The Ambitions of the World’s 5 Most Powerful Tech Giants

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Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon. These five tech companies – or rather, tech giants – have a far-reaching influence on the lives of millions of Americans and consumers across the globe. Today, each has its corporate eye set on higher pursuits. Whether it’s experimenting with virtual reality, acquiring competitors, or taking a bite out of the music streaming industry, these five multibillion-dollar companies are fighting for first place in the lives of their customers. But not one of them is immune to struggles.

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Power and Influence by the Numbers

Five tech giants have broken many records, from having the highest number of downloads and market valuation to boasting an astronomical number of active users.

Facebook

Facebooks’ market value is $600 billion, and its advertising revenue is $28.17 billion. As of 2017, it laid claim to 2 billion users, and three of its products are used by 1 billion monthly users.

Google

Google boasts a market value of $830 billion. Its search engine has 86.87% of the world’s market share as of October 2017. Some 19 billion downloads occur on Google Play, and its YouTube service has 1.5 billion monthly active users as of June 2017.

Apple

The computer giant has a $1 trillion market valuation. Its Mac Business software has a $25 billion run rate. Americans like the company – 64% of Apple product owners come from the U.S. As of 2017, there were 100 million active Mac users.

Microsoft

The other computer juggernaut has an estimated $800 billion market valuation. As of March 2018, it boasts $7.9 billion in cloud sales. Their Microsoft Office 365 product is used by 120 million business users as of October 2017. 2017 also saw some 400 million users actively using Windows 10.

Amazon

Amazon also has a market valuation marked at $1 trillion. 76% of online consumers shop on the site, and 57% of Amazon searchers buy on the platform. 19% of Amazon Pro merchants also make around $1 million in annual sales.

Even the High and Mighty Struggle

The view from the top may be grander, but the responsibilities and struggles these companies may face are also magnified.

Facebook is reeling from data breach scandals. Cambridge Analytica collected personally identifiable info on almost 90 million Facebook users. While they launched an ad campaign saying it “will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy,” they quickly lost $80 billion in market value

Apple is seeing user passion wane. Less than 40% of users would care “very much” if Apple ceased to exist. Their recent innovation of removing the headphone jack was roundly criticized, and it cost them potential business. 70% of Android users surveyed cited the lack of headphone jack as the main reason why they won’t switch to iOS.

Google is not immune to struggles, as they’re paying fines left and right. The European Commission fined the giant for $5 billion in July 2018 for “unfairly pushing its apps on smartphone users and thwarting competitors.” They were also fined $2.8 billion for giving its shopping service search priority over competitors.

Amazon is also struggling with its fresh grocery service. While it’s known for having excellent customer service, it’s not been able to maintain this reputation through grocery deliveries. This inconsistency is causing Amazon Prime member to question the company’s service promises.

Compared to the other four’s issues, Microsoft is soaring high. The company isn’t dealing with any major fines, data privacy snafus, or customer loyalty struggles.

Aiming Higher

Despite their struggles, the ambitions of the world’s five most powerful tech giants are aiming higher and exploring uncharted territory.

Facebook and Augmented Reality

Facebook’s AR platform will turn an ordinary building into a virtual street art installation. High-powered graphics will also turn everyday objects into “otherworldly experiences.” The platform is set to deliver accessibility to experiences normally too expensive in the real world.

Google and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Google’s AI efforts are driven by the realization that computers should adapt to how people live their lives. Google’s automated Gmail responses have seen usage rates reach beyond 12 percent, while YouTube’s machine-learning-powered recommendation engine serves users with videos based on prior viewing habits, which increases viewership by an average of 60 minutes per day per year.

Apple and Experience Economy

Apple’s inviting customers to visit its retail locations to partake in “Today at Apple” sessions, which not only teaches customers to use its tech but also encourages art, music, photography, and design exploration. Customers are also encouraged to visit town square-like “Genius Groves,” which are designed to be a community-building gathering space.

Amazon, Banking, and Finance

Amazon’s partnering with Bank of America for its merchant lending program. It already offers several financial services including Amazon Pay, Amazon Lending, and Amazon Cash. Because the company’s been named the most trusted tech company and boasts over 100 million Prime customers it’s in a unique position to start offering checking accounts.

Microsoft and Blockchain

In May 2018, Microsoft announced the Azure Blockchain Workbench, a set of tools for developers to create blockchain applications within days instead of months. Rather than designing its own blockchain platform, the company is realizing opportunities that exist in assisting developers. The company is currently open to partnerships with organizations to advance the Workbench’s capabilities.

Five companies are shaping the future of tech and its role in consumers’ lives, innovating and growing despite serious stumbles and missteps. These five companies are Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft.