Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook - also known as the "gang of four" - could all soon be players in the hardware business. Once considered the weakest link in the value chain, hardware is now being seen as a driver of profits, thanks to Apple and Steve Jobs' understanding that easy-to-use devices in closed ecosystems can generate profits.
In this video, Prof. Valor discusses this trend, citing various examples such as Google's operating system Android, which allowed various hardware manufactuers to compete with Apple and gave consumers the opportunity to buy high quality phones at a lower cost than an iPhone. In a similar way, Amazon has launched the Kindle Fire, which features a a low-power processor, to compete with other tablets. Finally, Prof. Valor talks about synergies between Facebook and Apple,which could allow Facebook to tighten its grip on social networks even more in the future.