The holiday season has already begun. People around the world celebrate these days annually, do a lot of shopping, and buy stuff to gift their loved ones. But this Halloween may not be as scary for the people as it is for the big techs. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple are already facing threats that could seriously knock them off. Here are few of those threats and how could they haunt the big players.
Facebook, being the leader of all the social media platform, is facing threat from its very own users. Facebook is the pioneer of social media revolution and used by billions to share their ideas across the world. But unfortunately, it has also provided a platform to those who promote hate speech. In turn, it is also becoming a space for hate speakers’ audience. This is not only going to turn off its core users but also lower its revenues by bouncing advertisers.
The Facebook administration understood it too late that how important it is to govern a platform of billions of users. Its regulation was important in keeping it alive but it seems it is too late to turn things around now.
It is not just the hate speech or the recent election scandal that has brought Facebook this reputation. There were cries of fake news and videos of violence like public beheadings, live suicides, and bullying that went viral. One wonders why weren’t there any checks or filters which allowed fake news to make it through. And all this happened despite the fact that other inappropriate posts like pornography were successfully kept away from the platform for years. The recent news of data breach and account compromises have further eroded its credibility as a reliable platform. Its future now rests in the hand of the very community that uses it and many now think about how often they should use it.
About 20 years back, Google created its ad-supported search. It has brought Google billions of revenues but it seems the tech giant’s next challenge is its heaviest revenue earner. Alphabet reported the changing consumers’ product search behavior and its impact on the ad-supported search of Google. For the first time, it reported a decline in prices it charged its advertisers. Simultaneously, it also increased the cost of playing partners to distribute its search engine. For that matter, it owes $9 billion to Apple alone.
Although Google’s ad business has shown an increase in the number of clicks on the Google ads, there has been a 26% decline in prices charged to advertisers. This decline has been due to the shift of inventory to the mobile devices thus reducing the conversion number for Google ads. But the worrying part is, that this trend could continue, resulting in further revenue loss to Google.
Of course, Google is trying to counter this threat to its core business, but changing trends in the voice commerce are further going to dictate how consumers search and buy for things online. Perhaps Google Assistant has an answer to this.
Apple, the first company to achieve trillion-dollar mark, an icon of mobile innovation, and revered by its loyal customers is no more loved by its customers at the rate they once did.
iPhone upgraded cycle is witnessing a decline of more than 50%. If an iPhone user updated his device every 21 months, this time has now stretched to 31 months on average. It adds almost a year in the purchase cycle of the user. And if this upgrade cycle keeps stretching, it can touch the mark of three years.
One reason behind this is the iPhone have become very expensive. Its recent top-of-the-line iPhone X MAX is just shy of $1500 with everything. While the iPhone 8 stands at a hefty $900. Consumers are also clinging to their old iPhones because they do not see enough innovation to jump from the previous model to the newer one. Moreover, the iOS updates give its users new features on older handsets without paying a penny more.
Not every iPhone user feels compelled to buy the expensive new iPhone for an upgraded camera. For many of them, the extra money they spend is not worth the quality they get in return. With its sales declining, Apple has set its sights on its cheaper iPhone XR. But market analysts doubt that new iPhone XR will be a big seller this holiday season. Because many users have bought a pricey iPhone X just a year back, why would they settle for a downgrade?
This expanding upgrade cycle of Apple is also causing it to lose its market share. It has lost its place to the Chinese manufacturers and now slipped to third place worldwide. So Apple is facing a great paradox: The consumers that made it the best-selling mobile phone company, want to hang onto them for as long as they can.