Merrill Lynch provides its expectations for Google I/O Conference.
In the research report published on Friday, Merrill Lynch analysts gave their input on 2015 Google I/O developer conference that will take place on May 28- 29 in San Francisco, California. Since competition in the payments industry is on the horizon, the research firm expects Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to launch an upgraded payment platform for the Android users.
Merrill Lynch Research Analyst, Justin Post, believes that the world’s largest search engine is planning to give tough time to Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) mobile payment service, Apple Pay, and PayPal.
In February, Google entered into agreement with three US wireless carriers: AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE:TMUS), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). Prior to agreement with the carriers, the Google Wallet app wasn’t allowed to be installed on Android devices by US carriers. As per the terms of the agreement, the carriers will pre-install the Wallet app on Android phones sold in the US, and Google will acquire some assets from Softcard, a mobile payment service, backed by the three carriers.
Mr. Post said: “We expect Android Pay to be able to power in-app and in-store mobile payments capabilities for Android based devices. Google Pay news could be a sentiment headwind for PayPal.”
Merrill Lynch also expects Google to upgrade Android M, its upcoming operating system (OS), provide update on Chromebook, Chrome browser, and other initiatives that the tech giant is working on.
Mr. Post believes that Google may announce several upgrades on Android M, like potential integration with Android pay, more voice commands, enhanced notification controls, better integration with automobiles, virtual reality OS, and addition features for Google Now.
The research firm also believes that Google could unveil new Nexus or other hardware to compete against Apple’s iPhone6 series. It believes Google has an early lead in the Internet of Things (IoT), as there are over 1.7 billion global Android users. Like Apple, Google is also creating an ecosystem of its products. and it may introduce wearable, like smartwatches in the conference.
As Android ecosystem is exploding with more than 1 billion Android devices around the globe, Google is finally monetizing Android with Google Play. According to Merrill Lynch, Google Play now has more than 1.5 million apps, which might have already exceeded Apple’s App Store. The firm believes that Google Play’s revenues may grow from $3 billion to $5 billion, and contribute 20% to Google’s total revenue growth in 2015.
Ahead of the conference, Merrill Lynch showed its bullish sentiments by reiterating a Buy rating, with price target of $650 on Google stock. Even the Wall Street is bullish on the stock, as 41 out of 50 analysts rate it as a Buy, and nine recommend it as a Sell. The 12-month average target price on the stock is $148.71.
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