retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that “Google Inc. and Apple Inc. have stepped up their battle to win over publishers, as the two companies vie to become the dominant distributor of newspapers and magazines for tablet computers and other mobile devices.

“Google is trying to drum up publishers' support for a new Google-operated digital newsstand for users of devices that run its Android software. With the effort, it is chasing Apple, which already sells digital versions of many major magazines and newspapers through its iTunes store.”
KC's View:
The real lesson here, it seems to me, is that companies like Apple and Google are willing to go after customers wherever they are, looking for access to every consumer dollar they they possibly can get.

I wonder how long it will be before we see a “Google Grocery” initiative. Google already provides access via its search engine to all the various e-grocery alternatives that are out there, but eventually they may decide that they ought to find a more direct connection to the hundreds of millions of dollars that people spend on food each year. And retailers are going to have to figure out how to compete with Google on that playing field.

Think this can’t happen? Remember the cautionary line spoken by Jean-Luc Picard: “Things are impossible until they’re not.”

All the talk about the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is that a wide range of tablet computers, similar to the iPad but priced cheaper, are about to flood the market. That kind of mobile computing power, added to the enormous power of the emerging smart phone market, has the potential of opening up new markets and creating new opportunities.