Blogger and longtime reporter on the tech scene Mike Elgan has a provocative column at Cult of the Mac about Apple and Google. Elgab argues that the two companies have more in common that is generally recogonized and would be better off as friends than enemies, or in current parlance "frenemies."
Business is biology. In nature, species trying to occupy the same ecological niche become rivals. For example, when Asian Carp invade the Great Lakes, they endanger indigenous fish because they eat the same food and consume the same resources. But when one species of fish eats worms, and another eats bugs, they’re not rivals even if they’re sharing a lake. And, in fact, this is the case with Apple and Google, for the most part.
The “resources” in question are sources of revenue. Apple makes its money by selling integrated hardware-software products, and also from the service of facilitating content distribution (they get a third of the money you spend on iOS apps, for example). Apple also sells software. A very tiny percentage of Apple’s revenues comes from advertising.
Google, on the other hand, makes about 97 percent of its revenue from advertising. The company makes essentially nothing from hardware, relatively little from app distribution, hardly anything from software.
-CultofMac.com, July 30, 2011
I'm not sure I agree. Consumer dollars are actually a single, fungible ecosystem. Cable television and broadcast networks started out with seemingly complementary business models but now find themselves fighting tooth and nail over splitting the total pie of advertising and subscription revenue. Further thoughts?