Google Q1 profits up 32pc to $3.45bn

April 18, 2014 - 10:11:09 am
A Google logo is reflected on the screen of a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.

NEW YORK: Google said its first quarter profit rose 32 percent from a year ago to $3.45bn, in results below most Wall Street expectations.

Chief executive Larry Page hailed “another great quarter” for the tech giant, with revenue of $15.4bn, up 19 percent year on year. “We got lots of product improvements done, especially on mobile. I’m also excited with progress on our emerging businesses,” Page said in a statement.

But Google shares tumbled 5.7 percent in after-hours trade to $556.64, suggesting that the growth was below investor forecasts. Earnings per share amounted to $6.27 compared with analyst projections of $6.40. Analysts also expected a higher revenue figure of $15.5bn.

Google remains the world’s most important search engine, which generates large amounts of advertising revenues. But it is increasingly focusing on the Android mobile system and new technologies, highlighted by its recent acquisitions of Nest Labs and drone maker Titan Aerospace.

The earnings report showed a 26 percent rise in “paid clicks,” a key figure for Google’s advertising and revenues, growth slightly lower than the 29 percent expected by analysts. The price per click fell 1 percent in the quarter and 9 percent over the past year. Analysts say this reflects a growing move to smartphones, where clicks produce lower revenues than on traditional PCs. AFP

Google plans January launch of $50 smartphone

London: Google’s ambitious modular smartphone concept, an attempt to disrupt the market dominated by Apple and Samsung, could be available in January 2015 for as little as $50.

Paul Eremenko, Google’s Project Ara head, told attendees of its developer conference that the modular device is scheduled to go on sale in January next year and will be essentially just a frame, screen, Wi-Fi connection and processor — ready for users to customise with different plug-in modules, colours and accessories. “It’s called the Grey Phone because it’s meant to be drab grey to get people to customise it,” said Eremenko.

Project Ara is Google’s attempt to make a mobile device where the major components, including the camera, speakers, GPS and other common features of modern smartphones, can be swapped out for new ones, mixing and matching modules to customise the phone to do what the user needs it to do. The Ara team fleshed out their vision and a timeframe for development for the device, attempting to attract developers for both hardware and software to jump on-board the project.

The core frame of the Grey phone will be built to last around five to six years, according to Eremenko, allowing users to upgrade their phones steadily, buying cheap individual components like a better camera, improved Bluetooth or new 4G radio from an app store-like shop.

But the basic framework and modular nature of Ara could be used to build any number of devices, far beyond a simple smartphone and wouldn’t require a mobile phone radio or Wi-Fi module, for instance.

“’What is a phone’ can be challenged when you can pick and choose pieces on our platform,” explained David Fishman, an Ara team manager. The Guardian

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