For example, there’s ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’ Google was once Apple’s friend and partner. There’s also, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ That might explain why Apple and Microsoft own a bunch of patents which could harm Google. Which of all three giants wants to dominate the world the most?
California vs. The World
There is little question that Microsoft (not headquartered in California) wants to rule the tech world. The marketing phrase ‘Windows Everywhere‘ seems more like a war chant of the distant past.
Why? The technology world is moving rapidly toward interconnected mobile devices– smartphones, tablets, et al– and Microsoft is merely a bit player.
That leaves two California giants to carve up the emerging global mobile market. Apple and Google.
Which of the two has plans to rule the world? Judging by marketshare of smartphones alone, it would appear that Google, via the free Android operating system, manages the dominant share (estimates around 80-percent of smartphones shipped).
Interestingly, though, in the world’s most developed markets, for customers with the most economic clout, Apple’s iPhone rules. Two good examples included Apple’s over 50-percent share in the U.S. and nearly 70-percent in Japan.
In fact, where it counts, usage, usability, revenue, and profitability, Apple has a wide lead over manufacturers of Android-based devices.
What Price Dominance?
Unless I’m missing the obvious, it does not appear as if Apple cares one iota about marketshare with any device the company sells; preferring to milk and dominate the premium end of each market segment.
As I survey the players I try to make sense of their respective strategies. Microsoft spent billions for Skype and Nokia, yet neither purchase has added anything to the Windows maker’s bottom line.
Likewise, Google in recent years has spent tens of billions on the likes of Motorola, Waze, Nest Labs, and a war chest of seemingly worthless patents. Only YouTube seems to have had a positive impact on the search giant’s profits.
Apple’s acquisitions barely exceed 10-percent of Google’s known acquisitions, yet Apple remains the most prosperous company on the planet, while both Google and Microsoft struggle to integrate their purchases and turn them into moneymaking endeavors.
It seems to me that if Google and Microsoft want to rule the technology world in the near future, both need to do a better job managing their money. Throwing money against the wall to see what sticks doesn’t appear to be an effective strategy.