Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Friends or Foes?

Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Friends or Foes?

A relational chart showing product portfolios of the top tech companies. Blue arrows represent partnerships. Red arrows represent competitions!

The product portfolio that each of the tech giants has is quite large and while competition is inevitable, some of the products actually complement each other!

Google, has the most diverse product portfolio of all. when comparing with the other tech giants, Google seems to lead the market in the consumer AI space, while Apple is trying hard to compete through Siri and other AI features on IOS, Google’s ability to personalize each of their products is unparalleled. A main branch of consumer AI is the assistant. Siri is ranked lowest when compared to Google Assistant and Alexa. In fact, Siri is a total shame on Apple, in my opinion. Google leading in the Consumer AI space shouldn’t come as a surprise, the company has more data than any other competing firm (even Facebook). Specifically in the United States, almost every person has a Google account, Google photo storage, and uses Google Search. In addition, the Google Assistant is gaining popularity, and over 51% of the population has an Android phone. Using all those data channels, Google is able to leverage the data it has in providing a custom experience for every user, in an automated manner, and continues to innovate in that space.
Alongside AI, Google is a respected competitor to the Social Media marketing platform, Facebook. While Google Ads leverage text advertisement, which displays ads based on people’s search text. Facebook is able to offer very targeted ads, relying on consumer behavior and preference on its platforms, and the type of posts they react to. This has proven very effective for Facebook and granted the company a leadership role in Social Media advertisement. In an effort to expand and diversify its portfolio, Facebook has been launching a number of hardware devices (Portal) in an effort to penetrate the hardware market. While Facebook’s Portal TV is a truly innovative product, and reviewers seem to agree that it “works as advertised”, the product hasn’t been a hit. Many people are afraid of putting a Facebook device (With a camera and microphone) in their homes. while we don’t see those fears as much with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Homepod.

While consumer concerns about privacy are valid, their actions don’t seem concrete, we all have at least one Facebook app on our phones, which has access to the camera, and microphone and is with us at all times, but we won’t get into that here.

Apple has been leveraging the chaos that Facebook has been going through in terms of data sharing and consumer privacy and has been emphasizing their hacker-proof operating systems and bragging/advertising about how secure they are. This has been a quite effective strategy for Apple in getting the crown of the “Most Trusted” company when it comes to privacy. The other side to that is that Apple is hurting greatly from not leveraging consumer data, and we can see this clearly in Siri, a well below average performance, and practically useless beyond telling ‘Dad Jokes’, which is reflected clearly in the low sales of Apple’s Homepod. Apple has decided that growing its IPhone sales is more profitable than harvesting user data and improving Homepod. Luckily for Apple, the personal assistant market isn’t as profitable, and is far slower than the other markets (mobile, OS, wearables, etc..), this is because most of the power in a personal assistant comes in the form of software, so an annual (or bi-annual) purchase of a new hardware isn’t necessary.

Alexa cannot be ignored when talking about personal assistants, while Amazon’s leadership in releasing smart speakers gave it a legitimate market share, the release of Google Assistant started to quickly reduce that share. However, this isn’t a huge threat to Amazon as E-commerce, while is the main reason behind the brand name, isn’t the main source of profit. Amazon Web Services (AWS), created out of need for Amazon internally, has been a very successful business, giving Amazon a leadership role in the Cloud Services space, and the largest market share.

In summary, while the tech giants seem to compete head to head, each one seems to excel in a certain category — Facebook in ads, Google in consumer AI, Apple in hardware, and Amazon in cloud services and e-comm — together they are able to provide consumers with a variety of top-notch products and services.