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It’s unanimous that Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google dominate the online world yet according to panelists at the Techonomy Conference, Apple and Facebook are particularly vulnerable.
One of the panelists, known as Alec Ellison, the chairman of technology investment banking at Jefferies & Company, has criticized Apple, in saying that the company must continue to come up with cool new products if it wants to remain in the lead. Alternatively, the other three namely Facebook, Amazon and Google won’t lose much ground even if they don’t come up with innovative products.
He also said that the Apple Store, which is a key advantage now, might work against them in the near future and likened it to the example of IBM stores that only became a “big drain” when product momentum slowed down. Citing these reasons, he also went as far as to say that Apple has the least “stickiness” with customer compared to the other three.
As for Facebook, Mark Mahaney, a former analyst at Citi, Mark Zuckerberg remains a big question mark as he has only spent time with Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick but very little with anyone else. Hence, the question mark as it doesn’t reveal how good executives really are for the next 5 to 10 years.
He also said that Facebook’s margins are very high and they should switch to ‘investment mode’ as soon as possible. Also, one area that Facebook hasn’t invested sufficiently enough has been mobile where, due to HTML5, their mobile apps have significant technical issues while it took them far too long to come out with an iPad app.
Also, the analyst, Mahaney also said that in the next few years another big online player will emerge, thanks to using a technology that isn’t economic yet.
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