Should Apple Be Worried About Android Wear?

All the latest news for Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Sony.

Mar 21, 2014 at 9:00PM

Earlier this week, Google officially announced a new version of Android that will be specifically tailored for smart watches, called Android Wear. This represents a direct move from the search giant into the market of wearables outside of its Google Glass project. But with investors widely expecting Apple to launch its iWatch later this year, as CEO Tim Cook has consistently promised to enter "new product categories" in 2014, how might Android Wear affect the iWatch's prospects?

On Friday's Tech Teardown, host Erin Kennedy and Motley Fool tech and telecom bureau chief Evan Niu look at the battle between Apple and Google's Android over the nascent smart watch and wearables market. With Android as the first mover on this, it may establish a lead with developers and apps, and the diversity of Android smart watches versus Apple's likely one or two iWatch models may represent another popular advantage among consumers.

Then, a few days ago, China Mobile announced that it sold about 1 million iPhones on its network in February, following the widely anticipated launch in mid-January. Shares however were down somewhat on the news, indicating that investors may have been slightly disappointed with the figure. Evan and Erin discuss why it has been difficult to accurately gauge the opportunity for Apple on China Mobile, and they also look at some of the factors that will benefit Apple in its partnership with China Mobile, as well as some of the headwinds the company will face selling its iPhones through the Chinese carrier.

Also, new reports suggest that at long last, Microsoft's Office software suite will finally launch for the iPad as early as next week, something that investors have been speculating about for a long time. Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella will reportedly host an event in San Francisco on March 27th, when he will announce the launch. Evan takes a look at the strategic shift that this move represents, now that Nadella has replaced former CEO Steve Ballmer. While Evan says that it is pretty clear Ballmer was withholding Office for the iPad as a point of differentiation to compete in the tablet market, Nadella's focus on the cloud means he may be willing to make bolder moves to expand Microsoft's mobile presence. Evan also discusses how Office on the iPad could perform, why this is the right move to make, and why the shift from Ballmer to Nadella is one that investors should be very satisfied with.

And finally, while sales of Sony's PlayStation 4 have so far been outpacing those of Microsoft's Xbox One, Sony has now said that its supply of PS4 consoles could remain scarce until summer, and may fail to keep up with demand. Evan looks into the continued competition between the two consoles, and discusses the massive blockbuster game Titanfall and just how much of an impact it could have for Microsoft. He also takes a look at a new virtual reality headset from Sony for the PS4, called Project Morpheus, and whether or not this is the next big thing in gaming.

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Erin Kennedy owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA has the following options: long January 2015 $460 calls on Apple and short January 2015 $480 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, China Mobile, Google, and Microsoft. 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.

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