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Earlier this year we reported that Facebook makes Apple more nervous than any other competitor out there.Predictably, our commenters howled, saying there’s no way Apple should worry about Facebook. “This is absurd nonsense,” nicely summed up the criticism of our post.
After watching today’s presentation from Mark Zuckerberg, it should be clear why Facebook is a big threat to Apple in the long run.
Facebook established its platform to rival iOS, as opposed to merely being a social network. Granted, this has been happening for a while with Facebook, but now it’s crystal clear.
Zuckerberg heavily promoted the applications being built to run inside of Facebook. Netflix and Spotify stood out in particular. When their CEOs stood on stage talking about how Facebook would increase their user base, and increase sales, it was a lot like when developers are on stage at Apple’s developer conference talking about building applications for iOS.
With more media and gaming applications working right inside Facebook, it means less reason to use Apple’s ecosystem.
Unlike Android, another platform that rivals Apple, Facebook is building something that is universally accessible through the web. It may not be HTML5 ready today, but it will be soon enough. Once it can run in any browser, all it will take is a cheap tablet or smartphone with a decent browser to provide a rival to Apple’s products.
We’re not saying Facebook will beat Apple. Apple is a very smart, very well-run company. But, if you were to look at the tech landscape and pick one company that should make it nervous, it would be hard to argue for anyone else. Google’s Android platform is doing well, but it’s largely following Apple’s lead. Microsoft is dying, and even if it wasn’t, Apple has figured out how to succeed while Microsoft dominates.
Facebook with its heavy emphasis on social features, a young visionary leader, and 800 million monthly users presents a bigger, stranger challenge than anyone out there.
Yes, Apple still makes its money one hardware sales, but those hardware sales are driven by Apple’s superior software. If Facebook can produce a better software experience — and that’s a big if — it will provide a huge threat to Apple in the next five years.
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