Mark Zuckerberg is trying to do what Google did with Android — but he learned all the wrong lessons

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Apple CEO Tim Cook (left), and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right)
Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Meta’s effort to construct the metaverse is a means to wrangle again management of client information from Apple, consultants say.
  • The try to achieve a aggressive benefit over Apple is harking back to Google’s effort to construct Android. 
  • Google’s effort paid off, but it is probably that Mark Zuckerberg learned the wrong lessons from latest historical past.  

Meta needs to wrangle control away from Apple.

The firm’s multi-billion dollar effort to construct the metaverse and its determination final 12 months to rebrand from Facebook to Meta is a means to reclaim management of client information from Apple’s clutches, consultants say. 

It’s comparable to why Google developed Android, but Mark Zuckerberg’s undertaking appears to miss one key ingredient that made Android a hit. 

Apple’s change messed with Facebook’s enterprise mannequin

Last 12 months, Apple modified its privateness coverage, making it tougher for Facebook to monitor and monetize its promoting. 

“Apple has essentially made Facebook’s returns revert to the mean because they removed a massive data source in terms of their access to app user data,” stated Mark Zgutowicz, a Meta analyst at Benchmark. 

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The change may come at a company-threatening price to Meta.

Over 95% of the firm’s income comes from cellular units, in accordance to Needham tech analyst Laura Martin. Meta’s COO advised traders that Apple’s new coverage would end in $10 billion of decrease income in 2022. 

“Meta’s goal is to replace Apple’s smartphone centrality in consumers’ lives,” Martin not too long ago wrote in a word to traders. 

Android vs. Metaverse

Google reportedly created Android greater than a decade in the past for the similar cause: to compete with Apple. 

In 2007, Google scrapped its deliberate first-iteration Android cellphone simply earlier than launch and redesigned it to appear like the sleeker first-generation iPhone, according to the e-book Dogfight, by journalist and writer Fred Vogelstein.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, was reportedly incensed by Google’s introduction of Android, which he believed to be an unlawful copy of the iPhone, reportedly calling it a “stolen product,” in accordance to Walter Isaacson’s 2011 e-book, Steve Jobs.

However, there’s one important distinction between Google’s try to escape Apple’s supremacy and Meta’s gambit: there was already proof of client demand for the product Google was allegedly duping. Apple had sold 1 million of its first-generation iPhones simply 74 days after its introduction.

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Google’s pivot paid off. Will Meta’s? 

Google noticed the place Apple was going and continued to develop its Android platform to match Apple’s iOS. The firm has additionally continued to invest in making its smartphones, a tool it is aware of individuals need.

Google’s guess paid off. Android is now the dominant mobile operating system worldwide. 

But Google was a quick follower; Meta’s pivot might be extra harmful as a result of it is investing in a largely untested product: the metaverse. 

“It’s a massively huge risk, and I think the primary risk is there are no tangibles right now,” Zgutowicz stated. 

Some analysts on Wall Street are skeptical Meta will pull this off. 

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“Even if the Metaverse does turn out to be the immersive hardware-based vision that Meta articulates, will Meta really be the winning hardware provider to consumers?” Martin requested in a latest word. 

While sticking to the previous enterprise mannequin beneath Apple’s new privateness regime would’ve probably price Facebook billions in misplaced promoting income, constructing a whole digital world from scratch does not precisely come low cost. 

Meta has reported more than $19 billion in losses from its metaverse enterprise unit since the begin of final 12 months, turning off many traders, together with one who wrote an open letter to Zuckerberg urging him to stem the losses. Meta’s inventory is down greater than 70% up to now this 12 months. 

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