Despite winning the mobile platform battle against Apple, Google may have ultimately lost the war by focusing on the wrong battle. While Google dominates mobile with Android, its $50 billion advertising business is in serious jeopardy as content becomes app-ified. By focusing on a platform for native apps, while essentially ignoring HTML5, Google may have helped to prop up a market that is somewhat immune to Google’s search technology.
The Web Plays Second Fiddle To Native Apps
I use Google constantly on my phone, looking up answers to questions, translations, dictionary definitions and more. But I’m the exception to the rule, a rule that says people spend far more time with mobile apps than the mobile Internet. As recent Nielsen data shows, we spend the vast majority of our time with apps, not the mobile web, when using our devices:
Given Google’s dominance of the mobile operating system market, it’s easy to forget that Google sits atop a $50 billion advertising business that depends upon its ability to index content and advertise against that content. In a mobile world that is more fixated on apps than the web, however, Google has a problem, as The Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler highlights: