Google Integrates AdWords With AdMobs; Expects To Tap Mobile Ad Market

Google has announced that it will start integrating AdMob with Adwords. That is, advertisers can now buy mobile display ads from within AdWords account.

Google acquired AdMob in 2009 for $750 million and as of now it claims to serve more than 40 billion mobile banner and text ads per month across mobile Web sites and handset applications. Currently, AdMob offers advertising solutions for many mobile platforms, including Android, iOS, webOS, Flash Lite, and Windows Phone 7 and even on standard mobile browsers. Google also claims that AdMob runs on more than 300,000 apps on phones. With the integration, advertisers will be able to reach AdWords’ two million websites accesible from desktop computers.

From Google’s official blog:

To make mobile ad buying seamless and accessible for more than a million AdWords advertisers, today we’re integrating our AdMob technology directly into our AdWords system. This enables advertisers to run effective campaigns across the more than 300,000 mobile applications running ads by AdMob—all from within the AdWords interface. It also helps AdMob developers and publishers increase their revenue by giving them access to a large number of new advertisers. AdWords advertisers can now manage, measure and adjust search, display and video ads, reaching people on more than 2 million websites and hundreds of thousands of apps, across all screens.

Bringing together the best of AdWords with the best of AdMob is an important step in building integrated solutions that help all businesses get the most out of digital marketing. This complements DoubleClick Digital Marketing, our new unified ad platform for larger marketers and agencies who use DoubleClick’s ad technology, which we announced earlier this week.

How will this help

With this announcement, it appears that Google thinks that mobile’s is the future. Well that’s where the money is. Recently, Facebook too made a similar decision and opened up mobile only advertising options for advertisers. In Facebook’s IPO filing too, we observed necessary stress on its mobile strategy. Just yesterday, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo disclosed that Twitter is already generating more revenue from mobile than on the web. Which is a significant feat considering that advertisers have been nutty in advertising on mobile.

Google already generates significant amount of its revenue from advertising. In fact, 96% of Google’s revenue comes from Adversting. If mobile is going to be the next big thing where advertisers would pay attention next, Google wouldn’t want to miss the train.

Google Acquires Mobile Cross Platform Productivity Suite QuickOffice

Of late, Google has been on acquisition spree. Today, Google has announced that it has acquired QuickOffice, cross-mobile-platform productivity suite for an undisclosed amount. Quickoffice allows users to create and edit documents like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on their mobile devices.

From Google’s official blogpost:

We’re happy to announce that we have acquired Quickoffice, a leader in office productivity solutions.

Today, consumers, businesses and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone and on any device. Quickoffice has an established track record of enabling seamless interoperability with popular file formats, and we’ll be working on bringing their powerful technology to our Apps product suite.

Quickoffice has a strong base of users, and we look forward to supporting them while we work on an even more seamless, intuitive and integrated experience.

We’re excited to welcome the Quickoffice team and their users to Google.

QuickOffice team will be joining Google apps team and not Google mobile team. Google will continue to support QuickOffice’s existing customers.

Founded in 1997, QuickOffice has raised a total of $28.5 million from Mayfield Fund, Advantage Capital Partners, and Shepherd Ventures.

Why is this acquisition important

Recently, Google made changes to Google Docs and integrated Google Drive, a file storage and sync service,  with 5GB of free storage. Google Drive also offers ability to edit the file live on Google docs. However, it’s an easy task to create and edit documents on Google Docs on desktop, on mobile it’s an altogether different game. Here’s where QuickOffice will come into picture. Apart from that, this acquisition will also give Google seamless interoperability with popular file formats. Currently, Quickoffice app is available on iPhones, iPad, Android, Android tablets, and Symbian devices.

More recently, it is rumored that Microsoft’s office suite might be getting to Apple’s iPad. Microsoft Office 15,  the up-coming version of Microsoft’s productivity app suite, will run on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone.


Samsung Acquires Wireless LAN Chipset Maker Nanoradio

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., has  announced that it has acquired Nanoradio AB,  a Swedish developer of ultra low-power wireless LAN chipsets for mobile phones. The details of the acquisition haven’t been made public yet.

Headquartered in Kista, Sweden, Nanoradio specializes in developing small form factor high performance Wi-Fi chipsets with low power consumption for cellular platforms. Nanoradio has approximately 60 employees and extensive experience in the wireless industry. Founded in 2004, Nanoradio had raised at least $73 million in venture funding, including $17 million from a group of several venture capital firms in 2010.

With the acquisition it appears that Samsung intends to manufacture its own WiFi chipsets for their future mobile handsets. Samsung, currently, is the only smartphone manufacturer that has been able to give Apple run for its money.

For now, Samsung is the only company capable of integrating all the key system components: storage, memory, logic, chipsets, packaging, display, etc. and with this acquisition it has added wireless in its cap.

Offline Mobile Price Search Engine Launched In India

PriceBaba, a shopping intelligence engine, announced the launch of its services, albeit in beta. PriceBaba aims to provide the best (read lowest) prices, deals and availability to help shoppers make an informed purchase decision.

