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Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya says Apple has lost its way, lauds Facebook and Google

Chamath Palihapitiya

Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, the former Facebook VP of growth for mobile and international, has criticized Apple’s strategies, saying the company is “screwed.” Palihapitiya, however, has a lot of praise for Facebook and Google.
(Photo : Getty Images)

Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya says that Apple has lost its “mojo,” compared with the overall better jobs being carried out by tech rivals Facebook and Google.

Palihapitiya, who describes himself as “an aspiring merchant of progress,” says that Apple is “screwed,” compared with the two other companies.

The former Facebook VP of growth for mobile and international discussed his thoughts in an interview with Emily Chang of Bloomberg TV. He runs Social+Capital Partnership, a venture capital fund based in Palo Alto, Calif.

Palihapitiya was impressed with the acquisition strategies of Facebook, especially considering the company’s acquisition of WhatsApp.

“WhatsApp will turn out to be the cheapest and smartest acquisition done probably by any Internet company,” Palihapitiya said. He then went on to predict that WhatsApp will soon have more active users per month compared with Facebook.

Palihapitiya also applauded Google’s moves of collecting information from around the world, which in turn allows the company to sell advertisements.

Palihapitiya was not impressed with Apple, despite the fact that the popularity of Apple products is still evident with long lines of people outside Apple stores during product releases.

He criticized the company’s plan to acquire Beats, which he says is a low-margin hardware business that should be not worth as much as $3 billion. He also said that Apple should buy Spotify instead for $10 billion if the company continues to show interest in acquiring a music service.

“Why not buy the No. 1 [company] for three times as much than buying an also-ran for $3 billion?” Palihapitiya asked.

 Apple continues to release “more of the same” products, according to Palihapitiya, who adds that no company has ever made a lot of money by selling more of the same.

The criticisms against Apple by Palihapitiya and other venture capitalists such as Fred Wilson, however, are made because they only see Apple as a hardware seller. They fail to take into account that the complete technology experience provided by Apple is what gives the company a strategic advantage over its competitors.

At the recently held TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Wilson predicted that Apple will no longer be the market leader in the technology industry by 2020, and that the company won’t even be in the top three because it is “too rooted in hardware.”

According to the 2014 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand report released this week, Apple lost its position as the most valuable brand to Google. Google’s brand grew 40 percent since 2013 to $159 billion, while Apple’s brand declined 20 percent to $148 billion.

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