A few years ago, I was asked by a friend if I would be more worried about losing my wallet or my cell phone. This was before smartphones were the norm, but it was a question that made me think and pointed out the dynamic shift our culture had taken.
Now that question would be easy to answer. I could survive a few days without credit cards or a driver's license -- but my iPhone? I may be lost just walking to the store a few blocks away. Combine that with my Mac, and Apple
The same can be said for Google
And Google has an even larger share of smartphones using its operating system than Apple. According to comScore, Google has a 34.7% share of U.S. smartphone subscribers, and Apple has a 25.5% share. Of the 72.5 million people in the U.S. who owned smartphones in March, 43.6 million of them used Apple or Google.
Imagine if you didn't have search, maps, or a cell phone, and you had to rely on (gasp!) Windows products.
And that just scratches the surface of what these companies do. Google has a big venture capital arm that invests in energy, health care, and information access. Apple has a big hand in the music business. And who knows what business they'll revolutionize next?
So this begs the question: Do Apple and Google now control my life?
Their power is just beginning
The one space that Apple and Google don't control is the television, and even that is changing. Google made an effort with Google TV, which I didn't think was too bad, and Apple has the Apple TV and iTunes combo. They aren't exactly challenging Netflix
What it means for investors
Apple and Google controlling my life may be scary for a lot of reasons, but it shows the competitive advantage they have in their fields. Like Microsoft
Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.
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