On Android and Frenemies

Has Google inadvertently empowered its rivals–and created new ones?

platformIn its quest to kill Apple, has Google inadvertently empowered its rivals–and created new ones?

We know that Google has created a monster in Samsung. Giving away Android has certainly hurt Apple, but what are the other consequences of the move? Now add in Facebook Home. I’m wondering if Larry Page now thinks that Android has become a bit too open?

In the book, I write about the notions of coopetition and frenemies. Nowhere is this more evident than how Android is playing out.

Simon Says

In the Age of the Platform, understand that the competitive landscape changes very quickly. New threats emerge in the course of dealing with existing ones. Hurting one competitor may embolden and strengthen another.

There is no simple solution.

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philanimated

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1 Comment

  1. Justin Amendola

    Interesting thought, Phil. For me, it comes back to how Google powers its economic engine. Android has remained true to Google’s software-based ad revenue play.

    By gathering more data (across multiple screens) than anyone else, Google maintains its leadership position in the lucrative online ad business. No matter what happens in the foreseeable future, that revenue source will continue to determine Google’s performance. Owning the dominant mobile OS and desktop browser won’t hurt their ability to track and deliver advertising on-network and off.

    Much of the other stuff – including forays into hardware – will be static that a growing giant takes on because it has huge sums of cash on its balance sheet and wants to reinvest in the business.

    Many of those businesses may pan out and start contributing big revenue, but Google’s moves to date with Android appear (to me) to come back to its core advertising and data strategy.

    Reply

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