Just watched a series of New York University open course, the topic is: Google vs. Apple Who Will Win? The videos were recorded in March, 2010, at least I still don’t see an answer by now. It seems people are not just talking about these two companies, there’re another two big companies involved: Amazon and Facebook.
From my point of view, Google certainly has a solid foot in Search Engine industry, it’s trying to do things in a lot of industries, apart from its text ads, the main products it’s focusing on are YouTube, Android. Of course, Google is also trying to make Google Shopping global. The thing is Google is probably reaching out to too many industries, thus will get many not just competitors but foes to some extent. Surely like Microsoft, Google has tons of money, but I doubt if even a company as large as Google is can afford to spread staffs to so many areas. Everybody talks about the benefit of the openness at Google, they’ll certainly develop well but they should have a clear strategy, let’s see where Eric Schmidt’s going to lead Google to.
Unlike Larry Page and Brin Sergey, Apple Computer’s co-founder Steve Jobs really tended to control things, he sort of set the rule under all circumstances. His perfectionism played a great role in Apple’s success. Apple didn’t really invent most of the leading technologies, it combined the technologies with good ideas and nice designs, which make the consumers love their products, like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Now Jobs died, Tim Cook don’t have the control and perfectionism as Jobs had, and up till now, honestly I do not see a lot of innovations going on there. You certainly have heard people mocking the iPhone 5, and you certainly cannot see the iPad mini as an innovation. However, Apple do have many patents and the Apple products still sell well. At here in China, people still buy Apple products to claim their social status even though iPhone was called “stree phone” by some people. Certainly Apple is not going to die overnight, but innovation is definitely the thing they need to worry about.
Amazon is sort of the model for our company, whenever we look for a change to our website or plan for a promotion, we look at Amazon. Amazon’s Kindle seems doing well, many people still love to shop on Amazon.com. Although I do not think the product ads and sponsor link ads are really helpful for businesses, they’re still on the right track and are not likely to any competitors within a short time.
Facebook is certainly a trend, the users are still growing. Almost every foreigners I know are using Facebook, people certainly are not going to abandon Facebook just because there’s Google Plus or Pinterest in the near future. However, I doubt if they’ve found the way to earn a huge amount of money. I’m not an expert in this, just based on my own experience, the ads on Facebook don’t really bring a conversion as high as Google’s, and it looks like Facebook was going to launch a new shopping service earlier this year, but it never really came along, how could they miss the holiday season? Well, at least they do have a vast amount of users, the question is how are they going to make more money.
Of course, there’s Microsoft as well. It’s been there as a big guy for many years. and it’s rich. However. the industry has changed, in this so-called post PC era, not everybody needs to buy a desktop or notebook, as for the mobile devices, there’s already Android and iOS out there. Microsoft is like totally abandoned the concept of its former operating system, and came up this new Windows 8, which can be adopted on both PC and tablets. I still don’t see it as a success. Like Google’s Nexus, it has Surface, is it still gonna have the same market share in mobile industry as in PC industry? Probably not just Microsoft, there’s also what Intel’s worrying about.