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Snakes ‘n’ Ladders: A Visual Guide to the Winners (and Losers) in the Tech Race

The battle for tech supremacy continues to heat up, with software and hardware announcements coming at an unprecedented rate this year – most notably with the recent launch of Google’s Home product and Pixel phones.

The crossover between the different-but-interconnected areas of the consumer technology landscape is significant, and the aim for all concerned is the same: to create a unified ecosystem, one where a range of devices is brought together by their proprietary software.

The benefit to the user is that their personal assistant knows them well due to its access to all of their data, leading to increasingly intelligent and tailored recommendations that make our everyday lives easier.

This increases customer retention rates for tech businesses too, as users are less likely to switch platforms and ‘start again’, as it were.

It also creates a confusing picture when we try to consider who is ‘winning’ the race.

Google dominates the search space in the West, Facebook has control of social media and messaging apps, Apple has a strong grip of the hardware market, Microsoft’s software is ubiquitous and in the process of evolution, while Amazon owns e-commerce and is taking a larger slice of the search market.

To help clarify things, we’ve put the most significant tech developments of the last few years onto a snakes ‘n’ ladders board. Because we couldn’t think of a better metaphor to summarize what an increasingly complex, high stakes game for supremacy this is. A bit like snakes ‘n’ ladders, really.

Some innovations have fallen by the wayside, some companies have collapsed (we’re looking at you, BlackBerry), and a small pool of insanely valuable companies have continued to grow.

That pool of frontrunners will continue to dwindle, but who will ultimately win the race?

 

 

Image of snakes and ladders demonstrating the tech race in 2016 with Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook