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Google went after Apple in a big way at Google I/O last week and I've been seeing a lot comments suggesting that Google has now surpassed Apple technologically. First of all, I don't think you can dismiss Apple's market power that easily. Secondly, Google made some announcements, which doesn't equal products yet. Finally, Google provides tools for others to make things. Apple actually makes products (and people really want them). It's a big difference.

Do You Really Want to Piss Off Steve Jobs?

I sometimes wonder what Eric Schmidt is thinking. He has a good thing going there at Google, an ad selling machine combined with a powerful search algorithm and some very nice tools. The whole system, whether Android, Google Docs or the myriad of other tools has one mission: to drive traffic to Google properties where it can sell more ads.

But apparently billions and billions of dollars in ad sales is not enough for Schmidt and his cohorts. They also seem to want to emasculate Steve Jobs while they're at it, a move I don't think is terribly smart. By going after Apple, which really doesn't compete with Google ( iAds not withstanding ), they are making what is in my view a huge tactical error. Steve Jobs is not a guy you want as your enemy as others like Microsoft have learned the hard way. Going after Apple in this fashion makes little sense to me and does nothing to enhance the core ad selling mission.

Apple's Big Advantage

Google is open and Apple is not, so the argument is that naturally Google should win. On the face of it, it's hard to argue with this logic, but it leaves one key element from the equation, and that's the beauty and elegance of Apple products. Many people think Apple consumers buy blindly, but for me at least, it's just the opposite. I buy Apple products because I've found they work well and they have great support.

If you look at it from a pure feature/function standpoint, Apple is expensive and proprietary, and it seems almost a silly choice, but Apple gives you something for your money that competitors in my experience have never approached. It's what makes people line up for days to be the first to get them. Only Apple arouses actual passion in its customers. People don't go ga-ga for Microsoft or Google. They get downright excited about Apple and that's a huge difference.

Which Brings us to WWDC

Two weeks from today, Steve Jobs gets his turn at center stage at the World Wide Developer's Conference , a platform he has used in the past to launch the iPhone, OSX and the Mac Book Pro. This year he'll have his usual bevy of big announcements , no doubt, but he'll have a chance to answer his critics. It's hard to know how he'll approach it, whether he'll let the products speak for themselves or also use it as an opportunity to publicly humiliate Google and Adobe for their transgressions at I/O.

Whatever happens, Jobs will continue to have the upper hand so long as he makes products people want, and whether it's the iPhone, the iPad, iPod or the Mac Book line; people just lust for Apple products in a way that no other manufacturer seems to approach. So long as he continues to inspire that kind of market reaction, nobody can touch him, least of all Google.

Photo by laihiu on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.

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Last Post by Techwriter10
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Apple sells their products based not on passion like you claim, but a desire to fit in. People use google products because they are technologically superior to competitor's products, which is something I do not think of Apple. To explain further, I do believe that Apple has good technologies, but in their popular product lines, they do not have that much of an advantage over competitors - except that Apple is the cool thing to buy. When it is no longer socially cool to buy Apple products, Apples sales will fall. Google does not need it to be "socially cool to google" because their search engine is simply better, so people are going to use it regardless.

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Sometimes people actually buy products because they're good. What you suggest might work for a while, but there is no way that Apple could sustain the market if this were just for the cool factor as you suggest. Cool might work for a year, but not for the kind of sustained profits Apple has put up year after year.

BTW, really hard to take you seriously with that moniker. Just saying.

Thanks for the comment,
Ron

Ron

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Sometimes people actually buy products because they're good. What you suggest might work for a while, but there is no way that Apple could sustain the market if this were just for the cool factor as you suggest.

That isn't what I said. I never said their technology was no good, just that the extent of their competitive advantage is small or none. In other words, without the 'cool factor' Apple might have an advantage in the products they sell, but in my opinion, it is a small one. Apple only gets many of these sales because they are the cool thing to buy.. as you implied yourself (i.e. passion to buy). Maybe you disagree on that first point about the technology, but I don't think google would have a very hard time encroaching on Apple's market - they have the resources, the technical know how, and the cool factor needed - to produce and sell the products that Apple is known for. I do not believe that Apple, on the other hand, has the technical know how to make significant gains in Google's market. That, to me, means that Google has an advantage as far as the topic of this article goes. And is probably why Google doesn't have a problem with taking jabs at Jobs.


