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Google, Microsoft 'challenged' vs. Apple, says Goldman Sachs

Google and Microsoft will face an increasingly dominant Apple in the coming years, a Goldman Sachs study says.

The iPad 4, iPad Mini, and iPhone 5. Loyalty to Apple is increasing in the age of multiple device ownership says Goldman Sachs.
The iPad 4, iPad Mini, and iPhone 5. Loyalty to Apple is increasing in the age of 'multiple device ownership' says Goldman Sachs.

Google and Microsoft will struggle to vend off Apple's smartphone-tablet juggernaut, according to a recent study by Goldman Sachs.

Titled "Clash of the titans," the 75-page study depicts Google and Microsoft as "challenged" in their bids to compete with Apple.

Some salient points made by Goldman Sachs, which based many of their findings on internal survey results:

  • Well positioned v. challenged: In the "context of platform adoption," companies that are defined as "well positioned" include Apple, Facebook, Samsung. Amazon is "straddling the line." Google and Microsoft are "challenged" in platform adoption.
  • Google: "Tablet share loss leads to smartphone share defection." Android tablet share (excluding the Kindle Fire) will drop to 21 percent next year from 33 percent this year. Android smartphone share will decline next year to 53 percent from 55 percent this year. "We ultimately see Google as trying to find a way to stay just as relevant in the new compute paradigm as it was during Web 1.0 and 2.0."
  • Microsoft: Market share of "total consumer compute" has fallen from 93 percent in 2000 to an expected 20 percent in 2012 due to smartphones and, more recently, tablets. Though Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 tablets will help the company "reclaim some share in coming years," the consumer PC market will be flat in 2013 and Microsoft "would have to sell roughly 5 Windows Phones or roughly two Windows 8 RT tablets to offset the loss of one traditional Windows PC sale."

Apple comes across in the report as a technological juggernaut that will be hard to stop.

Spending on complements (products or services that sit on top of the platform) is rising and Apple continues to lead, Goldman said.

"We believe loyalty to the company's ecosystem is only increasing and this should translate into continued growth going forward...In particular, we see the potential for Apple to capture additional growth as existing iOS users move to multiple device ownership."

With new devices such as the iPad mini and lower priced iPhones, Apple's market share in phones "has room to rise much further, and that its dominant tablet market share appears to be more resilient than most expect."