Is Google, Apple or Amazon the Best Play in This Key Market?

The search engine giant sends Google TV out to pasture. Do Apple and Amazon need to worry?

Jun 27, 2014 at 9:32AM

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) wants to try TV again and will challenge Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the competition to bring digital content to your living room.

At its developers conference in the city by the bay the search engine giant just announced a set-top box that will run a specialized operating system, Android TV, that it is developing. The new software will work seamlessly with Google Play. The box, actually branded by several third-party manufacturers, will be controlled by Android-powered smartphones and wearable devices. 

What does this mean for investors of the three companies, which together have a combined trillion dollar market capitalization?

Google TV 3.0
This is Google's third foray into TV and comes after the ill-fated Google TV and the Chromecast plug-in device. The box will provide yet another gateway for ad revenue for Google, which is not resting on its laurels in spite of its dominant position in monetizing both web and mobile search. Since Americans spend a lot of time in the living room in addition to being in front of a PC or on their smartphones, Android TV makes sense. 

The new product may be as far-fetched like some of the other things the company has thrown out there recently such as Google Glass, Project Loon, and its driverless car.

The fate of the strategy, and return for investors, rests in how well its competition performs too. And success probably will be determined by what happens in Cupertino. Google could be fighting for second place but being runner-up won't be a bad thing for investors.

Fire TV
Announced earlier this year, Amazon's Fire TV is a set-top box that joins a line-up which includes the new Fire Phone. 

Fire TV and Fire Phone are designed to keep Amazon humming along on the revenue front with an ecosystem of products. The company has been growing its top line at a very robust rate for a long time. That probably isn't about to change anytime soon but will the new products really move the needle? Based upon the Kindle experience and some early reviews the answer is no.

Amazon hasn't really penetrated the tablet market all that much and shipments and market share is actually declining. Fire TV, like the Amazon tablets, is nothing special, either in its hardware or features, and consumers probably won't go out to buy it to simply order stuff from the company.

Amazon investors will have to be happy with the current trends which include spotty bottom-line performance and a stratospheric valuation. It might be a good idea to hold off on buying shares until earnings growth becomes the rule rather than the exception. 

Apple TV
Apple investors have no such worry. The stock is reasonably priced with a P/E of 15 and the company has a bunch of new products in the pipeline which should stimulate growth.

Apple TV, a small wireless-enabled, cube-shaped device which provides content to the boob tube via the HDMI port, is actually the fastest growing part of Apple's business. Shipments doubled year-over-year in 2013 to about 10 million units and the company generated over $1 billion in revenue from the device. CEO Tim Cook recently stated that TV will become even a more important part of the Apple experience down the road. 

Foolish conclusion
Google has decided it wants to compete again for your entertainment dollar with the release of Android TV, its latest foray into the living room. Success is not assured as the company has to battle it out with two other giants that have a head start. Apple's set-top box is actually the fastest growing part of an already formidable business. Google may have to settle for something other than first place. E-commerce giant Amazon is also part of the fray with Fire TV but it might not make much of a dent in the market. 

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Mark Morelli owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends, Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of, Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers