The prospect of losing billions in revenue is never good news, even if you are Apple
TechCrunch primarily covers the startup world, but we keep at least one eye on big tech at all times. And there’s perhaps no story more interesting in the world of technology giants than a changing of the guard: Microsoft has stolen the “most valuable” crown from Apple and things are getting interesting.
The changeover is not an idle one. Microsoft’s tie-up with OpenAI and its rapid deployment of AI tools into its various software products has earned it favor with investors, who anticipate that it’s going to manage to extract revenue, growth, and profits from all the AI-related work. The release of Copilot Pro is a good example of what Redmond is up to.
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At the same time, Apple is seeing its most critical market, smartphones, shrink as it runs into legal challenges around the world. The smartphone market shrank 3.2% last year after declining by a massive 11.3% in 2022, according to IDC. The good news for Apple, however, is that iPhones once again became the top-selling smartphones last year.
Still, you can’t build towards long-term growth by leading a shrinking market.
In contrast, Microsoft recently helped resolve a governance and leadership explosion at OpenAI, allowing Redmond to retain near-majority ownership of the for-profit arm of the AI company. That means Microsoft is intent on bringing more AI goodies to its users.