Apple and its frenemies

From the Wall Street Journal’s “Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. Call Them Tech Frenemies for Life.” ($) posted Saturday:

Once upon a time, Amazon only sold books, Apple sold computers, and Google was just a search engine. Those days are long gone, and each of those companies— as well as Microsoft and Facebook — has become a tech behemoth.

Big Tech’s critics say the industry’s giants wield too much power over the lives of internet users. The companies often argue in response that they face enormous competition, often from each other, and need to continue innovating to remain relevant.

The reality, as these charts show, is an interplay of collaboration and competition that helps to shape the extent and nature of Big Tech’s clout. And that interplay is evolving, as the companies increasingly encroach on one another’s turf to build and protect their dynasties.

My take: If you who have a digital subscription to the Journal, the interactive graphics on the full story will draw all the connections.

9 Comments

  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    Big tech & it’s “frenemies.” I once had a friend who stole stealthily a lucrative contract from me after my ex-wife (who ran operations in my absences) introduced my friend who stopped by our business to contractors with whom we did work. He did something I never would have done to him. He assumed afterwards that our relationship would remain the same, but I could not feel the previous level of trust with him going forward. Surprised at my reaction, my friend response to me bordered on dismay with his saying, “…. Come on Jerry D, it’s only business!” It was only business. Yet, what he did changed permanently that bosom buddy relationship we once had together. We became frenemies. That is when I truly learned the terminology. We continued our working relationship, but our days of hanging out, backyard barbecues and family weekend outings ended.

    5
    April 3, 2021
  2. David Emery said:
    I’m not sure what real -benefit- Apple accrues from FB. I doubt anyone buys an iPhone just to run FB.

    6
    April 3, 2021
    • Roger Schutte said:
      no, but some people would buy an Android phone if FB wasn’t in the Apple App Store.

      1
      April 3, 2021
      • David Emery said:
        Personally, I think anyone who touches FB from his/her phone is a fool. But I understand that not everyone has that perspective.

        It will be really interesting to see (a) how many people opt-in to FB tracking and then (b) what actions FB takes to those who do not opt-in.

        3
        April 3, 2021
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Hmmm. What does Apple think about? They care about UX, us investors, and their core values. The UX includes all the deep tech, the sw, the look and feel, and the supply/ISV ecosystem. Apple tries very hard to ensure that all their partners whether Foxconn or Facebook don’t violate their core values.

    Apple won’t look at this WSJ article to make decisions. Investors may find it useful for other investments.

    6
    April 3, 2021
  4. Winston Churchill said something to the effect that you’re not doing right in life if you’re not making enemies. If you stand up for what you believe in you’re going to make some enemies. It’s also prudent to keep enemies close, know what they’re up to. I cross the line & work with enemies every so often. I sometimes completed short training contracts for unfriendly foreign governments while overseas. It befuddles them, making it more difficult to hate me!

    4
    April 3, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      Gee, here I thought that quote was from my sergeant, “Sir, if you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not doing your job.” (Of course, that was his response to “Why are you always pissing me off?” He then added, “And of all the people I could piss off, you’re the person with the least risk.” I had to agree he was right about that….)

      7
      April 3, 2021
  5. S Lawton said:
    Just looking at the graphs, I seem to be getting a different interpretation than some of you. In the first graph, Apple is friends with Google and Amazon because it buys their services. Amazon and Google are enemies and Google and Microsoft are enemies because they directly compete with each other.Actually Amazon and Microsoft should be red as well. With videogames, Apple and Google and Apple and Microsoft are in direct competition but the others have symbiotic relationships with each other. Finally with newsgroups, they are enemies because of direct competition, with Amazon out of the loop by not participating.

    1
    April 3, 2021
  6. ‘“symbiotic” relationships. That’s the ticket. Ecosystems. Relationships with weight but responsibilities. Gotta do it clean & green and Apple returns as a customer. Often as their best customer. It works & suppliers really prefer it to vultures & crocodiles lookin’ for the best price.

    2
    April 3, 2021

Leave a Reply