Magister Advisors, M&A advisors to the global technology industry, have said that the current fixation on different models of tablet devices is beside the point with the real battle taking place over the control of profitable ecosystems
The argument runs that hardware is simply a tool for enabling content, destined to become as prosaic an element of commercial transactions as the credit card. Apple is already showing signs of moving in this direction as its sales of content grow faster than total revenues.
Victor Basta, managing director of Magister Advisors, said: “Tablet wars are in fact no longer about hardware. The big prize is control of an entire, hugely profitable ecosystem. Devices are fast becoming irrelevant and are trending towards zero profit and beyond.
“Apple and Amazon have created incredibly profitable eco-systems using proprietary file formats that keep control over users, and they are able to amass and exploit valuable data on hundreds of millions of people. Even more, Apple and Amazon have credit card data for hundreds of millions of consumers and will own the hugely lucrative micropayments market in future.“
Conversely the likes of Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which lack a global credit-card user community, could suffer in future with Vest warning that Facebook could end up as a ‘legacy system’.