Courtesy of Google and Apple

Complacency is a trap that many luxury real estate marketing professionals fall into when they attain market leadership.  This offers an excellent opportunity for competitors to pick up the slack and surpass the current market leader, especially if they have a superior grasp of technology. Staying on top of the latest technology and becoming a master of social media is now an imperative if you wish to sustain your market leadership.position. Otherwise, an unlikely competitor can suddenly challenge your domain.

Here is an example of how Google is challenging Apple, the current market leader in smart phones (iPhone) and tablet commuters (iPad).

On August 3, 2009 Dr. Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google, resigned from Apple’s Board of Directors because Google entered some of Apples core businesses.  With Android (Google’s smart phone platform) and Chrome (Google’s browser-based Operating System) Apple faces direct competition for the iPhone, the iPad, and even Apple TV. 

Google TV claims to finally integrate TV and the web, so you can spend less time searching for content and more time watching it.  Google TV will work with your current paid TV subscription as well as the majority of video content online, making it easy and seamless to switch between the two.

What is behind all of these moves by Google? In a word, it is Ads!  Yes, Google is a technology company, but its economic driver is advertising revenue. People watch an average of five hours of TV per day.   TV ads amount to $70 billion per year.  There are over 4 billion TV users worldwide vs. 1 billion PC owners.

That is why Google wants to reach beyond your desktop and laptop. It wants to dominate the delivery of ads on all of your devices while you are on the go, and also while you are in your living room. In fact, you soon will be able to sync up all of your devices that operate on Android/Chrome as well as your computers, because Chrome operates over the web not in the hard drive of your computer.

If Google’s wish could come true, all device manufacturers (other than Apple) would use Android/Chrome as their platform so it can serve up more ads.  They also profit share with all of the developers who create mobile and TV Apps (software applications) that consumers can purchase at their store.

Apple has a head start with the most number of Apps available for the iPhone and iPad. But, Android is gaining momentum.  Google supports both Adobe Flash (the most widely used video format) and HTML-5. Apple only supports HTML-5.

Schmidt is positioning Google as being “open and all inclusive” vs. dictatorial and closed, like Apple. Steve Jobs has consistently positioned Apple as a leader in sophisticated design and innovation, a cut above the rest. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will Apple be able to sustain its market leadership position in smart phones and tablet computers? Time will tell. But, you can count on the fact that Apple is not being complacent.


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