Is Google About to Unleash the Next War in Tech?

Charles Baudelaire once said, "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he did not exist." Fast-forward 150 years or so, and consider that it may turn out that the greatest trick Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) ever pulled was convincing the world that it was not a device company. Well, right up until it reminded us in resounding fashion that it was, in fact, a world-class device company.

When Google released Chromecast, the device was an immediate success, selling out and going on back order both from Google itself and also from Amazon.com and Best Buy. This has been a significant departure from some recent Google projects that have been glossed over as fun little experiments -- Project Loon, Google Glass, and even Google Fiber. Much of what was written about these projects was couched in the assumption that Google is a search company that builds stuff to support that effort. Despite reaching a global market share, according to IDC, of 79.3% with Android, the free nature of the OS means it's often overlooked.

While Chromebooks -- or ultraportables -- have become the fastest-growing segment of the PC market, again, they are often looked at as a quirky afterthought. I think that's exactly what Google wants, and exactly why you should be jumping on the bandwagon early. By the time it becomes obvious that Google is a legitimate threat to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Samsung in devices, a big part of the stock's move may have already been missed.

Chromecast was just the beginning
While Chromecast has received some mixed reviews, some believe it has the potential to be a game-changer for the streaming industry. The device isn't perfect, but it is cheap, works easily, and is clearly in hot demand. Unlike Google Glass, which at $1,500 is drawing more press than consumer buzz, Chromecast is a seller.

Along these same lines, Google looks to be stealthily preparing to explode into the smart-watch world. GigaOm recently reported that Google had acquired WIMM Labs to drive its ability to enter the new product segment. The story also noted that the WIMM team was working with the Android development team, suggesting that Google is looking to move quickly to market rather than park the project in multi-year development mode. Samsung is expected to roll out its own smart watch on Sept. 4, and Google may be close on its heels.

In addition to making it an entrant in the new product segment, the WIMM acquisition demonstrates how seriously Google takes another coming trend in technology. With add-on devices such as smart watches, Glass, and other wearable tech, you should expect to see your smartphone become the hub through which many of these other devices draw support. In this context, the importance of the integration between the OS and the hardware becomes obvious -- suddenly, the acquisition of Motorola seems to make a little bit more sense. As the next wave in technology is ready to unfold, it seems clear that Google is more than ready.

For the past period, Apple has been the undisputed heavyweight in personal electronics, with Samsung recently emerging as the only real competitor. Google has successfully downplayed its efforts and not looked like a real threat to most. I think that's about to change and that getting in now has the potential to reap significant rewards over the near term. Apple and Samsung are positioned to respond, but as things stand, Google is a stock to include in your portfolio.

This war could take many shapes. The tech world has been thrown into chaos as the biggest titans invade one another's turf. At stake is the future of a trillion-dollar revolution: mobile. To find out which of these giants is set to dominate the next decade, we've created a free report called "Who Will Win the War Between the 5 Biggest Tech Stocks?" Inside, you'll find out which companies are set to dominate and give in-the-know investors an edge. To grab a copy of this report, simply click here -- it's free!


Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 01, 2013, at 5:36 PM, spakklal wrote:

    Apple traditionally would like to be secretive regarding its products. Apple cannot come out with a product like Google's motorola business, Google's grocery Business, Google's driverless Car, Google Glasses or Google putting Balloons in the sky. None of these businesses make any money, but its helps talking heads in some business channels to talk up companies which do not make any money at all.

    Microsoft chairman Bill Gates took an opportunity to throw a jab at Google’s Project Loon, which aims to bring giant internet-giving balloons to less-developed countries. While it sounds like a noble idea, Gates isn’t as sure. ”When you’re dying of malaria, I suppose you’ll look up and see that balloon, and I’m not sure how it’ll help you.”

    Now let's look at Google. The search company makes all of its money from advertising. The fastest-growing slice of its business is ads displayed on mobile devices. Because most stats show that iPhone and iPad owners surf the Web much more often than Android owners do, a huge portion — and perhaps the majority — of the search company's mobile ad revenue comes from Apple devices. So, take away Apple, and Google's revenues shrink.

  • Report this Comment On September 01, 2013, at 7:40 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    You (and others) say that Chromecast was an immediate success because it sold out so quickly. But how many were actually sold? Shouldn't success be defined by numbers rather than simply by the declarations of the manufacturer that they "sold out"?

    So, once again, how many Chromecasts were actually sold?

  • Report this Comment On September 01, 2013, at 8:22 PM, Taekado wrote:

    WTF is google chromecast? If it sold out how come people don't know about this?!?!?

  • Report this Comment On September 01, 2013, at 8:48 PM, CalvinballPro wrote:

    "Unlike Google Glass, which at $1,500" The author must be a real Apple shill to push the lie that Google sells a retail version of Glass for $1500. It cost that much for the Developer's Model, intended to be sold to app developers who would be able to design software for the device and recoup their $1500 investment with a popular best-selling app. The retail version of Glass is rumored to be $300 or less. Why can articles be written about ever Apple rumor, but Google truths have to fight to be acknowledged?

  • Report this Comment On September 01, 2013, at 10:12 PM, garetjaxx11 wrote:

    So these same articles always bash Netflix, but praise Google. Hmmm....

  • Report this Comment On September 01, 2013, at 10:22 PM, FreeRange1 wrote:

    "While Chromebooks -- or ultraportables -- have become the fastest-growing segment of the PC market...."

    What? Apple leads this market by a very large margin while chromebooks are a very small niche player!

    As for chromecast, they didn't make that many to begin with so no real conclusions can be drawn. Also, from a consumer standpoint, it is a low risk, low cost, throwaway device that underwhelms. Once consumers figure that out they will realize how far superior the Apple TV is.

  • Report this Comment On September 02, 2013, at 7:36 AM, Henry3Dogg wrote:

    "Charles Baudelaire once said, "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he did not exist." Fast-forward 150 years or so, and consider that it may turn out that the greatest trick Google ever pulled was convincing the world that it was not a device company. "

    Garbage.

    The biggest trick Google ever pulled was convincing a lot of fools (small f) that it isn't evil.

    Google IS evil.

    Perhaps Google is the devil.

  • Report this Comment On September 02, 2013, at 7:48 AM, Henry3Dogg wrote:

    @CalvinballPro

    Google Glass currently costs developers $1500.

    Consider that companies generally offer developers good deals to encourage software development, like at cost or even subsidised. Most likely Google glass will launch for more that $1500.

    The rumour of $300 was precisely that, a rumour. Though I note that you refer to it as a "Google truth". Very appropriate.

    Still, if you wait Glass may well be written down to $300 to clear stock after it fails to sell and becomes a laughing stock. Googles equivalent of the Microsoft Kin.

  • Report this Comment On September 02, 2013, at 2:35 PM, SRNoyes wrote:

    The greatest trick Goggle ever did was make the talking heads of tech they are a technology company instead of an advertising company selling classified ads.

  • Report this Comment On September 02, 2013, at 6:20 PM, GaryDMN wrote:

    Chromecast is made by Marvel Semi and Google is an advertising company, that gets over 90% of their profit from ads.

Add your comment.

DocumentId: 2618565, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 7/22/2014 11:52:47 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement