Google is undoubtedly the best known and most used search engine in the world, with perhaps the right exception of the very populous China and, more generally, part of the Asian block. We all know it as the virtual place to entrust our research, from the phone number of that restaurant that we like so much to the attempt to interpret the outcome of medical examinations to write our report even before we met the specialist (often generating unnecessary terrorism and taking incurable mistakes).
And then there’s Gmail, digital revolution that made the mail account free and with virtually unlimited space in exchange for that little offering that are our personal conversations, our mail, in short, our life. It’s the advertising business, baby.
And yet Google, as we know it, is evolving radically. Gradually becoming a closed system, the only way to survive in an increasingly competitive world. And if before the fight was Android vs. iOS, with Google and Samsung fighting side by side the battle of open source against Apple, today Samsung and Google have also taken increasingly divergent paths.
All three of them work on ecosystems, it goes without saying closed, that retain the customer thanks to a very pleasant digital prison that the user buys in installments: first a phone, then a Smart TV, now the tablet and, as Mina sang, then and then. Clearly Google can not, nor seems to have any intention of, stand by and watch.
All for one, all against all
All for one because their size is such that they are still indispensable to each other. So Samsung produces processors and displays for Apple iPhone, which uses Google Maps in its products (less and less while perfecting Apple Maps) and Google as the default search engine (while developing its own, just look at what it is doing with the new Spotlight), Google is in turn father, godfather and master of Android that Samsung uses for its devices (while working in Tizen to get away from the green robot).
All against all because everyone tries to enter the market segment of the other two and then close them off. An example among all those of Home Automation: Samsung buys SmartThings, home automation hub to connect our home and coordinate the various devices of Internet of Things, Google buys Revolv (SmartThings competitor) and Apple develops HomeKit and, it whispers, will soon turn Apple TV into the competitor of both. All three produce hardware to watch movies and music, some in the form of Smart TV, others producing a set top box like Chromecast or AppleTV, each with its own digital stores and competing to store the credit cards of its customers, with smartphones and tablets “branded” (iPhone, Galaxy, Nexus), with a great desire to win. Collaborating and fighting, depending on the fronts, often at the same time.
Business models that differ in tradition and culture but are increasingly overlapping. Some with a more industrial soul, some more digital. Increasingly pushed towards each other, increasingly overlapping. Will only one remain? Probably three, two gradually smaller and one always a bit ‘bigger, which will continue to grow until it is too big to be able to innovate and discover the side of the new and smaller Google, Apple or Samsung.
With good peace of mind of customers-users, fans, drawinians and Darwinists.