Originally Posted by Jetz
I recognize that Apple makes money from hardware. But is that model going to hold in-perpetuity?
What I find most interesting is the move by Apple into the internet space. They could have easily partnered up with Google to really do cloud computing decently. Tons of people use GMail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Search and Google Maps. Apple could have provided the platform, the OS and easy integration into Google's services. It wouldn't have to spend much to integrate into Google. And would have benefited immensely from all of Googles "content" if you will.
Instead, they chose to compete with Google. First with the cloud (MobileMe). And now they are ramping up the fight by getting into maps and internet advertising, bringing Microsoft onboard with Bing search (and maybe maps), etc. Apple looks like it wants to get into the internet services game.
That's pretty far from hardware and operating systems and even basic cloud services.
Since I like the Apple experience, I normally would not be concerned. But when it's starting to look like Apple is throwing it's weight around, promoting its closed model onto internet services, I am getting more and more worried that Apple is starting to become another Microsoft. The flash incident. The Google voice spat. And the imposition of the more closed idevices model on the iPad seem to me to be symptomatic of a shift in Apple's behaviour.
My analysis of this maneuvering differs from yours. First, some facts that differ from what you wrote.
1. Apple has been in the cloud business since I think iTools debuted back in the days of the Bondi iMac circa late 1990s. MobileMe is a reboot of what has and still is a sideline service for its hardware.
2. Apple has been and still is, yes, still is partnering with Google on the Mac (Google is default in Safari), AppleTV (YouTube), iPhone (Mail, Maps, YouTube, and Google is default in Mobile Safari), and iPad (Maps, YouTube).
Now, interpretation (most of this is repeating others who know more than me)
1. Google moved into mobile OS business to jumpstart the use of its core Internet search business on phones - this goes back to 2004. Google also moved to protect itself from Nokia/Microsoft dominance of the phone industry, and the possibility that it's core search and ad businesses could get pushed out. Apple knew this before Eric Schmidt was made an Apple director so there is no animosity about this point.
2. Google decided to BRAND its own phone to protect itself from Apple's dominance of the touch-based smartphone, and the possibility that it's core search and ad businesses could get pushed out. This was after iPhone was launched, and was new news to Apple, coming after Schmidt was already a director.
3. If Apple wanted to compete with Google on cloud services, MobileMe would be freely included with all its hardware devices. It's not.
4. Apple moved into maps (Placebase) last year to protect itself from Nokia, which owns Navteq. When Apple launched 3GS, Google's licensed maps could not be used for turn-by-turn navigation, and Apple was at a disadvantage compared to Nokia. Nokia has since made Navteq maps free on its smartphones.
5. Since then, Google has begun using its own maps, which are used for turn-by-turn navigation on Android devices. Have these maps been offered to Apple? Or did Apple reject Google's new maps? If Apple rejected, was that to maintain relationships with the GPS apps developers like Navigon and AT&T. Don't know.
6. Apple moved into advertising to protect itself from what at that time were rumored Google branded and subsidized devices, and Google control of the multitude of free apps in the App Store. If Google can subsidize its Google branded devices via ads, it could offer a much better deal to carriers, and thus outflank and if it added a couple of more parts to its Android ecosystem, it could possibly destroy Apple's mobile business.
I think we've not yet seen enough to know who is doing what to whom, but at this point, I disagree that "Apple is choosing to compete with Google." (If you force me to pick, I'd go with addabox's response in 397.) Google is mega-powerful on the order of the 1980s/1990s Microsoft, and has expanded into many many businesses - OS, hardware, software clients - beyond its core search and ad businesses. In the same way that Google was wise to protect itself from Microsoft, it would be wise for Apple to protect itself from Google, and for Google to also protect itself from Apple.
(I am both an Apple and Google shareholder, but have more invested in Apple than Google because I've owned Apple stock longer than Google stock.)
Another update: MacRumors and Wired are reporting that Jobs said to all Apple employees about Google: We did not enter the search business, Jobs said. They entered the phone business. Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone. We won't let them, he says.
I think this explains why Apple has been talking to Microsoft about Bing since last October, which is when rumors of a Google branded phone began to leak.
Also about Adobe and Flash - a hot topic around here: Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy, he says. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it's because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML5.
Here's the link: http://www.macrumors.com/2010/01/31/...macs-and-more/