Document Actions

Four titans of tech are racing to be king of digital age

The Times Leader - Eric Schmidt, the exec­utive chairman of Google, has called them the "gang of four." They are the four ti­tans of tech: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. And they are impos­sible to escape, tapping nearly ev­ery consumer's wal­let and holding vast power over huge swaths of the econ­o­my.

The compa­nies are rac­ing one an­oth­er to be king of the dig­ital age, and each is lacking some­thing that an­oth­er one has. Put in the mis­s­ing pieces, and one compa­ny has the po­tential to be all things to all people — a complete system in which consumers spend most of their time watch­ing videos, reading the news, writing e-mail and making pur­chases.

 “It’s the biggest, most intense battle in tech history,” said Ted Morgan, chief executive of Skyhook Wireless, a firm that provides location-based technology for mobile devices. “It’s so much bigger than even the Microsoft, Apple, IBM battles of the 1990s. I think all four of those guys get it. They get that it’s between us four. And we need to have something on every front.”

The latest example: Google’s announcement Monday that it will acquire cellphone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings, a move that will send the company even further into Apple’s smartphone turf.