Are you among those who are still wondering what would be the outcome of Mac Vs PC battle? Here’s news for you, the battle does not matter anymore. Both parties are not bothered about the outcome any more and have stopped spending their efforts behind it. Apple pulling off the famous “I’m a Mac” ad campaign should be enough as an evidence for you. Assuming that the current market position and brand value ranking(#1) that Apple has achieved, let us for argument assume that Apple is the #1 tech company in the world. So where do you think is the next battle and which is the tech company to watch out for in platform and hardware battle? Who is the biggest threat to Apple?
Do you think with its Launch of a better OS for desktop (windows 7) and a new OS for mobile (Win7) it is Microsoft? Or with its recent launch of touch based blackberry phones and acquisition of QNX to eventually launch a tablet(Playbook) on new OS it is RIM? Or with its rapid market share gain in mobile platform and recent launch of Honeycomb for tablets and the all new Chomebook it is Google?
Well if you rule out the previous two companies and go for the later i.e. Google, I would agree with you on your first guess of ruling out Microsoft and RIM but I would tend to have a different opinion in case of Google. I don’t think Google can pose as much of a threat to Apple or in that case even Microsoft mainly because of a couple of reasons. One the company has got its hands in too many projects that are all in beta stage and in most cases all of them die and untimely death without seeing light (steady state). There are countless examples to prove my point. Google Buzz, Google Video, Google Notebook, Google Catalog, Google Answers, Web Accelerator, Google Audio Ads, Dodgeball, Google X, Google Wave, Lively, Jaiku etc and few soon to join like Google TV, ORKUT etc are few of them. The biggest problem with this approach is that though they have got the brightest of the brains to work for them there is a severe lack of channelised focus which ultimately leads downfall of those products. Their behavior can best be compared to a child who wants everything that belongs to others and would never be able to enjoy what he has in hand. Unless, Google gets their act straight and have somebody at the help with a razor sharp vision and focus to hold the company together, it is going to have the same fate that Microsoft had. Lot of initial success but eventually end up in disarray.
The company that falls in the category of having everything that Google is missing and the one which would end up being the biggest competitor to Apple according to me would be, AMAZON. They are a company with a sharp vision. A well disciplined company. A company that is slowly, but steadily, making inroads in the biggest markets/trends of the future. All their investment has been very silent but assured. Brick by brick, they have built services that would eventually become the main products or go to products for future not only for SMBs but large organisations as well. They are a company that is focused on quality as much as Apple is and would not allow any third party to use their name unless it is of the standard they approve. Look at Kindle! It is a device that could put Apple products to shame in build quality. Not only did they achieve that but also they sell it at a price that is a no brainer for consumer. In contrast, Google allows third parties to not only build Android based products that are flimsy but also allows them to put Google’s name on them.
Let us quickly go through the product catalog that Amazon has been quietly building. Amazon web services(AWS) is a wide array of web & could based service that caters to the needs of all kind of end customers. It houses in it products to cater to E-commerce, Storage, messaging, networking, payment and billing, Database, content delivery etc to name a few. If you are an end customer that is a large organisation or a one man shop who wants to move to cloud; look no further. They have got it all. In media and fashion, Amazon has acquired every company that makes any market sense and have built a large catalog for themselves to cater to all your media, books, fashion needs. They have even built a store for Andriod App of the quality that Google has struggled to produce so far. They have built up the infrastructure, catalog that is unmatchable. The only thing that they now need is a product that helps people explore this catalog. I would not be surprised if Amazon came up with either or all of a phone, computer, tablet, TV that would act as a frontend to the Amazon market place. They have displayed with Kindle the quality of product they can build. They have the resources to throw behind their product. They have the right attitude and reach to customer. In short, Amazon has got in it everything that is required to be a threat to Apple and to take over as the number one tech company. It is not a question of what it is a question of when? And the answer is; you’ll not have to wait long……… Watch this space!