Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Amazon… or Facebook? – Innovation to Come

It’s a great thought exercise.  When it comes to the most substantial innovators in media today, what’s store for the future?   I was struck by a question asking me to rank order Microsoft, Apple, and Google, and in doing so, couldn’t help but factor in Amazon and Facebook.  I’m curious what you think, here’s my take:

Number One: Microsoft.

In case you missed the news, Microsoft recently landed the half billion dollar AR contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Augmented Reality.

And the list doesn’t end there; most aren’t terribly familiar with the diversified portfolio of Bill Gates’ little Redmond, Washington company has diversified.

The brand in which your perspective is likely familiar with Windows, Office, or Xbox, is putting $500,000,000 toward putting Augmented Reality in the hands of the military.  They own the only dominant and respected social network not getting skewered by governments (LinkedIn), they own one of the 3 dominant gaming platforms (the entertainment industry which dwarfs all others), they own GitHub meaning they’re right at the epicenter of development, they’re investing heavily in bringing their Office suite back to its place on top, and their Surface work suggests they’re looking to the next iteration of the computing experience.  Plus, their potential might be Azure and the cloud.; they are on track to match or exceed AWS in cloud and data services.

Numero Dos: Amazon. 

The godfather of eCommerce makes a fortune from their IT investments in services such as AWS and they clearly know where the market is headed such that we’ll control everything from our homes.  Amazon Echo and the related product lines are ahead of the curve in what it means to finally bring SmartHome to the consumer.   Hopefully you haven’t overlooked the fact that Amazon Prime has put Amazon in the video and music streaming space; I stopped playing Pandora or listening to Spotify some time ago, “Hey Alexa, play Train Company.”

Honestly, placing Amazon in the mix was a tough one for me, among the my three that will define the future.  They’re up toward Microsoft because they keep investing in things that work. But closer to Google, my number 3, because they’re fundamentally known as in the same sense that most think of Google as a Search Engine – it’s not accurate, of course, but having that one trick brand awareness causes most to overlook all the incredible work they’re actually doing.

Numéro Trois: Google.

Mostly though because they aren’t going anywhere. They are the Advertising industry today and with Facebook getting torpedoed left and right about privacy and data, the only big online media threat to that ad empire has other things to worry about.

Their investment in smarthome/car reinforces that they know they need to own the pipeline of our lives, Fiber was an indicator of that but that progress is iffy.

Lastly they’re over Apple when it comes to mobile because despite the Apple fan club, we can’t overlook the fact that Android is what? 70% of the market?? Data is King and Google wears that crown… but… everyone knows that and our global and desire-for-more-transparent world has people throwing everything at the data economy; that will chip away at Google, which is essentially a monopoly of it today.

Let’s be honest too, middlish of our list because Google invests in a lot of misses; and those misses, frankly, are often in services that they shouldn’t even be trying to compete in.

Numero Quattro: Facebook.


Hang on, I’ll work out why I have them here…

Okay, privacy and security issues aside, major brands ($$$) still look to Facebook second to Google as the ad platform of choice online.  Money moves people and fuels innovation.  I’m hesitantly placing them here, yes above Apple, because they’re investing in video, photography, and advertising in ways that I don’t think will lose (as soon as society gets over its hate-affair with Facebook).

Numerus Quinque: Apple.

The heart and soul are gone. iPhone is a luxury good in a commodity space. iTunes just can’t compete with Amazon and Google, plus Spotify and more, establishing how we’ll consume and pay for music. Apple TV… sure, Roku and Fire are where cord cutters go; no one cutting the cable model really wants to be stuck in Apple’s constraints instead.

So, there you have it.  Go ahead, call me crazy.  The point of this is to spurn the discussion, to learn from what we all know they’re doing, and to discern where opportunities lies in the future.

Comments on Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Amazon… or Facebook? – Innovation to Come

  • Ed Dooley

    Personally Paul on many of your points I agree. In bullet number one I think MicroSoft had no choice but to upgrade their Office Suite or risk having customers flee to the free competition which for the average person and small business is good enough. I love that first line of bullet three: the I-Phone is a luxury device in a commodity driven market. Personally I fail to see the added value of paying 200 to 300% more for an I-Phone than an Android. On bullet number two I believe it is only a matter of time before people figure out Google is just as bad with privacy as FaceBook. Google is just better at keeping it on the down low, however, its YouTube subsidiary is already freely spoken about not for privacy but censoring.
    Thank you Paul for sharing and allowing me the opportunity to put my thoughts into logical words.

  • Paul O’Brien

    Difference between Google and Facebook though, I think, is that Google isn’t digging into your personal life connections as much. Sure, it knows all you do, what you want, etc.; but it doesn’t know everyone I know. Frankly, I’m 100% okay with how Google mines and uses my data – that’s ME. Facebook is exposing for us where there might be a line… I don’t have the right to expose others’ data; so should social media have the right to mine mine (ha!) for theirs?

  • Anish Shah

    Microsoft will lead the way and rise to top by end of 2019/early 2020 given its position on solutions that help businesses and individuals at the same time. Google will be second, followed by Apple and then Facebook.

  • Odeh Muhawesh

    Completely agree Anish Shah

  • Gabriel Ronkai

    Facebook is on the way down, Google is floating trying to figure out what to do with itself, Apple has not made any big changes in any of its products accept change the size, and Microsoft is trying to control a a market where people do not want to controlled. Honestly none of them serves people as they used to, and all of them figures that they are something very special. The way I look at it each will have a corner until somebody new with different ideas, products and care for the billions they touch will take them over.

  • Odeh Muhawesh

    However, these giants keep buying new innovators and investing heavily in R&D. In my view, their dominance will continue for many years to come

  • Gabriel Ronkai

    Odeh, it is entirely possible. But as you know things always change. These giants like dinosaurs will give away to others. It is life. And I know you know that the next big thing is just around the corner and when it hits these companies will not matter as much as they do today. Just one thing that might make you look at things differently.
    Microsoft most people dislike because of Windows. Apple is loved but they have not come out anything fundamentally new in years. Google is a search engine that gives away your information, and because of that people are looking for an alternative. Facebook became a different platform that it used to be. It abuses their privilege of personal information, and according to data, they are on the decline. Their internal searches and activity by people topped out in 2014.

  • Nilesh Vaidya

    Google I feel is in a spot of bother than Apple. Google search which is their real bread winner is not getting any better infact looking at the current scenario it looks to be throwing somewhat irrelevant results – thanks to over engineering and trying to think what user thinks in advance. Some times simple common sense is better – which they had earlier.

    Results are manipulated to some extent titled in favour of big brands online (ofcourse the online buzz which is major ranking factor doesn’t comes for free – lot of PPC spend is what it takes).

    So basically a game where I am the player, I own the ground and I am the umpire, so I do what I feel is right. This is something wrong and is very much noticeable. Just imagine if they loose the search battle to someone like Bing… then it’s deep trouble. Also, people after sometime want something new which looks like they had their golden run may a decade more and they should start a downward walk.

    Note: I am big fan of Google. But I just feel that it has lost its common sense.

  • Ajay Ramachandran

    Microsoft has lost the mobile space to Google and partially Apple. They are no longer talked about when it comes to digital assistants and here Alexa is making huge gains. Microsoft is losing it’s position with the consumer. AWS of course is the market leader and by a large margin (though Azure is certainly giving them a run for their money) when it comes to the cloud. Amazon has a ton of data and content as well now. They have devices and an ecosystem that’s hard to ignore just for it’s sheer convenience. I’d certainly add them here and I think they are very well placed both for the consumer and the corporate market. Amazon will find protecting the consumer side is likely easier than the corporate market.

  • Micha? Fita

    Microsoft is already valued more than Apple. And they barely started.

  • Johnathan Doe

    I feel that Apple will do the best because they have literally got the US and all of the Western European countries hooked on their product(s). I feel that this will result into the customer base being maintained. After years of having hundreds, if not thousands, of apps and music bought on your phone, consumers will stay loyal with Apple. The only downfall I see is customers holding onto their iphones slightly longer before buying a new iPhone.

  • Paul

    People aren’t just as hooked on Google, Xbox, LinkedIn, Github, AdWords, YouTube, and Android?

  • Johnathan Doe

    Indeed, but in the US. in terms of mobile, Apple will succeed. Microsoft hasn’t been doing well in terms of anything else including Xbox in comparison to the other consoles. Also Google, in my opinion, is doing very well in all platforms, but they simply cannot compete in the US for mobile phones. This is because their phones are much more low quality, breaking earlier and not as reliable as Apple iPhones. Also, the android platform itself is not secure at all in comparison to Apple. This means that big corporations tend to lean towards Apple when providing employees with work phones.

  • Paul

    Apple will succeed? You have to define that. If you mean ‘continue to exist’ I agree with you. I didn’t say Apple would die off. But Apple never dominates markets other than when they invented: Mac, iPod, iPhone – for a time. They always end up with 20% market share (+/-) because they’re a luxury brand (expensive and designed). Yes, they’ll keep at their phones but Android is already the winner and Samsung holding the phone market.

    Windows wasn’t secure nor stable compared to Mac OS either. In wants and needs in computing, most don’t seek secure; they seek affordable and capable. Windows and Android crushed Apple.

    Google is playing with phones as it’s more profitable to provide the device as well; they’ve already won the smartphone with Android.

    As for Microsoft and Xbox, you missed the point, the Video Game market dwarfs all other media… film, music, etc. Even owning 10% of that is in and of itself a HUGE asset.

  • Johnathan Doe

    In the US, Apple has over 60% market share.

    Mobile Vendor Market Share United States Of America | StatCounter Global Stats

  • Bunyaminu Sani

    now compare a market of 325m people(us population, google search) and a market of around 3.2b – 325m people

  • Johnathan Doe

    Again, I was talking about mobile products specifically

  • Bhanu Uday

    One big shift in mobile phones and Nokia is not relevant, problem with Apple is majority of the revenue comes from iPhone and related services where as Apple and Google are diversifying.

  • Dow Jones

    Hardware is a big part of Apples business but we’ve reached a point where people are simply not buying hardware as they used to because they’re just that good. Android is gonna chip away at their iPhone marketshare because people won’t fin

  • Matthew Sargent

    I think people like to doomsay with Apple and that’s fine. It’s not EA by any means, all the arguments against them are hyper-inflated (the surface line is stupid overpriced compared to a build or third-party builder yet no care given there by OP, except to praise it of course, odd). I still hear “apples phones have the worst hardware (despite being ranked top 3 overall in camera, best processor, best standby battery life, etc. Sure the software could be a lot more free to compete with android but anymore it’s a tough distinction beyond look. I had a friend who said iOS look never changed, even though I could easily say the same for Android. It’s looked the same to me since middle school. While android rules with 80% share, it’s freeware. Google doesn’t make massive profits with it. Their phone line is the best camera on the market but to act like that 80% means anything is a joke, while Apple controls their entire product line. Don’t get me wrong, a government contract for Microsoft is huge, free money. But windows 10 is arguably a poor OS compared to Linux and macOS in terms of stability. Many gamers who game on PC will tell you if any other OS let you game as we’ll as windows they’d switch. That’s not to say macOS or Linux are the best out there, just some perspective on how Microsoft and google aren’t exactly better off. Bing might beat google or at least DuckDuckGo if they keep making their search results worse (both politically and logically). Googles biggest driver is their search engine imo. Their cloud services are also very competitive in the consumer market. I imagine google could do a lot with their cloud services. Apple has pretty good cloud services and their integration between devices is great but I don’t think they’ll ever try for something like AWS seriously. Apple’s biggest drivers are obviously their hardware, they’ve always been (out of necessity) more hardware based. Their hardware is still selling well enough too. Apple Watch is the king of all watches smart or traditional. iPhones are by volume the most sold smartphones. iPads dominate the tablet sector with surface not far away (surfaces may actually sell more but it’s hard to judge it as just a tablet when it tries to be a computer too). Macs were always geared toward professionals and professionals still prefer it. Professionals also liked the iMac pros despite what Linus tech tips may say. Many are still begging for the Apple trashcan to be updated better too. The fact is that all three are very diverse companies. They have a lot of stuff going for them and a lot of things costing them money but the most efficient is likely Apple. Apple doesn’t really host products that don’t profit. Google (or rather alphabet) owns YouTube which is a huge money pit. Microsoft chose to take some loses on windows 10 just letting people upgrade to legit copies with ease. Sure Apple iPods or macs aren’t flying off the shelves but they’re not really updating all those product lines are they? Not a ton of R&D in those products anymore. And they still sell. Microsoft had the zune which failed (that’s an L) Microsoft had their phone line (also failed) they had a watch thing idk if that’s still around. Apple and google take the “throw-things-at-a-wall-and-see-what-sticks” kind of approach. Apple anymore puts time into tech they know will sell with their consumers. They don’t need to be first, they just need to be right, and that’s how they make some products more right than others first try. They never were trailblazers in that they were the absolute first but they were the first in a lot of things to make it the best. To make it a legitimate competition. You didn’t see Bluetooth devices so numerous and cheap until Apple took away their jack, which people still mock them about. People chalk it up to Apple consumers being sheep but really they just didn’t care about it too much. It never was that big of a deal and they trusted it would work out and arguably it did.

    So yeah. Bash Apple all you want, it’s childish. They succeeded for more reasons than “their consumers are idiotic sheep” and there’s definitely a good reason why they become sheep anyway. Apple isn’t flawless but I don’t think it’ll ever fail, the same goes for google and Microsoft, the biggest difference is risk. When Microsoft sells a watch no one asks for no one bats an eye. When Apple moves a headphone jack (you remember when they moved it from top to bottom in iPhones?) people lost their minds. Samsung phones had to have a massive recall which made good news and even today sometimes gets brought up. But people bring up issues from iPhones from the 4 (almost a decade old now) and act like it’s relevent rather than observing merit.

    I can say the same for console vs pc (so you know, I have a i9–9900k with a RTX 2080, I’m aware of what PC can do). A PC gamer will run around all day saying uninformed BS like “console graphics with their 1080 at 30 FPS” who have no idea what the Xbox one X is. Is the X amazing? No don’t bug me about it I know it’s capped at 60 and the GPU on the more graphics intensive games aren’t perfect, often you have to pick between performance (60 FPS) or quality (4K). Picking between one or the other in some games isn’t ideal but people need to stop being so ignorant. I even had a guy tell me that at least PC caps at 140 FPS. (Huge red flag there since high quality monitors get to 144 Hz but games can get over 200 FPS with the right build). So let’s just agree to stop perpetuating bs tropes from 10 years ago as if it validates a stupid prejudice or opinion we have. While I’d love nothing more than for Linux to become amazing I’m not going to bring up stupid stuff from windows vista to act like it makes a bit of difference today.

    Tl:dr they could all drop or gain and it all depends how well their products perform to consumers, Apple is the least risky so it’s most likely to stay the same. Microsoft or google could go either way.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Chris Howell

    There’s a tendency to look at the Android vs. iOS numbers and see it as a bad picture for Apple, and a good one for Google, but that really isn’t the case. For all of the Android handsets out there, Google really isn’t making that much money, and a lot of the handsets are cheap or free phones, because the Android market is truly commodity based, which inevitably is a race to the bottom. Apple, by comparison, has the highest profits of any phone manufacturer, and a proprietary ecosystem, which virtually eliminates any direct competition. Alphabet, Googles parent company, has been smart in it’s push to expand, as Advertising shouldn’t be their main source of income, if they expect to grow in the future.

  • Peter Sichel

    I had the pleasure of starting a Mac software company and working with Apple back when they were doomed. People have been predicting Apple’s doom for decades.

    What we know is that Apple has some of the best computing technology on the planet, and they are a fierce competitor. In category after category, Apple products continue to set the gold standard. iPhone, iPad, AirPods, Apple Watch, Face ID. Each of these command higher prices because they offer more value. Then there’s the integrated eco-system: App Store, Messages, iCloud, iTunes.

    Android is not a product that’s actually for sale. Most Android phone makers are earning little if any profit. How sustainable is that? Many Android devices aren’t part of Google’s eco-system. Most don’t get software updates. Security and privacy are problematic.

    Predicting the future is hard. The iPhone was so revolutionary it will be a tough act to follow. Will growth slow? Quite possible. Will Apple become irrelevant in 15 years? Unlikely. Will Apple change the world yet again? Who knows.

  • Peter Sichel

    I wouldn’t call Samsung’s or Huawei’s Mobile divisions “barely profitable”

  • Manish Gupta

    Definitely MS & Google unless Apple does something amazing that revolutionize the industry. However, since the departure of Steve Jobs, innovation in Apple seems to be limited to stretching or squeezing phone or updating the iOS. Companies like Huawei and Xiaomi are catching up pretty fast in the mobile industry with innovation and design.

  • Paul O’Brien

    Yep, I think Apple will lose it’s edge in innovation and design. They aren’t going anywhere, I didn’t say they’ll become irrelevant, as the question posits; I merely agree with you, that without Jobs (and even without their past now gone, Woz, etc.), the heart and soul are gone… that’s INCREDIBLY tough to retain as a company moves on to future generations – and we saw Apple lose it when Jobs departed the company for a time (so we already know they have a tough time retaining it without him).

    I think they’ll move heavily into being a more Brand/Marketing based company. They can always maintain their position as the luxury version of the tech that others will innovate.

  • Eric van Leeuwen

    “we can’t overlook the fact that Android is what, 80% of the market??”

    You’re wrong. Close to 90% “market” share.

    Ok, silly comment aside, most commentators say (with some truth) close to 90% of the market but, they’re interchanging market for sales!

    80%. 90%. Either way those numbers are a bit of a red herring!

    Sure, Androids account for 88% of global SALES in one recent report but SALES and MARKET are very different things.

    iPhones are used for 2 to 3 times longer. This distorts their market share. From what I can gather the global market share of the smartphone industry is around a third for Apple.

    In terms of their profitability I don’t think they have much to worry about either.

    First, Apple sells a staggering 7 out of 8 (89%… neat how the sales numbers are reversed 😉 of all $800+ US phones. Yes, Apple has a near monopoly in sales for phones valued over $800 US!?! That’s just mind blowing to me.

    Second, Apple has the majority market share in many developed countries and certainly in all English-speaking developed countries (over 50% in US, UK, Canada and nearly 60% in Australia and NZ (e.g. Mobile Operating System Market Share New Zealand | StatCounter Global Stats)).

    PS Personally I see Google and Microsoft having their own headwinds.

    Google for privacy and for anti-trust issues. It’s becoming too big for its own good. I think the EU’s current anti-trust actions are merely a shot across the bow. Forcing Google to stop coercing handset makers into certain anti-trust behaviours is only a first step.

    Microsoft has a desktop relevance crisis. Like the (highly profitable) IBM its profile in the consumer sphere will diminish. The desktop is a stagnant market. Apple has less to fear on the desktop than Microsoft IMNSHO.

  • Mark Van Lieshout

    Good Points and agree with your order of the companies, re Google they have waymo which has done millions of miles more autonomous road driving both real and virtual than anyone else. They have started to license their tech to big car companies and if you couple that with google maps that most people use for route planning and the data it gathers they are in a lead position to be the main provider and manager of automated vehicles globally imo.

  • Craig Marley

    Well, I have to look at your answer and at what Warren Buffett is doing and ask the question which one will prove right? To my knowledge Buffett has not invested in Microsoft nor Google, but it heavily into Apple. I heard him say that you should invest in companies that you wished you owned. He said that he wished he owned ALL of Apple not just 5+%.

  • Simon Davis

    “iPhone is a luxury good in a commodity space”. That is the _whole_ point of what they are doing. It is much, much better to be the luxury option than just another commodity option–it means you have already differentiated yourself.

    I agree with you re MS: they are those diversified of the big tech firms so that gives them a really strong foundation for longevity. But MS will probably be increasingly boring for everyone who really isn’t interested in tech. MS may be behind the IT org than enables the companies that they interact with but no-one will care.

    Apple , I think, has the best chance of the 3 being relevant to the public in the future quite simply because it is making the jump into being a luxury lifestyle brand. Just like Burberry, Tiffany, Prada, etc everday people will know and aspire to Apple products and Apple will be in the public consciousness to a much greater extent than the other 2 because of it. Apple is also more diversified than Google (although less so than MS).

    Google, however, is yet to show that as a business it is any more than a one trick pony. It is still heavily dependant on revenue from one source: online ads. While that market is unlikely to go away it does make Google susceptible to a change in one sector. Your average Jill or Joe Consumer also has less reason to know about Google than either Apple or MS.

  • Paul O’Brien

    Fair points but the magic that fostered Apple has passed. That really was Steve Jobs’ company where as Google and Microsoft are in so many different businesses.

    Google isn’t the commodity in the phone space, it’s the OS on it. It’s Microsoft to the PC. Microsoft beat Apple then and Google will beat Apple now.

    I get your point, that’s Apple’s intention to be the luxury item; I’m not criticizing it, I’m acknowledging it. Because of that, it will always remain a smaller share of the market so in the context of the question, and since Jobs is gone, and since the spaces in which they dominantly play (Phone AND OS), music, smarthome, wearables… they don’t have much to compete on relatively speaking… they’re going to lose more of their share of music no matter what, as Google and Amazon take more

  • Paul O’Brien

    And, sorry, I neglected this. Google is hardly a one trick pony, they just have a ton of big failures compared to the other two. Search, YouTube, Analytics, Maps, Local, Gmail, Apps, Android… they keep crushing it or completely missing.

  • Simon Davis

    Yes, that a lot of great technologies (I’m a user of them all!), but as businesses they are very dependent on advertising revenue.

    I think we might be talking at slightly different purposes. As an IT Professional in, say, 15 years time I can imagine myself more likely to use a MS or Google API than an Apple API. Or more likely to host my web app on Azure than probably anything else.

    But as a middle class Aussie Joe talking to other middle class Joes and Jills at a BBQ I reckon that I will still be more likely to field questions about Apple products than a MS or Google product. I suppose that is where I was going with relevancy.

  • Rick Notman

    I’m not sure Amazon is fundamentally e-commerce anymore. I know that sounds odd to say, but they make a fortune from their IT products. AWS has a big head start on Azure and is IMHO much better. They are far less a one trick pony than they appear.

  • Paul O’Brien

    Fair, I mean it in the broad sense without getting into details. Like saying Google is a search engine…. well, no… they’re not really anymore either. Still, Amazon is eCom and Google is Search.

    But your point is spot on and exactly what I’m trying to say too, they aren’t a one trick pony, they’re more like Microsoft for that reason 🙂 still somewhat like Google though in that they are “Amazon” and not multiple major brands and platforms distinctly owned (like Microsoft)

  • Eric S

    I like your analysis, and can’t say I completely disagree. I think some of it is based more on public perception than on reality. But if reality were everything, Donald Trump would never have gotten the Republican nomination, let alone the presidency.

    I do have a couple disagreements, though. The fact that Android commands 80% of the smartphone market doesn’t say much. Apple’s biggest competitor in the mobile market is Samsung. And while they are a gigantic company as a whole, they only make half as much from their mobile devices as Apple makes from the iPhone. And Google makes less off of Android than you think. Apple makes as much in a quarter from iPhone sales as Google has made throughout the entire life of the Android kernel. And that’s not counting tablets and wearables.

    Though not primary sources of income, it’s also worth mentioning that the App Store makes nearly twice as much as the Play Store, and Apple Pay brings in twice as much as Google Pay and Samsung Pay combined. And that disparity may grow as magnetic card readers decline. And then we can’t forget the Mac, whose OS has continued to chip away at Windows’ market share, growing from 7.95% in January 2013 to 12.52% in July of this year. Macintosh revenue is over $7.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018, which I believe is Apple’s new record.

    Apple is still the most valuable company in America; for how much longer remains to be seen. Anyway, just my two cents. Cheers!

  • Glyn Collins

    Totally agree.

    Apple have just become over priced toys. Although the design and build are great, they are way too expensive for what they offer.

    Microsoft never used to be my favourite, as they were just trying to make a fast buck. They have turned this attitude around and are starting to listen to consumers. Windows 10 just gets better, even the insider builds don’t have too many issues and they listen when we give them bug reports.

    Its a shame that Linux hasn’t really kept up, as it could have become a much better beast.

  • Mohamed Zimnaan

    But eventually Apple made it to the trillion dollar mark first despite not having as diverse as a portfolio as the rest. We will have to wait and see what actually happens.

  • Paul O’Brien

    No question it’s a great company and in market and branding, second to none. I ranked them, I didn’t imply (necessarily) that Apple was the one dying.

  • Mohamed Zimnaan

    Absolutely. Totally agree. 3 great tech companies with their own best markets.

  • Travis Long

    What do you mean Apple doesn’t have as diverse a portfolio, most of Google’s revenue comes from a single source.

    I also find the original answer looking at Android’s market share as being more profitable for Google than iPhone is for Apple is flawed. Android is fractured across many manufacturers where all of iPhone revenue goes to a single place.

    Check out this interesting infographic that shows a side by side comparison of the 5 tech giants and where their earnings come from and be sure to pay attention to who’s earnings are the highest and by how much.

  • Adrian Carvalho

    Azure have also signed a deal with SWIFT to provide SWIFT connectivity as a Service. That’s a market of over 10,000 financial institutions, each of whom have very deep pockets and burn huge sums on their in-house SWIFT installations. A small percentage of that market share could match that AR contract.

  • Pete Wilson

    Another person saying Apple is doomed to add to the pile of failed predictions. How many decades will it take to realize it’s never been right.

  • Paul O’Brien

    No one said it was doomed, least of all me 🙂

  • Kishore

    When you write, “ investing heavily in bringing their Office suite back to its place on top”, what do you mean is at the top right now?

  • Paul O’Brien

    Fair question. Most companies and older employees certainly still use Office.

    Younger people and startups tend to use Google Docs.

    Which is to say, MS Office may indeed still be the dominant platform, I don’t know, but when the younger generations avoid it entirely, you know that market position is shifting. No one will pay hundreds of dollars for an Office suite of software when the future is entirely online, collaborative, and free.

    For Microsoft to get back in the game, they need to trump Google Docs, somehow.

    I know they are tring to do just that and have made quite a few innovative announcements and releases as such.

  • Srikanth V

    What about Apple’s part in car tech, wearables, medical tech and entertainment streaming? Surely not all of these will become irrelevant.

  • Paul O’Brien

    I didn’t go so far as to say irrelevant, I ranked them. The question asks which will continue to grow and which will not OR *perhaps* become irrelevant.

    Apple isn’t going anywhere. On my relative weighting, they’re still 3rd.

    Car tech, wearables, and entertainment are still going to be locked into Apple’s typical proprietary domain and that works for them, creating a seamless and capable user experience, but it doesn’t favor the broader market adoption. I did make that point, about music; it’s equally applicable to their car tech and wearable work (I’ll never own an Apple Watch… I have Android and Amazon in my home).

    Medical Tech work… good question. I’m not familiar. Your perspective?

  • Rick Leir

    Would you expand on the entertainment platform point please?

  • Paul O’Brien

    I may be mistaken, apparently reading and TV (though this surprises me and I think it’s an unreasonable assessment as I presume it includes TV Film, which cut into Film and technically still is) are still bigger markets:

Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Amazon… or Facebook? – Innovation to Come

by Paul O'Brien time to read: 3 min