Google's Answer to the iPhone?
Perhaps the worst kept secret was the release of Google's smartphone. The "Nexus One" was unveiled this afternoon, with the technology titan billing it as the "next stage in the evolution of the Android phone".
Jim Friedland, Senior Research Analyst for Cowen & Company told Closing Bell that focusing on the Apple-Google rivalry is missing the point. This smartphone is really about Google pushing "the adoption of Android". That in turn will help Google gain market share in the mobile search environment. Friendland added that "Google isn't trying to become a big player in the hardware space" and that is evidenced by the fact that HTC is the manufacturer of the Nexus One.
Friedland thinks that the real competition will be Android vs. Windows Mobile, saying that if "Android does reach scale, it'll hurt Microsoft given that Windows Mobile doesn't have a significant position to begin with".
Also weighing in was Peter Misek, Global Technology Strategist at Canaccord Adams. He told Closing Bell that this move is about "Google positioning itself for the mobile internet". Misek also added that beyond search, this is about Google being in a "prominent position" and expanding into mobile advertising and revenues. The bottomline for Misek, this is a "big gamble" on Google's part.
Overall, Friedland has an "Outperform" rating on GOOG and expects its primary profit and revenue driver to be search. He expects the search market to "triple over the next 10-15 years", with Google gaining more share in the majority of markets. (Disclosure: Jim Friedland doesn't own any Google stock; Cowen & Co doesn't own any Google stock and doesn't have any conflicts of interest)
We'll have more tech buzz coming up when Maria Bartiromo hosts Closing Bell live from the Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday and Friday.
Liza Tan contributed to this article.
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