Apple vs. Netflix: Why turf wars are flaring in big tech

Apple is taking on Netflix. Facebook is edging into Amazon’s sphere with its e-commerce plan. And that’s not all.

Apple’s latest move into streaming video illustrates an escalating trend: Tech’s biggest companies, faced with limits to their growth, are encroaching on each other’s turf.

Apple is taking on Netflix. Facebook is edging into Amazon’s sphere with its e-commerce plans. Google, which has already challenged Amazon and Microsoft in cloud computing, is launching an online game service that could undercut the lucrative game-console business at Microsoft and Sony.

Apple, which is also launching a gaming service and introducing its own credit card , may be veering the most outside its comfort zone, technology industry analyst Rob Enderle said.

“This is an awful lot of breadth really quickly for a company that hasn’t been known for being great at breadth,” Enderle said. “This is much more diversity than Apple’s ever had.”

Before, when the company’s product suite grew too varied, “what Steve Jobs did with Apple was, he made the company focus,” Enderle said.

These are different times, however, and Apple may have decided that it doesn’t have much choice amid declining sales of its premier product, the iPhone.

READ MORE: The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

“They have kind of bled the device market dry,” said Sally Edgar, of UK-based technology consultancy Waterstons. “Companies will increasingly be about subscription services. I think they have to do it to survive.”

Tech companies, of course, have explored new markets and fought turf battles over them for years.

Facebook and Google have long scrapped over digital ads. Google and Amazon are battling it out over voice assistants in the home. Google and Microsoft have competing search engines. And Apple and Google have waged an epic smartphone battle for roughly a decade.

But longtime tech industry analyst Tim Bajarin sees new urgency in the latest push into streaming services and other businesses that bring in continuous flows of money — not just when consumers make big investments in new phones or other hardware.

“It’s just becoming clearer today that the only way a company is going to grow is by adding a recurring revenue model,” Bajarin said. “Apple is becoming an aggregator of content. They now have multiple services that will help them grow their bottom line.”

Enderle said Apple is still in the “honeymoon phase” after a Monday announcement at its Cupertino, California, headquarters. Apple brought out new A-list entertainment partners such as Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg and video game partners such as the creators of “SimCity” and the “Final Fantasy” series. What happens next may be harder for the company to manage.

“It always looks great on the front end and then you have to execute,” he said.

Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trial date set in Castlegar RCMP shooting death

Constable Jason Tait has elected a jury trial.

Drive-in theatre proposed for Grand Forks

City councillors will vote next month on whether to permit the use of the private property

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Six homes ordered to evacuate early Tuesday morning in Grand Forks due to flooding

Two of the six were put on evacuation alert Monday evening

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Most Read