If there is something that fascinates me in the world of technology is a high level strategy that he unleashed our favorite companies. Today we will discuss 3 important battles involving Apple with other heavyweights: Google, Samsung and Microsoft.
Respect the strategy- Walter White Breaking Bad.Esta reading is one of many that can be made and is therefore subjective. I do not expect that everyone agree with it, but I think it has some value to make it. Are you ready? Here we go!
Round one: Apple maps
Uff, what can be said about this matter that has not already been said! Apple changed the night the morning Google maps who lived on their mobile devices until iOS 5 by ones own on iOS 6. Despite the Green that were, while warned it developers and (very) Despite us, users.
Apple goofed and did something some of them: remove a solution half-baked, a beta to the Google. He did so knowing the storm of complaints that they was going to rain, all the bad press and the wrath of its customers. Why? What has it gained with this move? Was it so important to annoy us? It seems Yes.
Problems in paradise?
When Google launched Android, Apple felt betrayed. Eventually saw their hitherto Allied added more and more features to your solution maps, features that shone by their absence in iOS: step by step routes and voice navigation were the most interesting, not to mention the automatic recalculation when you lose the path.
To incorporate these features, Google asked to change access to more data from users of iOS (remember that Google strategy seeks to satisfy a voracious hunger for data and information), data that Apple not ceded to the rest of the developers. And was not willing to let that happen.
Nobody is indispensable for Apple.
Knowing Apple for some time and his philosophy of “I me him stew, I I it as”, this situation It could not last forever. Google felt sure that his solution was far superior to any existing on the market. Pride? Perhaps, the case is that not conceived that Apple was going to replace them with its own maps app so quickly. They had been building their maps for centuries and was not going to come an apprentice to challenge them.
They did not see it coming or did not want to see the signs. In a period of four years, Apple bought 3 companies:
- Placebase in 2009.
- Poly9 in 2010.
- C3 Technologies in 2011.
In 2012, after 3 years of “undercover” work, Apple exchanged Google maps by yours and step also sided Youtube, eliminating all traces of the company of the search engine on its devices. The divorce had consummated.
All about maps
Apple recovered the command their own business casting his platform to his new nemesis: Google. But he not only managed to become independent but also forced Google to hand and forced him to remove their own app for iOS if I wanted to recover data lost by the exile.
Oh, surprise! New Google maps had all what had refused to deliver:
- Voice navigation.
- Step by step routes.
- Automatic route recalculation.
Since then, the search engine company had to deal with the rest of the developers of maps as one of the bunch (one with an excellent app, everything to be said). He already did not have the privilege to be installed in series and would never recover the omnipresence and the valuable data you need for your business.
Some studies indicate that Apple maps is the most commonly used devices app, which is reasonable to think that they were when they were provided by Google. Ouch!
Google maps are no longer 100% of iOS devices.
Winner: Apple had to withstand a hurricane of media in the short term, but in the long run, its strategy has been the clear winner: independence, control, proprietary solution and force the hand to Google. Apple put forward the interests of its ecosystem, which benefited greatly, and no jealousy as it has come to say.
Loser: Google sees how vanish privileges and valuable data for your business. Data that are equivalent to fresh money. Right now, Google has an uncomfortable laguna with four fish where we once had a whole ocean. There is no way to disguise this defeat.
Users: in the short term we went out losing with Apple solution. It is true that they are improving little by little. But in the long run have won all: which preferred maps before now enjoy a much higher the own Google app and introduces an alternative to series It’s interesting to many. No one can say that he preferred the situation before the now.
Personally, I like the Apple app but I do not understand how to offer 10 different locations when you are looking for the Estacion de Chamartin in Madrid. And none of them is the station!
Round two: the endless war of patents
A complicated issue. Don’t want to get into arguments about who is right, who has copied first, or if necessary to change the patent system. No need to get into that discussion for this round. So I’m going to stick to the more interesting part from the strategic point of view.
