The article is about a specific Google product losing out to a competing Apple product. Other Google products have nothing to do with this. It would be like complaining that a Safari user has Google as their default search.
The $199 model is a new model. It's 16GB with a camera, which wasn't the case with the old cheapest iPod Touch.This looks like getting the iPod Touch sales out of the way while Apple focuses on other stuff this fall.
Lots and lots of people. Especially in 3rd world countries. Very few people need the additional power offered by the more expensive models. Many people simply want an easy to use computer for Grandma and Grandpa. Many businesses want a beautiful iMac in their reception desks instead of clunky PCs. There are many executives and VPs who want a nice looking easy to use machine which they basically use to surf the internet, send emails, and make a few Excel and Powerpoint...
Lol. The tax "break" is nothing but a sham.
The US govt should skip the BS and kill the corporate tax on overseas earnings, which is basically what this achieves anyways.
The reason Apple (and other companies) has been hoarding cash abroad for so many years is precisely because of the previous tax "break".
Because Apple experiments with different styles all the time. They are aware that their first decision will not always be right, so they mix and match quite a bit. iTunes is a great example of this, where iTunes has essentially been a beta for UI features.
"Internal politics" will ALWAYS exist in any organization where there are human beings working. This rumor is completely worthless. There were clearly delays (as I am sure there almost are with almost every project), but this being Maps, the media is blowing it up disproportionately.
If we only look at the revealed features where iOS was gaining feature parity with Android, while ignoring that iOS will have those features in a far more secure manner, and also ignore all the ways iOS (and OSX related features, through continuity) leapfrogs Android, then all Apple would have done is achieved feature parity. That's pretty much the attitude I am seeing from the reflexively anti-Apple people at this point.