Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google is used to disrupting long-established markets, and is bound to continue with this impressive trend. Many companies that failed to heed the signs found themselves trampled on by the marching Google behemoth; for example, Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO), which lost out to Google in the search engine market, is asking for a buyer.
Giant Companies Have Tasted Google’s Mettle
BlackBerry Inc. (NASDAQ:BBRY), itself a pale shadow of what was once a giant smartphone maker that strode the global mobile industry like a colossus, is further down-scaling its operations , and only just recently announced staff cuts. This move is widely thought as having been prompted by declining popularity of its BlackBerry range of smartphones, as more customers opt for Google’s Android-powered devices.
Even Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) hasn’t been spared either, with its Windows Phone – -which it acquired from Nokia, itself also a former giant phone maker before the Android onslaught- – continues to fare badly.
A recent report by research firm IDC Research, showed that BlackBerry commands a 0.3 percent share of the global smartphone market in Q2 2015. This pales in comparison with its historical market share of 0.5 percent and 2.8 percent in the second quarters of 2014 and 2013, respectively (Source: “Smartphone OS Market Share, 2015 Q2”, IDC).
Windows Phone has also fared badly, with a reported market share of 2.6 percent in the second quarter 2015 and 2.5 percent in Q2 2014. However, this figure still lags the 3.4 percent market share posted in Q2 2013.
In contrast, Android held a market share of 82.8 percent in Q2 2015 and 84.8 percent in Q2 2014.
Now, Google looks like it could potentially disrupt the insurance sector if it wishes to do so. Heck, the company could even render thousands of taxi drivers in several major capitals of the world jobless if it introduces its self-driving car into the mainstream market.
Google Could Potentially Shake Up Insurance Industry
But let’s focus on Google’s potential to shake up the insurance industry.
According to the world insurance report released Monday by consulting firm Capgemini, over 40 percent of insurance company executives polled shake in their boots at the mention of Google.
These 40 percent believe that Google could pose a huge threat due to its financial muscle, access to troves of customer data and brand recognition. The poll saw it edge out Amazon and Wal-Mart as the largest new entrant threat (Source: “Insurers find Google a potential rival – report”, Reuters, 01 March 2016).
Most insurers are relying on technology to collect customer data with the hope of providing them with cheaper premiums. One method involves telematics, which relies on a black box installed in customer cars to gauge how safely they drive.
Another technology is connected home, the technology that enables users to control home appliances such as fridges and ovens remotely, hence preventing fires. Google has invested in a connected home products manufacturer Nest, which recently signed a deal with Liberty Mutual to offer its customers discounts on insurance on its products.