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Apple, Amazon and Google Go After Business Customers

To compensate for slower consumer growth?

(L) Google is hawking digitized eyewear. (R) The iPhone 5s Photo: Getty Images

After years of triumph in the consumer marketplace, tech giants Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc. are boosting efforts to court the business sector.

Bloomberg reported that Apple, which expects business clients to account for at least 15 percent of Apple's profits by 2016, is upgrading its iOS operating system with management tools. The company expects to boost business sales further through a recent deal with International Business Machines Corp.

Amazon is courting the business buyer too. The online retailer expects this group to generate 10 percent of its sales by decade's end. Google, meanwhile, is busy hawking its digitized eyewear, Glass, to various companies. It's now offering unlimited storage space to businesses. And both firms recently cut cloud-computing prices for corporate clients.

The global research company IHS Inc. predicts corporate tech-spending will top $1.6 trillion during 2014—a trend that has stirred the three companies into a business-courtship frenzy with the likes of Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp., according to Bloomberg.

However, this newfound emphasis on the business sector could be a way of compensating for dwindling gains on the consumer end, where current fiscal-year growth is down 40 percent for Apple and 5 percent for Amazon when compared with 2012 figures.

Apple and Google shares are up 25 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, while Amazon's have dropped 16 percent. 

Commenting on the situation to Bloomberg, IDC analyst Danielle Levitas told Bloomberg that companies such as Apple, Amazon and Google need to "broaden their revenue base [because when] too many fish [have saturated one pond] you need another place to play."

Nonetheless, the three companies are holding strong in terms of brand value, with Google and Apple claiming the top-two spots on the latest BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study.
 

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