As Google Rapidly Embraces the "Internet of Things" Should Apple Investors Worry?

Google will reportedly announce an Android software development kit for wearable devices in two weeks. The move is one of many that may give the company a lead over Apple in the "Internet of things."

Mar 10, 2014 at 8:05PM

Google

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) won't stop at smartphones and tablets. The tech giant wants to be everywhere. And now its effort to bring Android to wearables is official. As Google rapidly invades all sorts of Internet-connected devices, will Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) ecosystem become less significant?

Google's next stop: Your wrist and much more
The online search giant announced the formation of the Open Automotive Alliance at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show with the goal of making cars connected Android devices. The Wall Street Journal said in February that Google's "vision for robotics" includes building an operating system for robotic manufacturing like the Android operating system for mobile computing devices. Then there's Google's recent acquisition of Nest, maker of Internet-connected thermostats and fire detectors (and who knows what else is in Nest's pipeline?). Now Google will be introducing an Android software development kit, or SDK, for wearable devices in two weeks, according to Google executive Sundar Pichai (via The Wall Street Journal). The "Internet of things" is undoubtedly upon us -- and Google wants to lead the way.

Pichai, who oversees Google's Android, Chrome, Gmail, the Nexus smartphone and tablet line, Chromebooks, and the Chromecast, says that Android for wearables will be free for manufacturers, as it was for smartphones and tablets.

"The software kit might give Google an opportunity to attract developers and bring users deeper into an ecosystem powered by its software," said the Journal's Rolfe Winkler. Further, Winkler says Google will be releasing its own smart watch in June, which will be manufactured by LG Electronics. "[T]he company wants to help lay out a 'vision' for other developers to power their own wearable devices," Winkler explained.

Carplay Volvo

CarPlay. Image source: Volvo's official announcement of future integration with CarPlay.

Apple's less rapid move to other devices
Of course, Apple has plans for other devices, too. The company recently unveiled its CarPlay. And to be fair, Apple appears to be moving into cars with its CarPlay faster than Google. Further, though Apple's iWatch is still just a rumor, its recent hiring spree of professionals with skills related to wearables suggests Apple's iWatch is likely inevitable. Then, of course, there's Apple CEO Tim Cook's promise that the company will introduce new categories this year.

But for the most part, Google seems to view the advent of the Internet of things with greater urgency than Apple. A June launch of Google's smart watch, for instance, would precede the rumored fall launch of Apple's iWatch. And launched alongside with a free Android operating system that is ready for other manufacturers to adopt in wearable devices, Google's rapid move to the category easily trumps its entry to smartphones and tablets that significantly lagged Apple.

With Google bringing Android to wearables so soon, could Apple's lack of a significant early advantage as it had in smartphones and tablets handicap the growth of its ecosystem compared to Google's?

Or is Apple up to more than we realize?
If history is any indication of how revolutionary Apple's move to a new category could be, Google's seemingly meaningful advantages in wearables may not be as much as a threat to Apple as they seem. Unlike Google, Apple likes to keep product plans as secret as possible -- so it's difficult to ever really know exactly what is in Apple's product pipeline.

Whether or not Google's ecosystem of connected devices helps the company make gains on Apple is still to be determined, but Apple investors can take refuge in the fact that the stock is largely already priced for greater competition ahead. At just 13 times earnings, a lucrative share repurchase program alone could help Apple reward investors even with flat revenue in the coming years. Google's transition to the Internet of things is a development Apple investors should keep an eye on. But Apple's impressive history of successfully entering new categories, combined with a conservative valuation, more than make up for Google's potential early lead in wearables and other categories.

How to invest in the "Internet of things"
Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer Amazon.com in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers