Apple is a computer company. Google is a data and services company. And that might mean Google win’s the long game
In q3 2014, Apple posted revenue of $37.4 billion and net quarterly profit of $7.7 billion. (source: Macrumors) What’s interesting is if you look at the breakdown of that revenue, the vast majority of that cash comes from hardware sales
And over time that percentage isn’t changing.
Take a look at a similar chart from Google (albeit from 2009) and all of the data is about their advertising.
Trying to find any kind of product breakdown on where Google’s revenue comes from is nigh on impossible. And that’s kind of the point. Google’s product is advertising. So you can kind find plenty of breakdown’s on who is buying Google Ads, how the trend is moving from desktop to mobile, and how Google is trying to monetise that mobile search. But the revenue from physical product is negligible
As shown above, Apple is a computer company. Under Steve Job’s helm they’ve been very successful at spotting the computing trends and building products to meet that trend. And that’s their ongiong challenge. Apple needs to spot the next computer trend. Admittedly they weren’t the first product to market in the mobile connected computer space (Palm and Microsoft say hi there) – but they were certainly the first to create a product that generated a mass market. And then to spot the tablet as the next big computing platform – more product insight there.
However tablets are now in a decline. Consumer’s are trying to get the best of worlds and increasingly moving to the phablet form factor. Which provides apple with an interesting challenge because with their Iphone 6+ they aren’t the first to market here. Neither with their Apple Watch. For a company so reliant on being dominant in the computing platform, not leading that market space is certainly a concern for them.
With the absence of a technology leader spotting those trends and driving best of breed products – Apple’s medium to long term prosperity will certainly be something to watch with interest
(this was supposed to be a post on why Google may win as a services company instead of a physical product company. But it got too long winded so that post will be in a follow up – TL; DR)