Apple vs. Google: Who Wins This One?

    October 25, 2010
    Chris Crum

The bickering between Apple and Google continues. It’s gotten to the point where at just about every event where one of these companies has an announcement (at least within the mobile space), they take not so subtle jabs at one another. 

Which mobile operating system will win out in the end? Apple’s iOs? Google’s Android? Share your thoughts here

Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider pulled out a few quotes from Steve Jobs’ speech from the company’s earnings call (in which it posted record revenue and iPhone/iPad sales):

"Many Android OEMs install proprietary user-interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user is left to figure it all out. Compare this with iPhone where every handset works the same."

"We think the open vs. closed is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue, which is: What’s best for the customer? Fragmented vs. integrated. We think Android is very very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day."

MG Siegler at TechCrunch points to a tweeted response from Android lead Andy Rubin:

the definition of open: "mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// ; repo sync ; make"Tue Oct 19 06:21:18 via web

Siegler also refers to the "activation pissing match" between Apple and Google. Jobs said that Apple’s activating 275,000 iOS devices a day, and 300,000 on good days. In a recent Newsweek interview, Rubin said Android gets 250,000 activations on some days. 

A new report out today from ad network Millennial Media has Android revenue surpassing iOS for the first time across its network. 

Apple has reaped the benefits of a new iPhone model and of course the iPad this year. We’re going to start seeing a lot of Android tablets very soon (much as we have phones in the past). It’s going to be very interesting to see how it all plays out. 

Of course mobile isn’t the only area of competition between Apple and Google. It’s now TV time, and it won’t end there. Wait until Google releases its music service (expected later this year). 

Peter Kafka at All Things D says Apple has a $51 billion shopping list, and asks if another major Google competitor (Facebook) is on it. It’s an interesting discussion, and it would certainly make the media narrative of Google vs. Apple more interesting and convenient, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, although Jobs and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been talking, according to reports, that is probably more in relation to Apple’s Ping service or maybe other partnership opportunities. Facebook is not likekly to sell to anyone. Zuckerberg wouldn’t even sell a small program to Microsoft for a million dollars when he was in high school. I seriously doubt he’s going to sell one of the most important companies on the web that he’s created from the ground up. 

That doesn’t mean that it’s entirely out of the realm of possibility for Facebook to have a role in Apple’s competition with Google, however. Faceboook has already given Bing an edge in search, when it comes to harvesting Facebook data, something that Google says it will get one way or another. 

Still, I don’t think Facebook is going to be incredibly significant in Apple’s battle with Android in particular. Facebook is going to do what’s good for Facebook, and Zuckerberg recently discussed the company’s mobile strategy extensively in an interview with TechCrunch. Essentially, the plan is to be on every device. It’s not as if Facebook is going to start cutting off Android and go iOS-exclusive. 

It’s fun to look at the competition between Google and Apple, but really, they are both winners. They’re both gaining customers left and right. Consumers win too, as technology gets better and we have more devices to choose from. 

In which areas do you give the edge to Google? Apple? Tell us what you think.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.