As of launch, Pricebaba features 400 mobiles phones from 26 manufacturers and the site will first be targeted to shoppers in Mumbai. With its Mumbai launch, PriceBaba lists 110 locations from where consumers can buy, sell and exchange mobile devices. PriceBaba provides customers with the least price from offline retailers so that customers can make intelligent decision to make the purchase. Currently, it provides customers the ability to search the nearest shop in their locality where they might be able to pick up the device and ask for price of the device displayed on the PriceBaba website. It also tracks the price drop in the handset and displays it in a fancy chart. Apart from that, users can search for handset, check out whether it’s available in the market, and check out the specs of the handset. was founded by Annkur Agarwal and Tirthesh Ganatra. With more than 10 years of experience in retail business, Agarwal says he was the best person around for many (customers) to get a cellphone. “I literally sold thousands of phones in my retail career”, Agarwal told us. However, he got swayed by yet another idea, creating an online destination for technology. Thus OnlyGizmos happened. Yet, years after leaving his full-time retail business, the calls kept coming in from customers for suggestions to buy mobile phones. Agarwal initially had plans to integrate it with his existing business — Onlygizmos. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out well. “It had to be a larger thing and Steve Jobs lessons on focus inspired me. Next thing, I decided to quit OnlyGizmos in December and from 1st Jan I was full time on PriceBaba”, Agarwal tells us. While both, Agarwal and Ganatra, have been working together since August 2011, Agarwal insists, that he didn’t quit his previous startup —, a gadget blog, overnight to start Pricebaba. “That gives a wrong inspiration to entrepreneurs. It was planned. Not that I had very solid foundation or lot of cash, but it was still planned”, says Agarwal. PriceBaba is currently bootstrapped.

When asked whether he thinks whether offline retailers are able to give better pricing Agarwal strongly points out that it is. In fact, he also points out that we will notice that even with 7.5% extra VAT in Maharashtra, prices on PriceBaba are often lower than online. Although there are surplus ecommerce sites growing in India, Agarwal thinks that there are some ecommerce sites that are still discounting products, the larger ones, of course, aren’t doing that as it seems, but they might be burning in delivery costs / Cash on delivery (COD). “With the onset of e-commerce boom, consumers find it easy to search prices from online stores. However, most of them still end up buying mobile phones locally. We provide unique intelligence about the offline market to the consumers. With over 230 million mobiles phones expected to be sold in India this year alone, we have a large market at hand”, he added.

Mary Meeker: Mobile Internet Usage Surpassed Desktop Internet Usage In India

Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker at the D10 Conference gave her latest presentation of Internet Trends. Our take away from her presentation? Well, Mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop internet usage in India, as of April 2012. The numbers come from Statcounter’s Global stats.

Apart from that, some interesting takeaways from the presentation:

  • There are 121 million internet users in India as of 2011 and is growing at 38% y-o-y. Yet the internet penetration in India is just at 10% as of 2011.
  • There’s been only 4% 3G penetration in India.
    However, with operators reducing 3G data costs, this might change soon. It’s interesting to note that telecom analysts in India expect India to make a leap from 2G & 2.5G directly to 4G.
  • Global mobile internet traffic has grown to 10% that of desktop internet traffic.
  • The combined revenue from mobile growth has resulted in growth in revenue but most of it, about 71% comes from selling mobile apps and only 29% from mobile advertising.
  • Effective CPM for mobile internet is 5 times lower than desktop internet.

If these stats interest you, you can download the presentation from here (pdf).

One can only ponder why ads on mobile aren’t really as effective as on desktop. Because of the smaller screen? Anyone?

Nokia PureView 808 Launched In India For Rs. 29,999

Nokia PureView 808, a Symbian handset with 41 Megapixel camera sensor, has finally made its way in to the Indian market. Priced at Rs. 29,999, the device is available at Nokia’s online store. However, users can only get their hands on Nokia PureView 808 in Black. Customers interested in other colors might have to wait until first week of June.

Announced at the Mobile World Congress 2012, the phone can record high-quality 1080p HD resolution videos and comes with 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound technology and can also records sounds without distortion at audio levels as high as 140dB. The phone also allows up to 3x zoom without any loss in picture quality. The Pure View 808 has a 4-inch CBD display with a disappointingly low nHD (360×640) resolution. There is also a 1.3GHz single-core processor, 16GB of on-board memory, and a microSD card slot.

Nokia PureView 808 might be the last Symbian handset from Nokia considering its jump to Microsoft’s Windows Phone. This might generate some enthusiasm among hard core Symbian fanatics, however, it needs to be seen whether the device could garner similar enthusiasm from the market. Nokia PureView’s technology is also expected to be heading towards future Windows Phone handsets from Nokia.



Intex iTab Launched In India For Rs. 8900

Intex Technologies, today announced the launch of its new tablet- iTab, at Rs 8900. Earlier this month, the company unveiled the tablet in Jaipur with the IPL team, Rajasthan Royals.

