There’s a lot going on lately in the tech news arena. What’s interesting to me is that several major consumer players are converging to become all things to their users. Good old soup to nuts makes a triumphant return.
Apple pioneered this model. They control every aspect of the user experience from the hardware all the way to the content display, and it’s becoming increasingly easy to get every piece of technology you want or need from Apple, just visit an Apple Store. They’ve been rumored to be developing a TV for years, and that makes more sense now than it did years ago.
For now, Apple is missing a social piece; iOS 5 includes deep Twitter integration, which could foreshadow future collaboration between the two.
Google looks to be getting into the hardware game with its proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Yeah, maybe this is just a patent purchase, but it seems like a lot to spend (in cash no less) for patents. The cash bit is interesting; given how low interest rates are currently, a solid company like Google can borrow at unheard of rates and keep its coffers flush with cash. Must be important to deplete the war chest.
Google Plus quietly added Games last week, further pushing its social layer into Facebook’s wheelhouse. Google also wants to replace your wallet, drive your car for you, provide virtual tours of exotic locations. What don’t they do?
Aside from a real hardware play, Google lacks polish. Most of its offerings are in beta, which translates to rough, but mostly working. Tough to compete with Apple when your stuff is constantly in beta and looks it.
Facebook just added movies from Miramax to the titles it offers from Warner Brothers. They’ve also recently added Top Gear episodes, and other content, like UFC preliminary bouts, are regularly streamed to Facebook viewers. Like it or not, people watch video on Facebook, and Facebook makes it easy to charge (with Facebook Credits) and analyze the viewers. Facebook has a goldmine of marketing data, and they know it.
Facebook doesn’t sport much outside their web presence, but their push into mobile, including Facebook phones, shows they want to become an integral part of people’s lives. Remember, that’s a lot of people (like 700 million) in nearly every country in the World.
Here’s an interesting thought from Nicholas Carlson, why not buy webOS from HP?
Facebook lacks key pieces, but they definitely seem to be willing to expand aggressively outside their sweet spot.
Amazon and Microsoft are also moving to capture more of the consumer’s experience.
So I guess the future holds more soup to nuts. Thoughts?