I don't know if I'm phrasing my point very well here ..

Edited by BestJewSinceJC: n/a

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I seriously disagree about Google having technologically superior products, they pretty much give their stuff away. That's why they are so popular. If you look at Google's products for the Corporate world and they are so-so. They do the job, but they basically host ALL of your stuff. The same goes for Google Voice, and other new technologies. They are great because they are FREE. If Google looses their huge lead on online searches and getting paid by said searches, how soon before all of those free services become pay for play. That remains to be seen.

I think you don't understand how or why Apple is relevant and is still relevant. It's HOW they apply the technology that is available to make it easier to do the things you want to do without a huge learning curve. That sometimes requires some sacrifices like having total control over whatever you want to do (like the iPhone and iPad apps), but for some people, that is ok. They don't need fanatical control over every little thing their device needs to do. Those people are good for Google and Android.

Google is taking shots at Apple and Jobs because they have backing by Motorola and Verizon and other companies that absolutely hate Steve Jobs.

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That isn't what I said. I never said their technology was no good, just that the extent of their competitive advantage is small or none. In other words, without the 'cool factor' Apple might have an advantage in the products they sell, but in my opinion, it is a small one. Apple only gets many of these sales because they are the cool thing to buy.. as you implied yourself (i.e. passion to buy). Maybe you disagree on that first point about the technology, but I don't think google would have a very hard time encroaching on Apple's market - they have the resources, the technical know how, and the cool factor needed - to produce and sell the products that Apple is known for. I do not believe that Apple, on the other hand, has the technical know how to make significant gains in Google's market. That, to me, means that Google has an advantage as far as the topic of this article goes. And is probably why Google doesn't have a problem with taking jabs at Jobs.


I don't know if I'm phrasing my point very well here ..

I understand what you're saying, but I still disagree. I think their competitive advantage is about how well they design their products. They do all of the little things right. The products look good, feel good and work right. If you have a problem, Apple Care is hands down the most competent tech support I've ever dealt with. If you look at Apple displays, they have a depth and quality that in my opinion, no other computer manufacturer has ever approached. So it's much more than a cool factor. It's about every aspect of how they design and implement their products and the eco system around them. Everything works well together. Yes it's highly proprietary, but perhaps that's one of the reasons why it works so well because they control every detail of the user experience and to date at least, they seem to know what they're doing.

Thanks again for your follow up.

Ron

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I seriously disagree about Google having technologically superior products, they pretty much give their stuff away. That's why they are so popular. If you look at Google's products for the Corporate world and they are so-so. They do the job, but they basically host ALL of your stuff. The same goes for Google Voice, and other new technologies. They are great because they are FREE. If Google looses their huge lead on online searches and getting paid by said searches, how soon before all of those free services become pay for play. That remains to be seen.

I think you don't understand how or why Apple is relevant and is still relevant. It's HOW they apply the technology that is available to make it easier to do the things you want to do without a huge learning curve. That sometimes requires some sacrifices like having total control over whatever you want to do (like the iPhone and iPad apps), but for some people, that is ok. They don't need fanatical control over every little thing their device needs to do. Those people are good for Google and Android.

Google is taking shots at Apple and Jobs because they have backing by Motorola and Verizon and other companies that absolutely hate Steve Jobs.

Hammer,
I think Google makes good tools, but they aren't in the same business as Apple, which manufacturers actual consumer devices, but obviously we agree about why Apple's successful. My opinion is that there is plenty of market for both of them and Google doesn't have to waste time taking on Steve Jobs.

Thanks for your comment.

Ron

Edited by Techwriter10: n/a

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Google can never put Apple Inc. out of business. Google is a search engine and a place to get your ad out there fast, that is what people will always think of them. on the other hand Apple makes innovative, easy to use, elegant, durable and long lasting products that has people from across the globe 'wowing"

Edited by Jamaican23: n/a

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Jamaican 23:
I don't think anyone was suggesting that Google could ever put Apple out of business, only that they were trying to compete directly with them on several fronts. Google is a bit more than a search engine, but to me, all of their focus should be on getting people to use Google services where as you say they will be able to sell those ads.

Thanks for commenting.
Ron

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