When Google was working with Apple in a super synergistic way when the iPhone first came out, I was ecstatic. Apple had the best hardware and Google had all of the tools I loved: Gmail, Maps, Reader, Voice, etc. Somewhere along the way, Google decided they needed to do their own thing in the mobile device market. This has boosted competition, but slowed MY wanted experience. I’m not ready to give up Apple’s app store or iTunes for an Android based phone just yet even though I’m sure my Google experiences would be enhanced.
Google has not completely abandoned iPhone platform enhancements as they just added a highly welcomed change in the mobile Safari gReader interface by adding “Like” and optimizing the menus. But we are feeling the burden of two giant well-liked companies splitting up on how we experience our lives in the mobile world. It all started back when Eric Schmidt from Google resigned from Apple’s Executive Board. After that happened, we witnessed Apple’s assassination of Google Voice and Latitude from the iPhone space for the foreseeable future. And of course don’t forget about the offensive purchases of LaLa (Apple) and Admob (Google) and the defensive purchase of Quattro (Apple). To quote the loud announcer guy in the original NBA Jam; “It’s heating up!”
In my opinion, if Google and Apple continued to work together, we would have a more complete mobile experience sooner rather than later. Now, we will have to wait and see if Apple can fill in the gaps where it has closed Google out. As far as I know, they are only working on a Latitude clone, but who knows what secrets are in store for iPhone OS 4.0.
On the other hand, Google is basically starting from scratch. Android has been out there for a bit but with the Nexus One, Google has declared their personal stamp on an open phone OS. How long will it be before Google can offer an iTunes music store experience equivalent to that of Apple’s? How long will it be before Google can attract developers for apps on such a large scale as Apple has. If they stuck together, we would have the rewards faster.
Now we will have to wait, but this new healthy competition is like no other in the mobile space that I can remember. The more time passes, the more furious this competition will become. Wouldn’t it be nice if Microsoft could jump into the fray and really light an extra fire, though it would be a small fire. Seriously, why isn’t the Zune a phone yet?
As I said in my previous post about being happy to be alive during this time, having giants like Google and Apple put their best stuff into something and duke it out is exciting. In the end, we all win because we will get too choose. Today, in a business world where you can’t even choose the cable provider you want or even choose your utility companies, it is highly refreshing to have a real choice that provides such value to one’s life. Thank you mobile communications industry as a whole…for now.