sets sights beyond smartphones at annual developer
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[June 25, 2014]
By Alexei Oreskovic
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc, whose
Android software reigns as the world’s dominant
smartphone operating system, will step up efforts to
make inroads into cars, televisions and other devices at
its annual developer conference this week, sources
familiar with the matter said.
The Internet company is racing against rivals such as Apple Inc <AAPL.O>,
Samsung Electronics Co. and other companies to extend its business
into a broadening field of Internet-connected devices.
“It's a land grab,” said Sameet Sinha, an analyst with investment
bank B. Riley & Co. “The person who gets a platform which controls
the devices could be the dominant operating system, not of just
devices, it could be the operating system of your home.”
“New platforms offer new opportunities for hardware sales,
advertising sales, e-commerce sales, all of these,” Sinha said.
Google would not say whether Chief Executive Larry Page will speak
at the two-day Google I/O conference, which begins on Thursday
morning and is expected to draw more than 6,000 developers from
around the world.
Google's free Android software is used in more than three out of
every four smartphones sold globally, providing Google with a
valuable entry point for consumers to access its money-making online
services such as Web search and maps. In March, Google announced
plans to create a special version of Android designed for
Google is expected to provide an update on its plans to integrate
Android into automobiles, making it easier for drivers and
passengers to access navigation and entertainment features available
on their smartphones, according to a person familiar with the
The company could also unveil a new service that tracks a user's
health and personal fitness information, similar to recently
introduced services from Apple and Samsung, said another person
familiar with the matter.
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on any of the conference's
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Among the events aimed at developers during the conference at San
Francisco’s Moscone Center are sessions titled “Wearable computing
with Google” and “Build for the multi-device Web," according to the
official Google I/O website.
There will also be sessions focused on Nest Labs, the maker of smart
thermostats and other home appliances which Google acquired for $3.2
billion in January. On Monday, Nest said it would for the first time
allow other companies to create apps that communicate with its
Google may also showcase a version of Android designed for
televisions, according to technology blog The Verge. A TV version of
Android would come four years after Google’s first effort to enter
the living room, Google TV, failed to catch on with consumers.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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