Technology

Google I/O 2015: What To Expect

Google has scheduled its annual I/O conference for May 28 and 29, but will the conference offer enough catalysts to boost the company’s stock? A number of challenges have weighed on Google shares recently, but I/O gives the search giant a chance to highlight its ongoing innovation.

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Will Google stock receive a boost?

UBS analyst Eric Sheridan and his team think the event will also provide Google with a platform to show how it can keep and increase its mindshare and wallet share. Following I/O, they think the nest catalyst for the search giant’s stock will be its second quarter earnings report, which is expected to be released in the second half of July.

Among the announcements that could be coming at I/O this year are possible updates to data points Google gave last year. For example, the UBS team noted that last year Google revealed that its Android operating system hit 1 billion monthly active users, compared to 538 million the previous year. Further, the search giant reported a 62% market share for Android tablets, compared to 46% the previous year.

Also Google’s Chrome browser has 300 million mobile users, and the search giant said it had paid $500 million to Google Play developers since I/O 2013. Google already provided an update to the latter metric in February, however, announcing that it had paid $7 billion to developers in all of 2014.

Additionally, Google said 93% of Android users were running the latest Google Play update and that Google Drive had 190 million monthly active users.

Android announcements expected

The UBS team expects several Android-related announcements at I/O this year. It’s widely expected that Google will show off Android M, which is the next smartphone version of the operating system. The search giant could also provide updates on Android Wear, Android Auto (which has now been rolled out to the first production model, the Hyundai Sonata), Android TV and Android VR.

The UBS team is also looking for “innovations to position mobile web as a more viable platform for developers” compared to mobile apps. They also want to see developers gain fuller access to Google Now to “leverage anticipatory computing.”

Additionally, they expect details on a second-generation Nexus 5, an announcement about Android Pay, a mobile payments service, and new innovations surrounding Nest (the smart thermostat maker Google acquired) and the connected home. The UBS team also suggested that Google will announce YouTube subscriptions that will offer an ad-free experience and previews into ongoing enterprise and education innovations.

UBS analysts maintained their Buy rating and $670 per share price target on Google.