Is Apple a technology company? Yes. Our favorite Mac maker designs both hardware and software and integrates their products into a complex ecosystem of bookstore, media store, app store and services for their customers.
What about Google and Amazon? Are they modern technology companies, too?
Google is an advertising company. True, they have a proprietary technology in their search engine, but the company’s revenue and profits come from advertising. Even the Nexus line of smartphones and tablets are mostly off-the-shelf technology designed and constructed on a contract basis, and made as cheaply as possible.
Google simply orders the parts from various manufacturers and the products are not designed and marketed to make money by direct sale, but by usage. Google’s products are made to display advertising, and extract user data, which is then sold to advertisers.
Google is an advertising company, not a technology product giant, although that’s not reflected in the company’s stock price; amazingly high considering that the company’s revenue model teeters on a single chair leg.
On the other hand, Amazon is merely a modern, digitally equipped mail order company. How does Amazon’s online technology differ from any other company which has a website and sells products?
True, Amazon is huge and sells more products than any big box retail store. Other than scale, what’s so special about their technology? How does it differ from hundreds or thousands of other companies which sell their wares online?
Amazon is nothing more than a big online store that sells a lot of everything in an extremely efficient manner. It’s not a technology product giant, and not even profitable, although that fact seems to escape stock market pundits who continue to pump up the company’s stock price. Still, Amazon’s revenue model teeters on a single chair leg.
Wait. What about the Kindle?
Does anyone seriously believe that Amazon has the same technology chops as Apple which designs hardware and software and integrates an incredibly complex ecosystem that spans the world?
Please. Let’s be serious. As with any business that sells products online, Amazon uses technology, but shouldn’t be considered a technology company. They sell gadgets and clothing and operate more like an online mashup of Radio Shack, Walmart, and a drug store chain.
As to the Kindle, it uses a Frankedroid version of Google’s Android OS, which, itself is simply a mobile version of Linux. Where’s the proprietary technology in Kindle? The tablets themselves use off-the-shelf parts cobbled together by whatever Far East supplier that gets the lowest bid into Amazon.
Amazon and Google should be called out for what they truly are and not compared to real technology companies. The former is a big store that sells some of everything. The latter is an advertising company with a search engine.