Some fierce rivalries in the tech industry have played out over the last decade or so, and it has been fascinating to see how this plays out in the field of tech PR. Many of these struggles have led to much acrimony and lawsuits. In many ways though, consumers actually benefit from these rivalries as each main player tries to outdo each other in product and service offerings. Here are a couple of some of the most famous rivalries that have garnered much attention in tech PR.
The gaming console wars really heated up when Sega released a 16 bit console in the late 80s to compete directly with Nintendo. Nintendo, which until that point had been the market leader, responded to this by releasing their own 16 bit console Eventually Nintendo managed to see off their competitor, mainly due to the sheer catalogue of games available, which they managed to protect by ensuring that their developers were unable to release any versions on any other consoles.
This on-going rivalry has been carrying on for over 30 years and shows no sign of stopping. It even extends to the users of the products who defend their choices with much passion. The apple mac contingent have often prided their products as being easier to use, more pleasing to the eye and minimalist, whereas PC users point out the number of applications which are incompatible for the mac and that the machines are overpriced. In their respective tech PR campaigns the firms even resorted to using advertising which directly targeted each other for criticism which became quite personal, such as apple’s television adverts featuring characters personifying the different brands.
This rivalry began in earnest when Bing partnered up with Yahoo to power their searches, taking advantage of an existing user base. Google replied by initiating a way of instantly predicting what users were trying to search for before they had typed their entire query. Bing also continued with their strategic partnerships by teaming up with Jay-Z when he released his autobiography entitled “decoded”. The tech PR campaign they devised provided a way for users to discover his biography by identifying pages scattered across Bing’s content, including pasting entire passages across billboards and areas only viewable from above in Bing maps, such as the bottom of swimming pools. Lately Facebook looks like it may be entering into the arena of search, with the advantage of being able to harness a large amount of data on their users.
This rivalry between the two main smartphone producers may seem slightly unusual as Samsung actually manufactures parts for Apple products. Nevertheless this has not stopped Apple from taking Samsung to court suing them over copying their designs, along with counter-suing lawsuits. This tit-for-tat battle has also played out to their advertising campaigns, with each of them releasing adverts which make fun and satirise people buying their competitor’s products.
The author of this article, Eilidh MacRae works for Eclat who are a tech PR agency.