Did I miss the start of this bitter war? In yesterday’s Apple earning call, CEO Steve Jobs went on the attack (or was it defense?) with gruff words for Google. RIM was shot down quickly, but most of Job’s speech was directed at Google. Has paranoia reached Apple HQ?
Google isn’t going anywhere with their Android but up. Look at any study done as of late and they’ll tell you more phones on more carriers = win. Especially in the US where we tote around more smartphones than anywhere. Hanging the iPhone on one carrier has proved to be a limited success.
So if Android isn’t going anywhere and Apple seems to keep selling more and more iPhones (up 91% year over year). What happens?
We’ll see Apple retrench further from Google.
Search: There’s a lot of players in search. Stats just revealed Google still owns 98% of search on the iOS, but Apple could throw that. Safari will most definitely switch Google search from the default search engine in it’s Safari browser.
Maps: Apple’s made two stategic purchases to combat the uber-easy Maps app that relys on Google’s mapping. First the company bought Placebase back in 2009 and then Poly9. It looks like Apple will build Google out of maps for iOS devices.
Apps: With the FCC watching every more they make, Apple won’t be able to do much on the app front. Though I wouldn’t expect to see a Google app featured in the app store any time soon.
Advertising: iAds were created to control the ecosystem. There is cash to be made here and Apple jumped on it first.
Is keeping Google from iCustomers enough? With the launch of a Verizon iPhone, it might be.
Apple doesn’t provide any of the services in Android, so the list is a bit different for them. I suspect they’ll continue to want access to Apple’s base and will use their control of “free” services to irk Apple.
Search: Google will still be an option in search in Safari (remember, big brother is watching – and Google does not fear some fun litigation). Are iOS customers too lazy to change the default search if it brings us to our warm and friendly Google search results?
Navigation: I suspect Google will bring free navigation to the iPhone. Apple would have to search hard to find a way to keep it out of the app store and Google knows this. Bringing their free navigation to the iPhone would disrupt (to some extent) the paid navigation ecosystem that currently exists. From helping partners like AT&T with AT&T Navigation, to the big names like TomTom and Garmin, there’s good money to be made in app sales. Free navigation from a name like Google could spoil that. And irk Apple.
Business as usual: Google seems content to make a small amount on the sale of each phone vs. a large amount (ala Apple). Apple can afford smaller volumes of phone sold and still do better than Google. What’s interest is Google doesn’t necessarily need the smartphone business, whereas Apple does.
If they get pissed off: If Apple keeps throwing barbs and getting under Google’s skin, things could get interesting. What if Google subsidized the monthly service charge for Android customers? The customers simply agree to have their lock screen to be an advertisement and you’ve got a revenue stream to begin to support such a move. And that’s just one idea from a dumb blogger, not the geniuses locked up in Google HQ. Preposterous? Perhaps, but Google’s shown they are willing to experiment in the space (Nexus One anyone?) and they’ve now got the clout to give it a go.
That’s my take on what we’ll see develop over the next 6 months. What yours?
Image credit: erictric.com