The Macalope Daily: Not a fair fight

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

People like to talk about the big three technology companies—Apple, Microsoft and Google—like three equals, locked in a titanic struggle against one another. But let’s face it, some of the combatants in this fight are more equal than others.

Google’s a very successful company, but its revenue last quarter was still only about three-quarters of Apple’s revenue.

Oh, wait, did the Macalope say “revenue”? Because he meant “profit.” (Again, the Macalope is required by law to say “Zing!” It’s not a thing he really wants to do; he is, however, required by law to do it, you see.)

Google does have a hit operating system, but it can’t seem to figure out how to make much money from it. While Apple made $24.4 billion in iPhone revenue last quarter, Larry Page has previously said that Google makes about a tenth of that in mobile ad revenue every quarter.

Oh, wait, did the Macalope say “quarter”? He meant “year.”

(Encore un fois, le “Zing!”)

If that zinger wasn’t enough for you, remember that when last we heard, two-thirds of Google’s mobile ad business comes from iOS devices. The Macalope knows he’s gone through this before, but with Apple’s new numbers (Google doesn’t generally give any indication as to how much Android is making them) the comparison between the two companies almost isn’t fair. Apple made $24.4 billion in iPhone revenue last quarter, while Google most likely made something south of half a billion on Android.

It’s almost like they’re not in the same league. Although, very few companies are in Apple’s league in terms of numbers.

So, what about the quality of management? Eh, not so much there, either.

Take a look at the history of patent-related business moves made by Google last year. After being invited to join Apple, Microsoft, and RIM in the group acquiring the Nortel patents, Google decided to make hi-larious counter-bids of numbers such as pi, Brun’s constant, and the Meissel-Mertens constant.

Get it?! The Meissel-Mertens constant?! Huh?! Anybody? No? Was that mathematicians convention supposed to be in this crowd, or…

The Macalope’s not as familiar with math nerd numbers as Google is, but it doesn’t really matter, because what the company ended up with was a little number the horny one likes to call bupkis. This, as MG Siegler points out, meant they more or less had to run out and—like trying to buy a generator when the power is out—spend too much on Motorola.

Good one, dudes.

It’s truthfully taken the Macalope himself a while to come to this conclusion, but the best way to describe this fight sometimes seems like “big guy puts hand on little guy’s head while little guy flails away at him futilely.”

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon