Google has published its monthly numbers for Android version adoption, with Jelly Bean climbing 3.4 percent to 28.4 percent of active devices, while Ice Cream Sandwich fell 1.8 percent to 27.5 percent.
After dropping beneath the 40 percent mark last month, Gingerbread slid even further to 38.5 percent. Meanwhile, Froyo and Eclair came in at 3.7 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, and Donut held on at 0.1 percent.
In April, Google changed the way it reports this data, taking snapshots for devices where the user intentionally visits the Google Play Store during a given period instead of just checking in to Google servers. While the move is meant to help the figures more accurately represent users who are “most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem”, it leaves out data from regions, such as China, that use alternative app stores. The Chinese market has been flooded with low-end Android handsets, many of which are forked from the official versions, so actual worldwide Android adoption would likely look quite different from the numbers Google comes up with.
Gingerbread, which was released in December 2010, still makes up the largest portion of Android devices on Google Play, but Jelly Bean, which first hit the market in June 2012, is set to overtake it in a few months if the current trend continues.
A new version of Android is likely to arrive at Google’s I/O developer conference, which takes place later this month. Current rumors suggest that the update will be another version of Jelly Bean (presumably version 4.3) instead of Android 5.0, also known as Key Lime Pie.
Image credit: Purestock
Advertising technology companies are not exactly the most well-known names to the average web user, but they can certainly garner serious attention from those inside the industry — particularly investors. Case in point: AppNexus, the New York City-based company that runs a real-time bidding platform for ad networks, said today it has closed on $75 million in funding.
The round, which serves as AppNexus’ Series D, was led by Technology Crossover Ventures with the participation of existing investors Venrock and Tribeca Venture Partners. This brings the total venture capital investment in the six-year-old AppNexus to $140.5 million; the company’s other investors include Microsoft, Kodiak Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, Ron Conway and Khosla Ventures.
These big-name backers likely see AppNexus as a good bet partly because of the pedigree of its co-founder and CEO Brian O’Kelley. Before AppNexus, the Princeton-educated O’Kelley created the first successful ad exchange platform as the CTO of Right Media, which went on to be acquired by Yahoo for a cool $850 million back in July 2007.
AppNexus says that the new funding comes after the close of a successful year. In 2012, the company says it managed some $700 million of advertising spend and nearly tripled its revenues. AppNexus’ staff now numbers more than 400 employees across nine offices worldwide.
See the rest here: Real-time Ad Bidding Platform AppNexus Raises $75M In Series D Funding
You know the drill, Apple posts a record $54.5 billion in revenue…
…and the stock tanks 10 percent in after-hours trading.
I mean. Fifty four and a half billion dollars. I went ahead and did the math: that’s an annual run-rate of $218 billion dollars (yes, I know Q1 is the holiday quarter, so it tends to be much larger than the others — but don’t underestimate the possibility of a new iPhone earlier in the year pushing Apple towards the $200 billion mark). Apple generated more revenue in one quarter than Google did in all of 2012. Hell, Apple is getting close to generating as much revenue in one quarter as Microsoft does in an entire year.
Perhaps even more incredible is that Apple made over a billion dollars in profit a week for the first time ever. Profit is the money you get to keep. You know, the kind Amazon doesn’t make. Or, to look at it another way, Apple generated as much profit in two weeks as Google did in their entire last quarter.
And yet, we are disappoint? Tough crowd, to say the least.
The reality is that there are many reasons for Wall Street to do what Wall Street does, even in the face of Apple’s fiscal reality. As the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, everyone wants a piece of the action: both buying and shorting. Many analysts aren’t giving guidance on what they actually think as much as what they want their clients to think they think. It’s all a big convoluted game.
But there is a pretty simple way to explain one level of “disappointment” today — just as there was in Q4 of last year. While that was all about a shift in the iPhone release cycle (which led to the perfect storm that was Q1 2012 — which is directly related to this year — more below), this year was all about one week. One. Little. Week.
What Apple tried to alert everyone to multiple times over the past quarter, but few seemed to remember, is that Q1 2012 was an anomaly. It was 14 weeks long, versus the standard 13 weeks Apple uses to calculate a quarter. This year, things were back to normal: 13 weeks.
It may not seem like a lot, but it’s actually a pretty big deal when it comes to breaking down Apple’s quarterly fiscal performance. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer apparently addressed this directly today during the call today (I wasn’t on the call as I’m currently on a plane): if you simply break it down by weekly revenue, Apple made $4.2 billion in Q1 2013 versus $3.3 billion in Q1 2012. That is significant.
So let’s do the math. If Apple’s Q1 2013 had been 14 weeks long, Apple’s $54.5 billion in revenue would have been $58.8 billion. Again, that may not look like a big difference, but it is $4.3 billion dollars!
Of course, it’s hard to know if the averages would have held in the hypothetical extra week of Q1 2013. But it doesn’t matter, go the other way. Apple’s $46.3 billion Q1 2012 would have been more like $42.9 billion if only 13 weeks were counted. But hey, what’s $3.4 billion amongst friends?