A very calculated cut-off
Let’s go back to the year 2007, a time when Steve Jobs left speechless to the public when it moved by your brand new iPhone interface. Until then, Samsung had been one of the most important manufacturers of phones of the moment.
Imagine a face that would be them when they saw something that was years light from what it already had in the market at that time. It is one of the most important moments of innovation from Apple. Something that combined the regular element with one novel for provide much more value to the previous paradigm.
We have in mind that Apple believes that Samsung has copied its designs and broken its patents. A court in California has given him reason to Apple. It had not followed the case closely because they bore me the courts and their constant tug-of-war. If one condemns to Samsung, another does it with Apple.
What would have happened if Samsung had not taken the shortcut?
The case of California caught me attention by one of the tests that revealed in the trial: report that Samsung engineers developed on how they had to imitate both the hardware and the software of Apple terminal. 132 pages that were analyzed in great detail improvements to make. It was not a simple benchmark, was a dissection of all-out competition.
Winning battles and losing the war
Samsung was convicted after two trials to a total of $ 900 million. They looked at the cost of huge development that would lead to get to the height, the delay that would involve the inner work and cast counts: gigantic opportunity cost compared to the uncertain sentence and compensation. They decided to take the shortcut.
There is the strategic move of Samsung that defines this Round:
- Recognize the paradigm shift. Other competitors did not do so until years later (Microsoft), some disappeared (Palm), others were bought (Nokia) or are in the latest (BlackBerry).
- Cost-benefit analysis – risk. Impeccable.
- To become the largest manufacturer of phones of the world (important) and the second in benefits (even more important).
- Be sentenced to pay 1,000 million dollars of compensation in contrast to the tens of billions that have won. Peanuts!
This strategy, gentlemen, is remove the hat.
Winner: Samsung. He has finished becoming the largest manufacturer of Android, the largest in the world and the second in benefits. A round play.
Loser: According to his own vision, Apple would have been victim of the copy of Samsung and the damage is already done. They have been able to do something about? Not too. All have got is to punish a fish with a compensation and legal costs to other smaller fish would not have been able to withstand.
Users: It is difficult to say if it was good or bad, much more to quantify somehow.
Round three: free Microsoft Software
A simpler but no less important history. Get into the skin of Microsoft a second: your business model is based, in large part, in the sale of licenses software. Windows and Office, a doblón.
Two David against a Goliath
Now you are Google and Apple. What do you do if you want to undermine Microsoft? Free offer what Microsoft sells in Exchange for money. If possible, do you cross-platform so it reaches everywhere. Said and done:
- Android universally available to any manufacturer. Without direct licensing.
- Google Docs free and available from any computer. Paid Enterprise version.
- Mavericks and all future updates free.
- free iWork for new iOS and Mac computers and accessible from any browser regardless of platform.
In the case of Apple, has had to do authentic accounting and financial juggling to get Mavericks, iWork and iLife to be free. It is not easy to justify it within the numbers of the company nor to an audit and is a process that has led him years.
An unequal fight?
It is very difficult (but not impossible) to compete with the free.
Boom! With one blow, users who are thinking about a new team are suites of Apple (and Google) and its desktop operating system upgrades are free of charge. Office will be higher for some, but for others because it will not be the only alternative to consider.
Winners: Apple and Google. Their business models are not sell software but sell hardware and advertisements, respectively.
Loser: Microsoft. Hegemony in the desktop market has been overtaken by the Post-PC devices that now also disputed the territory of PC.
Users: We won in options and added value, in addition to increasing competitiveness in a sector that did not seem to strategic.
The fight continues
Boxing is the maximum challenge. There is nothing that can compare to prove oneself in the way that you do it everytime you upload to the ring- Sugar Ray Leonard, Boxer. We, the users, We should enjoy this fight of Giants. Respect every opponent’s strong points, applaud when a left hook on the Chin and realize the luck we have for being there seeing it (or suffering it).
No matter what the Boxer that we support. Spectating this fight of Giants is satisfaction enough. Do you have any other fighter you want to share with others? Throw it into the ring.