Functioning on the 2.3 version of the Android operating system with Adobe Flash Player 11. The new i-Tab is powered by a 1 GHz cortex A8 core processor which is supported by a 1GB DDR3 RAM. It has an 8-inch capacitive five point touch screen display . It also comes with a 360 degree G-Sensor feature makes it a complete entertainment and leisure device. It also has a memory capacity of 8GB which is expandable up to 32GB.  The tablet is powered by a 5000 mAh battery giving it a back up of 5-6 hours (with Wi-Fi). The tablet also comes with support for WiFi, 3G via Intex dongle, USB port that support external hard drive up to 1TB, GPS and comes with apps like Word, Excel and Power Point viewer.

The new i-Tab is available at IT and Telecom Channel Partners and at 70 INTEX SQUARES (exclusive retail stores) and several hypermarkets across the country.

Facebook Might Acquire Facial Recognition Startup For $100 Million

Facebook is working on yet another acquisition, reports Techcrunch. This time, it is planning to acquire for $100 million.

However, the acquisition isn’t directly from Yandex, a Moscow-based search engine, is selling its stake in the to Facebook.  Yandex, together with Israeli investment fund, Rhodium put $4.3 million into in return for 18.4 percent of the company., an Israeli startup, is a face recognition platform. The app is already integrated with Facebook and allows users to auto-tag friends in photos one at a time or in the entire album. It can also guess a user’s age, gender and mood. has a mobile API and an app called KLIK that uses a camera to auto tag Facebook photos. It can easily be implemented on top of Facebook’s new camera app and provide seamless photo tagging. has, so far, raised only $5.3 million from Yandex and Rhodium. It’s being reported that Yandex wants cash and stock in Facebook in return for the deal. Which means that Yandex expects Facebook stock to hold strong unlike what the market thinks.

Facebook Entering Hardware Business: Does It Need To? Can It?

If New York Times’ Nick Bilton has to be believed then, Facebook is preparing for its own mobile phone, its third attempt. While most of the tech blogs are convinced that Facebook has the right features to go ahead with this deal — Facebook message for messaging, Facebook App center for app store, Facebook Camera, and it might soon have its own browser.

Why Facebook thinks it needs to get into hardware business

In their S-1 filing before the IPO, Facebook stated that Mobile is an increasing risk factor for the company:

We believe this increased usage of Facebook on mobile devices has contributed to the recent trend of our daily active users (DAUs) increasing more rapidly than the increase in the number of ads delivered. If users increasingly access Facebook mobile products as a substitute for access through personal computers, and if we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our mobile users, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our financial performance and ability to grow revenue would be negatively affected.

For Facebook majority of its revenue comes from advertising. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 and the first quarter of 2011 and 2012, advertising accounted for 98 percent, 95 percent, 85 percent, 87 percent, and 82 percent, respectively, of its revenue. It desperately needs to diversify. And mobile seems like a good option. The company company accounted for 488 million monthly average unique users of its mobile products in the month of March, however, it hasn’t figured out a way to monetize those mobile users yet. Astute readers might have noticed that Facebook’s recent acquisition has put them in a stronger position in the mobile space.

Can Facebook really get into hardware?

As much as, it seems to be the need of an hour, it should be noted that Facebook has previously tried and scrapped its hardware ambitions as it realized the difficulties. However, this time around, Facebook has the cash — $16 billion to be precise, and according to the NYT article even the team.

Yet, given their better position this time around there are few hurdles that Facebook might encounter:

  • Relationship with carriers: Google has previously experienced this and it’s quite difficult to please everyone at the same time. It doesn’t help that success of a device is solely dependent on the carrier distribution.
  • Applications: Today, when someone buys/upgrades their phone, the decision is solely dependent on whether the platform has applications from prominent developers. Facebook, has more than 900 million registered users, yet these users are not automatically going to be the hardware user. It will be difficult for Facebook to lure developers.When it comes to applications, platforms usually get stuck in a catch-22 situation. Microsoft has. Customers do not want to buy the device as it does not have apps and developers do not want to waste their time on platforms with negligible apps. If, however, Facebook tackles this situation, its platform might gain some traction.

RIM Stops Cross Platform BBM Support Development

Research In Motion’s (RIM) popular messaging app, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which RIM was supposed to bring to other platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows Phone has now canned its further development.

RIM has recently lost its market dominance in the smartphone market. However, its messaging app, BBM, is still popular and remains one of the reason for customers opting for BlackBerry devices. The project which was unofficially called “SMS 2.0″ within the company, has left few of the RIM’s executives worried that licensing BBM to competitors would further diminish any incentive to buy a BlackBerry.

RIM is expected to stop any further development on SMS 2.0 project and instead divert all of its attention to further development of BlackBerry OS 10. The BlackBerry OS 10 is expected to launch sometime next year.

BlackBerry’s BBM competes against, Independent messaging app — WhatsApp which is a cross platform messaging app and is available on all mobile smartphone platforms including Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Symbian. Apart from that, Apple also has its own messaging app — iMessage.