whisker above levels at which the stock began 2011.
“Google should be viewed as a growth company again this quarter,” said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan. “The combination of mobile search, Android, ad exchange, YouTube, and the core search businesses, they’re all doing well. Google is no longer a one-trick pony.
“The number to focus on is really the GAAP earnings number. Google spent aggressively, hiring just as many people this quarter as the did last quarter.”
Investors had feared Google’s ever-increasing spending would eat into margins. Operating expenses leaped 49 per cent to $2.97 billion in the second quarter, to about one-third of revenue.
Analysts said the big increase in sales more than compensated for the rise in costs, but Google might find it increasingly difficult to shore up margins while it continues to hire, acquire and invest.
“Revenue growth overrides the hiring and the expense issues,” BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis said in response to the share price jump.
“Nice quarter from the guys, but you still have a situation of declining margins,” he added.
However, Page said the company may now be “a little ahead of where we need to be with head-count growth.” Google had 28,768 employees as of the end of June 30.
Friday! We’re at the end of the week, just a few hours till the weekend. We’ve got all the big news from this morning, and you’ll be glad to hear there’s not a word about News International. Just tech tech tech, so come with us as we see what’s been happening.
We may have longer to wait for the iPhone 5, as the A5 processor is prone to overheating, according to a Chinese website. The prospect of an iPhone 4S dropping September looks increasingly likely, while a full iPhone 5 might not come until 2012.
The first Mac OS X Lion apps have hit the Mac App Store. Yes, the OS itself didn’t drop quite as soon as we were hoping, but it’s getting closer by the day, and these apps are another sign it’s just round the corner. Bring on the roar. To know what to expect, check out our guide.
If the answer is yes, there are a few things you should consider. In this week’s Ask Maggie, I explain how iPhone users can transfer iTunes music to a new Android phone, and why you can’t take your apps with you.
Also in this week’s column, I explain why most of Verizon’s current 4G LTE phones won’t support the new Voice over LTE technology expected next year. And I explain the difference between 3G HSDPA and HSPA+ on AT&T’s network.
Ask Maggie is a weekly advice column that answers readers’ wireless and broadband questions. If you’ve got a question, please send an e-mail to maggie dot reardon at cbs dot com. And please put “Ask Maggie” in the subject header.
Switching from iPhone to Android
Google Android: making the switch from iPhone to Android isn’t as easy as you’d hope it might be. Some things you can take with you and some things you can’t. While switching to a different carrier is a much easier task since carriers were required to allow you to port your cell phone number, now smartphone subscribers have to worry about porting all their accumulated content from one platform to another.
So the short answer to your question is this: With a little work, you can take your iTunes music with you. But you will not be able to transfer your iPhone apps to your new HTC Evo 3D.
Let’s talk about music first. An easy way to get your iTunes music on any Android smartphone is to download the doubleTwist music app on your computer as well as your new Android phone. The application for the PC or Mac will allow you to manage and sync your iTunes music, photos, and videos. Then you can sync your doubleTwist account with the mobile-able app so that you can take your music with you.
You can just use the Android app version and drag and drop your music, but it may be easier if you use the desktop version to sync your iTunes music first.
Another option is to load all your music from iTunes to a cloud-based music service, such as the Amazon Cloud Drive or Google Music. CNET’s Apple reporter Josh Lowensohn said you can upload your personal music collection to a single library in these clouds, even if it’s scattered on different devices.
Once your music is loaded to the cloud, you can use a music player to stream your music to your phone. If you don’t have access to a wireless data connection or you don’t want to eat up wireless capacity, you can also download music from the cloud-based music service onto your phone and it can be stored locally.
But there is one big caveat. Whether you are syncing your iTunes with doubleTwist or you are loading music to a cloud service, the only music you can share in this way is music without any DRM protection attached to it. This means that music that you ripped from your own CDs should be fine. Music that has been purchased from iTunes since it launched iTunes Plus, which does not attach DRM protection to the music files, will also be fine.
But music purchased from iTunes before January 2009, when it launched the DRM-free iTunes Plus service, will be DRM-protected. Therefore, those music files cannot be uploaded or shared outside of iTunes. That said, Apple provides a way to remove the DRM protection. Still, it will cost you about 30 cents for every song that was bought on iTunes before iTunes Plus took effect.
Now let’s talk about your apps. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to simply move your mobile apps from one platform to another.The mobile platforms are fundamentally different, which is why developers must develop separate applications for each mobile platform. And apps made for one mobile operating system won’t work on a device running a different operating system.
This means that some apps that are available for the iPhone may not be available on Android phones. So you should check this out ahead of time. Most of the popular apps and games are available on both platforms, so that shouldn’t be too big of a problem.
And if most of your apps are free, re-downloading them may be a hassle, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. The situation may be different when you consider re-downloading apps that you’ve paid for. Some people have made significant investments in the apps that they have bought for their smartphones. This makes switching between platforms a much more difficult decision.
The good news for people moving from Apple iOS to Google Android is that a larger percentage of Android apps are free than are iOS apps. So you may get lucky. Some of the apps you paid for in the Apple App Store may be free in the Android Market. Take Angry Birds as an example. Angry Birds Rio in the Apple App Store costs 99 cents, and the same game with all 100-plus levels is available for free on Android.
But there are some subscription-based apps that will allow you to access content no matter what device platform you’re on. For example, the Amazon Kindle app lets you sign into your Amazon account so that you can read e-books on a variety of devices.
Scott Stein, a CNET Reviews editor, said these subscription-based apps are becoming more popular, and he expects to see more of them roll out.
So with all of this in mind, here’s my advice:
Figure out how much of your iTunes music is DRM-protected and how much it will cost you to convert those songs to non-DRM protected. (You can estimate this within iTunes.)
Look to see if the apps you use and love are available for Android.
Figure out how much money you’ve spent on iPhone apps and how much it will cost you to replace them if you go to Android.
Based on these estimates, it might not be worth it to switch platforms. One other thing to consider is that some analysts are now saying they expect the iPhone to come to Sprint later this year. So you may want to wait. If this happens, you won’t have to deal with the hassle of switching to the Android platform, and you’ll still benefit from the value of the Sprint service plans.