Which Companies Have the Most to Fear From Google

This year’s Google I/O was spectacular! The company reveal many wonderful products and services, and the most popular was Project Glass, ofcourse. Google announced a new version of Android, dubbed Jelly Bean, which brings a lot of improvements over Ice Cream Sandwich, Nexus Q – a Android-powered media streamer, Nexus 7 – A pure Android tablet running Jelly Bean and priced only at $199, and more. Google has entered new spaces and upped the ante with many long-term competitors, and here’s my view at the risk impact from Google’s announcements on various competitors’ products:

Apple – Mild: Android Jelly Bean has tons of improvements over it’s predecessor, and offers much features than what Apple’s new version of iOS, iOS6 has. It’s lightning fast, even more smarter and feature-rich. While iPad is still holding most of the tablet market share, a well thought-up tablet like the Nexus 7 will surely attract lots of people, as it offers better specs for less than half the price of the cheapest iPad 3.

Microsoft – Mild: Microsoft didn’t announce detailed specs or price of the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets. people at the event were not allowed to touch the tablets too.  Google announced the price and the shipping date of Nexus 7 at it’s conference and also gave it away it all the attendees. Fortunately for Microsoft, many businesses and consumers still love Windows and are stuck with legacy systems so there isn’t much to fear. But things could take an ugly turn for Microsoft, anytime, if it doesn’t play it’s cards well.

Amazon – High: Nexus 7 is totally aimed at gobbling up all the share which Kindle Fire has acquired over the past 6 months. The Nexus 7 has better specs, similar form factor and it looks stylish. It’s price is same as Kindle Fire, and it runs Android’s newest version, Jelly Bean. Amazon will be releasing an update version of Kindle Fire sometime in July, so we’ll have to revisit this when that happens

Yelp – High: In Jelly Bean, Google is now using reviews directly from Google properties, like Zagat and not relying on organic search results. This produces a better consumer experience, but it’s bad for Yelp. Google has also expanded its places API to allow developers to access Google reviews in their apps.

Facebook – Low: The biggest threat to Facebook is Google+ Events. I think the new Party Mode feature will drive users to shift their photo uploading to Google+. Very unlikely, but possible. It will be an even bigger threat to Facebook  if Google enables interactions using phone calls, texts and IM, to develop its own social graph automatically.

Shazam – High: Google has now integrated a feature in the Music app which can recognize songs playing on the radio, eliminating the need of downloading Shazam.

Sonos – Low: Google’s new media streamer, Nexus Q, directly competes with Sonos music system in a lot of ways. For $299, you can get the Sonos Play 3, which comes with speakers and can also connect with iOS and Android devices, as well as PCs too.

Roku – Low: Ruki offers a similar easy-to-use media streaming device for lesser price than Nexus Q. They’re great and Nexus Q is too expensive to be a meaningful threat.

Telnav – High: Apple dropped it’s dependence on Telnav for turn-by-turn directions and Google did the same with Jelly Bean by automatically generating directions and traffic estimates, and it’s better in execution.

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