This Week in Gafanomics, May 17th


GAFAnomics [ga-fɑː-nom-iks], noun: A modern, networked, economic system spurred by the eponymic GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) but also encompassing Unicorns, Chinese tech giants and all other companies changing our lives through computer technology.

#The week of May 17th

So what happened this week in GAFAnomics ?!


Google, Apple, Amazon… why the most powerful brands are tech companies.

Last week, Brandirectory published its rankings of the top 500 most influential and valuable brands in the world. Google now outrank Apple as the most valuable brand in the world. Facebook and Amazon are the fastest growing brands in the top 50. Why have tech companies become the most powerful brands in the world, outranking Coca Cola & co ?

They have tremendous brand value because they are part of our daily lives, even more than traditional products. They are entry points to everything we do online, by helping us connect to the internet, search for information products, connect with friends or buy online.

Transportation app Citymapper launches its own connected buses

Citymapper is a mobile app that help its users go from point A to point B in cities by suggesting the best itineraries. Citymapper is a pure software player. This week, they announced the launch of a Citymapper bus in London, aiming to reinvent the bus smart transportation experience: USB port at every seat, sensors to detect how many passengers are in the bus, an information which could prove key for infrastructure operating the smart city.

This launch is another example of how software players, like ride hailing companies, are increasingly collaborating with cities to help build and operate a better infrastructure: Uber is partnering with cities to provide data about traffic and congestion, e-taxi companies leverage GPS data to improve road conditions in developing countries… and more! When data meets transit.

Apple breaks record of most valued public company

Earlier this week, Apple passed the 800Bn$ market cap threshold, breaking its own record of the world’s most valuable company. As the number of iphone sold stopped growing last year, Apple is focusing on building its products and services beyond Iphone sales.

The Appstore is at the heart of Apple’s growth strategy. It grew more than 40% last year: “services are becoming a larger part of, and we expect our revenues to become the size of a fortune 500 company this year.”

To build the services, they rely on their large developer community. And at the core of Apple’s growth strategy is improving its relationship with its 13 million software developers that build apps and services for Apple users.

Amazon keeps launching new echo devices

One week after the launch of the Echo look device, a camera speaker that helps you chose what to wear in the morning, Amazon introduced a new version of the Echo, the “Echo SHow”. The device is larger than traditional Echo as it features a large screen. Amazon really wants Alexa, its AI assistant, in every room of your home, creating a direct touchpoint with you, no interaction needed with rivals  Google or Apple. If the overall strategy is the same: a trojan horse into your home, the nature of the device matters, because it solves one of the big problems with AI assistants. The screen will allow Alexa to showcase results much more easily than only through voice. Accessing to the weekly weather, showing some music or movie recommendation is much faster on a screen than only through voice interaction.


That’s all for this week, but see you next week for more news about GAFAnomics!