Mark Zuckerberg Is Trying To Do What Google Did With Android — But He Learned All The Wrong Lessons
According to experts, Meta's attempt to create Metaverse is one way to wrest control of consumer data from Apple.
Trying to gain a competitive edge over Apple is reminiscent of Google's pursuit of Android.
Google's efforts have paid off, but Mark Zuckerberg may have learned the wrong lesson from recent history.
Meta wants to wrest control from Apple.
Experts say the company's multibillion-dollar effort to build Metaverse and last year's decision to rename Meta from Facebook is one way to break Apple's control over consumer data.
This is similar to why Google created Android, but Mark Zuckerberg's project seems to have lost a key ingredient that made Android successful.
Apple change messed up Facebook's business model
"Apple essentially refocused Facebook's revenue because it removed the primary data source associated with accessing app user data," said Mark Zgutowicz, Benchmark's meta-analyst.
This move could pose a threat to Meta.
According to Needham technical analyst Laura Martin, more than 95% of the company's revenue comes from mobile devices. Meta's CEO has told investors that Apple's new policy will result in a $10 billion drop in sales in 2022.
"Meta's goal is to replace the centrality of Apple smartphones in consumers' lives," Martin wrote in a recent note to investors.
Android vs Metaverse
Google allegedly created Android over a decade ago for the same reason, to compete with Apple.
According to journalist and author Fred Vogelstein 's book Air Combat, in 2007 Google scrapped its first planned version of the Android phone just before launch and redesigned it to look like the first generation iPhone.
According to Walter Isaacson, in 2011 Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, would have been shocked by the introduction of Google's Android, which he believed was an illegal copy of the iPhone. from a Steve Jobs book and called it a "stolen product".
However, there is a fundamental difference between Google's attempt to evade Apple's dominance and the meta scene. There was already data on consumer demand for a product that Google allegedly misled. Apple sold 1 million of its first generation iPhones just 74 days after launch.
Google's pivot paid off. Throw it?
Google saw where Apple was heading and designed its Android platform to match Apple's iOS. The company also continues to invest in its smartphones, devices it knows people need.
Google's bet paid off. Android is the dominant mobile operating system in the world today.
But Google has been a quick follower. The meta hub can be even more dangerous because they are investing in a virtually untested product, the metaverse.
"It's a big risk, and I think the biggest risk is that there are no concrete things at this stage," Zgutovich said.
Some Wall Street analysts are skeptical about what the Meta will do.
“Even if Metaverse turns out to be Meta’s hardware vision, will Meta really be the winner among consumer hardware vendors?” Ask Martin in a recent post.
While Facebook has likely lost billions in ad revenue sticking to its old business model under Apple's new privacy regime, building an entire virtual world from scratch isn't cheap.
Since the beginning of last year, Meta has posted more than $19 billion in losses for its Metaverse business unit, shocking many investors, including one who wrote an open letter to Zuckerberg urging him to stem the losses. Meta shares are down over 70% this year.
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