Originally Posted by Gatorguy
I think the entire Android strategy originally had Microsoft in the cross-hairs, not Apple.
In my view Google had no original intent to make Apple a "competitor" and may still not. There was no goal of destroying iOS or creating an enemy. This was all about being the puppeteer rather than the puppet. In the desktop world MS was that puppeteer. Google simply wasn't willing to chance letting Apple make them dance on a string to see success in the fast-rising mobile space too. That's where the partnership soured, which was never a true partnership in the first place. Apple's aggressive play to call all the shots, be the unchallenged puppeteer in this new market rather than MS, didn't completely align with Google's interests but left no wiggle room. The only way the partnership was going to work was if Google was willing to serve as a major force at Apple's pleasure and under Apple's rules.
So in my opinion Google never saw Apple as an enemy. They had a vision of where they wanted to be, which in some ways overlapped with Apple's own plans and made working alongside Apple attractive for both parties. But unless Google had been willing to put Apple in control of their companies vision it was never going work out long-term. It was almost assured that at some point Google was going to be called an enemy rather than a friend in Mr. Jobs view... and that's the only one that counted to Apple. Google's interests were unimportant. The way I read it in hindsight, as far as Mr. Jobs was concerned it was Apple's destiny to finally be the big dog, the perceived leader of the tech world, rather than the hated Microsoft and Google could either follow on their coattails or move aside. It was never a partnership to Apple. Google was simply a service provider, and would eventually be kicked aside anyway if it was to Apple's benefit.
Anyway, that's the way I see it. With that said,I generally agree that where we are now may match up fairly close to the story of the last 2-3 years you're offered Macarena. That's not how it started out tho. Apple was never the enemy.
The only part of what you are saying that I agree with, is the part about Android not originally targeting Apple.
Android originally targeted not Microsoft, but Blackberry. The only player that was worth targeting back then, in the mobile space, was Blackberry.
The very origin of the word Google (based on a play on Googol), and the motto "Don't be Evil", is a very clear indication of Google's ultimate ambition. Normal companies don't go around proclaiming that they will not be evil. No one even thinks of "not being evil". Right from its beginning, Google has had an extremely clear idea of its destiny, and has worked on making that vision a reality by every means possible. Right at the beginning, the founders might have realized that Google would be incredibly powerful, and must not misuse that power - hence the Don't be Evil. Over the years, this focus on Don't be Evil has been diluted significantly, and Google has make several major decisions that can easily be classified as Evil (to name a few, Google's u-turn on net neutrality in partnership with Verizon, their support of the "one bullet to kill" strategy of Motorola, Blatant misuse of their monopoly powers to disadvantage competition, etc). They have shown scant respect for literally anything that comes in the way of achieving that destiny. It is absolutely mind boggling how many times this company has been caught pushing the envelope of other people's rights, or music, or other digital inventory. In comparison to Google, Microsoft's transgressions come out looking "not so bad"!!
Apple has never set out for world domination, or total control of everyone's information, or things like that. Apple's philosophy is quite simple - the best user experience comes about when there is a tight integration between hardware and software. Customers benefit when there is a reliable and easy to use ecosystem that they can use, without worrying about how to make things work. To keep this ecosystem safe, certain restrictions need to be in place - especially against the types of misuse companies like Google indulge in shamelessly. None of Apple's restrictions are specifically targeted against Google - they are just guidelines they have incorporated to create the best possible environment for the user. Even when you look at pricing, the intelligent consumer knows that the iPhone is a lot cheaper than the Android devices - even though the upfront cost of the device is higher, you get updates for 2-3 years, because of which your phone does not get outdated for a long time. And for the same reason, Apple's phones retain their resale value a lot better than Android devices. The build quality is so good, that the phones last way longer than Android devices - after 3 years, my old 3GS still works beautifully - just that the battery barely manages to last one day of use!
Google on the other hand has operated extremely dangerously. Does any sane person believe Google's defense that they collected WiFi data unintentionally? Or unintentionally bypassed privacy/security settings in Safari? These are just the things Google has been caught doing - who knows what else Google is doing that never sees the light of the day? Are we only going to wake up and understand Google when it is too late? All of Google's actions have been planned with a single motive - of controlling all the ways people access information, finding out everything possible about people's digital lives. There is nothing altruistic about anything Google does. Their DNS solution allows them to see what sites you visit, even if you never search on Google to visit that site. Their auto complete in search lets them see everything you are searching for, even if you changed your mind and never completed that search. At the scale at which Google is doing it, they can probably tell you more about yourself than you yourself can!
You say Google does not consider Apple as an enemy - considering Google's actions in connection with Apple, as well as the way Google has operated in other contexts, I don't think Google looks at anyone as friends or enemies - they are all means to achieve Google's objectives or hindrances in achieving Google's objectives. The classic case is the turn around with Verizon - when an enemy was converted into a friend!
The 1984 commercial was looked upon as an Apple vs IBM commercial. But a reprisal of that ad targeting Google would probably be even more relevant today than it was in 1984. Google is pretty much the closest thing we have to Big Brother - much more so than IBM ever was. And Google's business plans are also very dangerous - Seemingly free, but in reality much more expensive than you realize. Imagine a situation where someone wants to sign up for Google Apps - it is no longer free, and it costs $5 per user per month. Once you pay $5 per user per month can you be assured that Google will not snoop around your data and will not use your data to profile you to target ads from other Google services? Considering Google's track record, can we even trust Google, even if they explicitly declare that they will not snoop your data?
It is not that Google's vision overlapped with Apple's vision. Google's ambition and goals are so big that pretty much any other ecosystem would be a threat to Google. Contrary to what you are saying, Jobs always positioned Apple as "if you can't afford it, its not for you". Apple and Jobs have never indicated any interest in becoming big dog. Even today, if Apple wanted to do that, there are several initiatives they can start, to become a lot bigger in market share. They need not focus on 38% margins. They can release products at multiple price points and not leave any room for the competition. If anything, Jobs and Apple probably realized that they would attract a lot of unwanted anti-trust attention if they had too much market share, and have focused on making more money from a smaller portion of the market.
Your comments are so disingenuous, it is hard to think that you actually believe what you write - it is almost like you are writing everything you can, just to paint Google in a better light than it is, and to paint Apple in a worse light. Some of your statements are too blatantly ridiculous, to justify any other opinion!