A decade ago Verizon, America’s biggest wireless carrier, was actually worth more than Apple (nearly three times as much!). Then in 2007, the iPhone arrived, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Wall Street Journal’s Dennis Berman aptly described (paywall) this phenomenon as “one of the greatest transfers of power and wealth in corporate history.”
You see, telecom carriers such as Verizon dominated the embryonic mobile ecosystem, but they’ve long since ceded that ground to device makers (such as Apple) and applications providers (such as Facebook).
Verizon’s purchase of AOL this week is an attempt to buck this trend. But the truth is, it’s probably too late.