In a world full of answers you start your journey by asking the right questions
Reading through the list it comes as no surprise to discover the Top 4 is Apple, Google, Microsoft and IBM. Nor is it a surprise to discover there are no Europeans in the Top 10 or that there are now more Asian Companies in the Top 50 than Europeans.
The Top 4 Europeans are Volkswagen, BMW, Nokia and Virgin. The Top 4 Asians are Toyota, LG, BYD and Sony. The back story to all this of course is the rise of Asian Innovation and how China is rapidly emerging to challenge the US as the world’s 21st Century innovation economy.
If we take a closer look at the list we discover that 31 out of the global Top 50 are operating in the Mobile Convergence landscape. 16 of these corporations are based in the US, 8 in Asia and 7 in Europe. This would clearly suggest that the MobCon is the primary focus of innovation in the world today.
The MobCon innovation market leaders in America today are of course the world leaders in Apple, Google & Microsoft. In Europe we have Nokia – who reportedly assigns about a third of its workforce to R&D – and in Asia there is LG, Sony and Samsung.
The innovation leaders for each of the 8 MobCon platforms are as follows. You can click on the link to see their MobCon radar discussed in more detail.
|Content||Sony (Asia) – 10|
|Social Media||Facebook (USA) – 48|
|Applications||Microsoft (USA) – 3|
|Devices||Apple (USA) -1|
|Pipes||Vodafone (Europe) – 38|
|Payments||JP Morgan (USA) – 39|
|Exchanges||Amazon (USA) -6|
|Advertising||Google (USA) -2|
As you can see Devices, Advertising, Content, Exchanges and Applications have rated highly in the survey but Pipes, Payments and Social Media have rated poorly. So I thought it would be interesting to map the MobCon radars of each of the Innovation Platform leaders on to a single MobCon radar to illustrate the relative strengths of their MobCon strategies.
As some of the platforms are more valuable than others I have mapped the relative ARPU of each platform in the center of the diagram and placed the individual radars of the industry leaders for each platform around the edges.
What I have been interested in over the last couple of years is the convergence of the various platforms, the variance in the value of the platforms, and the interesting idea that you don’t have to own the platform to be the profit leader of the platform.
As you can see in the Innovation Platform Leaders Radar it’s the Telecoms and Banking innovation leaders that are profiting from the highest ARPU’s but their cross-platform models are the least mature. The most mature cross Platform models are operated by Apple (Devices) and Google (Advertising).
What Google and then Apple have proven to the market over the past decade is you don’t need to own the Platform to profit from the Platform. What you need to do is use your platform as the primary gateway for others to profit from one or more of the other seven platforms.
The thing I find interesting about these lists is not so much the rankings but what the lists tell us about the survey group. For example what is it about Apple that the group found so innovative? Is it their products (e.g. the iPad) or is it the “supply side freemium” strategy that inspired Developers to create over 100,000 Apps for free? And what about IBM and Microsoft? Is it their ability to innovate and bring new revolutionary ideas to market that places them in the Top 5 or is it their ability to acquire other companies and rapidly merge them into the cultural mix that sets them apart? And to what extent does the list reflect the ongoing confusion in the Corporate World over branding and innovation. After all what revolutionary innovations have the 20th Century brand names of Coca Cola and Ford delivered to the market over the past 10 years to warrant a Top 50 spot in the 21st Century Innovation Race?