NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

is planning on hiring engineers to develop in-house smartphone applications in an attempt to keep up with

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

, according to a report in the

Wall Street Journal

. Android users can access an app marketplace of 100,000 applications, while Apple's app store has more than 350,000 apps.

Shares of Google rose 0.42% in pre-market trading Monday to $603.50.

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

will begin

taking pre-orders for the Apple iPhone

from existing customers beginning at 3 a.m. ET on Feb. 3, according to the company's Web site. Verizon is calling it an exclusive opportunity for current customers to get a jump on the iPhone supply before it's opened up to everyone else.

The Verizon iPhone officially goes on sale Feb. 10.

Intel

(INTEL)

Capital and

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

both announced they had committed funds to President Obama's Startup America campaign, designed to increase the success of American entrepreneurs. Intel Capital will put $200 million towards the project, while IBM will invest $150 million.

Shares of Intel rose 0.7% to $21.61, while shares of IBM were up 0.04%.

KIT Digital

(KITD)

, an online video technology company, has acquired video start-ups

KickApps

,

Kyte

and

Kewego

for a combined $77.2 million. As part of the acquisitions, KickApps CEO Alex Blum will be the company's new chief operating officer.

Shares of KIT Digital rose 4.4% in pre-market trading to $14.14.

ShopKick

, a mobile shopping application, has more than 750,000 users since launching in August, the company announced Monday. The app,

which gives shoppers rewards for entering stores

, has signed retailers like

Sports Authority

,

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

and

Target

(TGT) - Get Report

for its service.

Digital reading technology company

LibreDigital

has raised $4 million in venture funding, it announced Monday. The company aggregates reading material for Apple's iBookstore.

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

http://twitter.com/Ozoran

.

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.