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The point of the article is that mobile computing and Internet services can be very profitable and that the company that dominates the market can earn a lot of money. Different companies try different strategies, and the case examines them. The first company described by the case study is Apple. Their early push for smartphones and tablets has made their brand highly successful. This allows Apple to have proprietary hardware and operating system that is under the complete control of the company. The introduction of downloadable applications through its digital marketplace called App Store has revolutionized the smartphone market.
The second company that the case study shows is Google. It is the leading search engine in the world, with a network of extremely popular online services like Gmail, Google Drive, and many others. The case study also focuses on its successful advertising business that is a major revenue provider for the company. In the last decade, the company became focused on hardware such as smartphones, tablets, and other technologies. Its open-source Android operating system has become the most-used mobile operating system in the market, and the phones produced by Google and its partners have become real competitors for Apple.
Facebook is described as the most popular social network. In recent years it became a popular phone application, and the company overhauled the site to improve mobile browsing. Three of the main projects of Facebook described in the article are its advertising network, the purchase of VR developer Oculus VR Inc. and its social search named Graph Search.
Although the information provided in the case was accurate in 2014, the market has already seen a few changes since then. Google’s efforts in developing a modular smartphone have proven to be not commercially viable. After the failure of similar products by other companies, Google has quietly shelved the project without a major announcement (Alba, 2016). The same could be said of the Google Glass project. Due to the high price of entry and concerns about public filming, the project and its users became unwelcome in most public places, which stalled all efforts of the company to continue development (Altman, 2015). Currently, the company is working on a secretive AR project titled “Daydream” built on its Tango platform.
The Apple Watch was not met with a great response despite early enthusiasm from the audience, and at the moment, it is not the focus of the company. However, Apple is still a strong competitor in the mobile market (Page, 2015).
Facebook has experienced large setbacks since 2014. The purchase of Oculus VR Inc. has not resulted in a large return because the market for VR titles has remained small due to the high price of entry. The controversial opinions of its former designer Palmer Lucky have also negatively affected the project’s image (Rosedale, 2017). Another issue for the company came from the spread of false information by its users. The problem with false news articles and posts has become large enough for the company to address it (Spinney, 2017).
All three companies have a stake in internet services. For example, Google is one of the most popular E-mail providers and offers instant messaging and Voice over IP functionality in its Google+ service. This service allows unified communications at no cost to the user. Facebook utilizes a similar approach in its messages system. At the same time, Google is the most popular search engine on the Web. Its use of complex algorithms allows it to present results much quicker than it was previously possible. The goal of being at the top of the results has made many companies invest in search engine optimization. Facebook Graph search is different in scope and can be considered Social search because it searches through social network contacts. Also, for Apple and Google, Wireless Network Access has made smartphones a much more profitable market because of the lower prices for access and larger bandwidth reserve.
Out of the three companies, Google is the most versatile because its business model includes Internet services, smartphones, tablets, and advertisements. The company is highly competent in these areas and is leading in all three spheres. Apple is a very close competitor in the mobile computing field, and its brand still holds a lot of value. Its business model is based on selling expensive proprietary hardware and software through its mobile stores. Facebook is a social network, and despite its attempts to branch out into hardware, it has not yet reached the desired results. However, it is a powerful social network, and its advertising network can rival Google AdSense.
Mobile computing is highly important for these companies because it is a highly popular way to access the internet. It is easier than using a computer and can create a loyal following that purchases new models of hardware on a yearly basis. Apple creates its hardware and software that only their users can access. Google has an open source approach which lets anyone use their operating system and marketplace for their mobile devices. Facebook, on the other hand, integrates into both operating systems and provide a unified experience on both.
Search holds two major benefits for mobile computing. The first is that it allows the users to quickly find information on the internet, and the second is that companies can earn money on sponsored searches and advertisements. Apple does not have a dedicated search site but instead uses their voice assistant Siri to compete with Google. Facebook has a social search named Graph Search which provides results based on social network information. I do not believe that their strategies could match the functionality and the popularity of Google Search because of their niche focus.
I believe Google has the highest chance of dominating the market because of their flexible approach to business. Google has a lot of different services that it provides for free to users of any device, including Apple smartphones and tablets. The company constantly researches new technologies that could be used in the future products, and their brand is highly valuable.
In some ways, Google already dominates the user internet experience. Google Search is the most popular search engine. YouTube is the most popular video sharing site. Chrome is one of the top internet browsers, and Gmail is the most popular E-mail provider. Therefore I do not believe there would be much of a difference if they extended their social networks would become the most popular too. However, it would result in lesser competition, and without it, I can see innovation becoming less of a priority for the company. If a company like Apple became the most dominant Internet company, it could be disastrous for the more advanced users. Apple has no interest in Open Source development, customization or universal compatibility meaning that their services would not facilitate independent innovation from its user base.
Alba, D. (2016). The death of Project Ara shows Google is all grown up. Wired.com.
Altman, I. (2015). Why Google Glass failed and why Apple Watch could too. Forbes.com.
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Page, T. (2015). Barriers to the adoption of wearable technology. i-Manager’s Journal on Information Technology, 4(3), 1-13.
Rosedale, P. (2017). Virtual reality: The next disruptor: A new kind of worldwide communication. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 6(1), 48-50.
Spinney, L. (2017). The shared past that wasn’t. Nature, 543, 168-171.