Who Wins And Loses With iOS 6
Chad is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Though Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced that iOS 6 won't be out until fall, there are a lot of people (like myself) that checked out all of the new features yesterday once Apple posted the details to their web site. There are some clear winners and losers in the changes that Apple is making. Let me walk you through some of the major changes and who I think benefits and loses out with each feature update.
This is probably the most discussed feature and it really is pretty straightforward. Apple decided it could do maps better than Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). Clearly Google's Android system and their update of Google Play (aka. iTunes for Android) hasn't set well with Apple. The fact that users will be able to get turn-by-turn navigation that's spoken, and updated in real time, is a huge deal. The other clear loser in this change is Garmin (GRMN). It's real simple, I have a Garmin navigation device and come this fall our family won't use it anymore, we will use my wife's iPhone. I'm sure we aren't the only ones, and this is something the company should have seen coming. As smartphone adoption becomes more prevalent, turn-by-turn directions will become a standard feature. This solves the same problem the iPhone originally did. Customers won't have to mess with multiple devices. Back then it was combining the cell phone and the iPod, now Apple is also combining those two with a navigation unit.
The fact that Siri is coming to the iPad shouldn't be a surprise. However, there were a few subtle changes that were surprises and they directly impact a few companies. The first change was movie showtimes and reviews. See if you can follow the trail here: when a user askes about movies, Siri will use Rotten Tomatoes, which is a subsidiary of Flixster, which is a segment of Warner Bros. which is owned by Time Warner (NYSE: TWX). Long story short, when iPhone or iPad users ask Siri about a movie, Time Warner should benefit. The second change was in the restaurants portion of Siri's capabilities. Now if a user asks Siri about a restaurant, Yelp (NYSE: YELP) will benefit as they provide stars, price range and reviews. If that user wants to book a reservation, OpenTable (NASDAQ: OPEN) benefits because they are the integrated reservations company.
This one is very obvious, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is heavily integrated into all of iOS 6, and the company should in theory benefit. This is particularly important as Facebook tries to get users more involved with the service. However, my concern is this heavy integration could cause Facebook to be used more without making any more money. Let's face it, just because I “like” a web page or app doesn't mean that Facebook showed me any ads (which is how the company makes most of their revenue). I've written before about how Facebook makes virtually nothing off of the mobile use of their site. This integration into iOS 6 makes the use of Facebook features easier for users, but doesn't necessarily equate to better Facebook engagement unless those same users then go to Facebook's own site and interact more. On the surface this seems to be a win for Facebook, but in the long-run it could be a loss.
As you can see when Apple releases a new iOS it's not just one company that is affected. In addition, Apple is trying to move users among the product pipeline by not supporting either the iPhone 3G or earlier, and the iPad 1 won't be supported either. Some of the new iOS 6 features could be enough to push users with an older iPhone or iPad to buy a more recent model. In addition, the fact that iOS 6 won't be out until “fall” is, a huge tip of the hat of when to expect the next iPhone. The company has historically released a new iOS version with a new iPhone version. Why wait until fall, unless something else is being released at the same time. Hopefully this will put the speculation about when the iPhone 5 will be released to rest. Look forward to fall, a new iPhone will be on the way, and one of the two dominant mobile operating systems will get a lot better.
MHenage owns shares of Apple and OpenTable. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Facebook, and Google and has the following options: short OCT 2012 $40.00 calls on OpenTable and long OCT 2012 $40.00 puts on OpenTable. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Google, and OpenTable. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.