13 June 2012 14:15

How iOS 6 will hurt Google, Facebook, Skype et al

The release of a new iPhone/iPad operating system is rarely a cause for much excitement, as they tend to offer only incremental improvements rather than the quantum leaps that often accompany new hardware launches. However, this time it is different. Apple's new iOS 6 has a number of new features and enhancements that could significantly affect a wide range of companies across the tech sphere. In this excerpt from Peter Bo Kiaer's Equity Theme on TradingFloor, he explains how these changes could have a negative effect on various tech firms:

"Apple versus Google
In the new iOS 6 there are three distinct features which will make life harder for Google.

First, Siri is constantly being improved and this time there is a leap forward again. On the face of it some improvements look harmless, but in the total picture it adds up.

Siri is becoming the Apple search engine. Now that is something to notice, as search is Google's core business. It is from Google's user search that knowledge is created, and directed ads can be posted or specific searches can be promoted - of course for a small payment.

Secondly, iOS 6 replaces Google Maps with Apple maps. Having 3D and super-sharp maps and on top of this driving or walking directions is a divorce from Google. This is not just a map. Maps and your positioning is a big thing and combining these things is worth money.

Apple also takes a stab at Google+, Google's perennial bridesmaid of a social media service. A closer relationship with Facebook or at least the higher integration between Apple and Facebook on contacts, calendar etc. further closes the coffin on Google+. On top of this the integration of the Like-feature into iTunes and AppStore is also a big "like" for Facebook and snub to Google+.

Last but not least, Apple's introduction of the newPassbook is taking a step further towards making the phone a means of payment, territory previously trod by Google Wallet. The Passbook solution here is that you are have prepaid tickets, gift cards or something like it and you redeem it using your Apple phone. But looking ahead this could (and probably is) the first step towards unlocking the NFC (Near Field Communication) that makes a phone into a wallet. Since May 2011 Google Wallet has used NFC via apps, and their attempt to take a big chunk of this payment form has now Apple running just behind them.

Apple versus Facebook
I've just mentioned the positive side of what Facebook gets out of the latest release. But it is not all friendly. Apple introduces the Shared Photo Stream, where it is easy to share pictures with people you choose, and people who don't have an Apple device can actually also see the pictures. Apple is fully aware of the need to ring fence users and one ideal method is storing and sharing precious items for users, like personal pictures. Facebook knows this all too well and the USD1bn investment in Instagram shows Mark Zuckerbergs emphasis on this. This is a knock to Facebook but not yet a blow.  

Apple versus Skype
A drawback in Apple's Facetime video conferencing service has been the need to access via WiFi, since it could not be used via regular cell coverage.  But this will change now and Facetime can be used anywhere and anytime. This is a needed improvement, and will bite a bit of Skype's cake. It will probably not be detrimental to Skype, since as at the moment you still need a partner with iOS at the other end. Skype does not care what system you call from.

Apple versus Garmin
Garmin (GRMN) had a hard time on the stock exchange while Tim Cook was on stage elaborating on the Map functionalities. The stock declined by 9% as the maps in iOS 6 are free and offer pretty much what Garmin gets paid for. Garmin has other products than just car directions but these are also under pressure,as the both iPhone and Android can compete via Bluetooth. Garmin is not going to have an easy path going forward.

At the same notice how important the being "in" or "out" situation is. Apple has chosen to use map data from TomTom (TOM2) and by this TomTom secures a revenue stream as they are "in" and the stock rose 13%."

For more on this topic visit Tradingfloor

Comments

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#2 | Wednesday 26 Feb (11:08)
Since the first iPhone was launched in 2007, I guess YouTube has always been prominently featured as a built-in iOS application. Over the years Google's Android has been catching up to iOS in market share and quality. Thank you for sharing.
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