The real point is that everyone was spoiled by Apple’s Q1 2012. It really was the perfect fiscal storm. As I alluded to above, the iPhone launched that quarter for the first time that year. And the quarter was a week longer — which really matters since the iPhone is by far the largest part of Apple’s overall revenue (over 50 percent). So when we looked back to those gigantic numbers, we expected similar massive gains this year. But it didn’t happen. Quite frankly, I’m surprised Apple saw the gains it did given the “week off”. Clearly, this is a very healthy company.
But again, the growth rate is skewed by the extra week. If you equalize Q1 2012 and Q1 2013 (either to be 13 weeks or 14 weeks — they’re very close), revenue growth goes from 18 percent to 27 percent. 27 percent is key because it’s the same growth rate Apple saw last quarter. Again, not huge (as it has been for the past couple of years), but not dropping as 18 percent would suggest.
If you equalize Q1 2012 and Q1 2013 and look at profit, growth goes from 0 percent to 8 percent.
Again, that’s not massive growth, but consider who we’re talking about here. Apple is the biggest public company in the world. Their numbers have been insane for a few years now, and the fact that they’re still growing at all is equally insane. I’ve said it before, and only slightly in jest, but the only way Apple is going to keep growing at those rates is if they get into the oil and gas business. I doubt even a new product, like a TV or watch, would get them there. You can only fly so close to the sun.
Long story short, at lot of people are either playing the market today or being pretty stupid. Not quite as stupid as last year, but stupid nonetheless. As a result, I’m making good on my word and buying Apple stock since it’s below $500 a share. It would be silly not to. Just look at the numbers. And look at the promise of buybacks/dividends. People see the stock tanking and think it’s a company on the downslope, but the numbers simply suggest they’re near the summit of financial nirvana.
I haven’t owned Apple stock since I became a blogger way back when. But since that’s no longer my primary gig and I’m conflicted out the wazoo in so many other ways, why not? As always, transparency will simply be the way forward. Plus, let’s be honest, every single mutual fund and 401k owns AAPL anyway. I’m not buying a lot of Apple stock simply because the return cannot be huge (again, see: flying too close to the sun — Apple is not going to go to $5,000 a share). But I’m putting my money where my mouth is, finally.
Longest. Disclosure. Ever.
More here: With Apple, What A Difference A Week Makes
Google on Wednesday announced the latest figures for its Transparency Report, showing the steady increase in government requests for its users’ data has continued in the second half of 2012. The company hinted that the growth of the numbers is inevitable “as usage of our services continued to grow” but nevertheless the numbers are always a bit startling to look at.
A quick look at the latest statistics shows that there were 34,001 user data requests in 2011 (15,744 in the first half and 18,257 in the second half) compared to 42,327 in 2012 (20,938 in the first half and 21,389 in the second half). This constitutes a growth of 24.49 percent year-over-year, which you can see in the graph below (the good news is in the second graph; data is being produced less and less, as a percentage anyway):
As always, the US government made the most of these requests: 12,271 in 2011 (5,950 in the first half and 6,321 in the second) as well as 16,407 in 2012 (7,969 in the first half and 8,438 in the second). This adds up to a growth of 33.71 percentage year-over-year. Again, here’s how that looks in graph form:
You’ll notice that the last bar appears to be broken up into sections. That’s because Google is, for the first time, including a breakdown of the kinds of legal process that government entities in the US use when asking the company to hand over user data. From July through December 2012, here is how the requests were made:
Since Google started sharing these figures, user data requests of all kinds have increased by more than 70 percent since 2009. Meanwhile, between the end of 2010 and 2012, Google’s compliance with the requests has dropped from 94 percent to 88 percent.
Image request: Robert Linder
Go here to see the original: US government requests for Google users’ private data jumped 33% between 2011 and 2012
Microsoft’s Skype on Friday announced a new version of Skype Click to Call. The latest release highlights free calls in magenta now (yay?) but more importantly, it adds support for the latest release of Firefox, the second-newest release of Chrome, as well as Windows 8.
You can download the latest version (version 6.5 for Windows and version 2.4 for Mac) now from here. Despite the Windows 8 addition, Mac users need not worry: this new update is still available for Apple’s desktop platform.
The addition of Chrome and Firefox support has been a long time coming, but given that Microsoft owns Skype, we’re surprised that Windows 8 compatibility wasn’t available last year when the operating system arrived on store shelves. Skype Click to Call is of course still available for Internet Explorer and Safari.
Firefox 18 and Chrome 24 were both released just last week, though the former came out two days before the latter. It’s not clear whether this release will work on Chrome 24, but we don’t see why not.
We have contacted Microsoft to clarify this small discrepancy. In the meantime, here’s the full changelog for Skype Click to Call versions 2.4 and 6.5:
Image credit: Marcin Rybarczyk