In 2006, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, was welcomed to work closely with Apple to help Steve Jobs unveil a revolutionary phone – the iPhone. Google and Apple had worked together to bring Google’s search and mapping services to the iPhone and Schmidt joked that the collaboration was so close that the two men should simply merge their companies and call them “AppleGoo.”
It was all cold and deepened relationship. And today the same-thing has taken a 180 degree turn as Google proves out to be successful with it’s mobile operating system, Android. Things started taking a turn when Google acquired a startup called Android and started developing their own mobile OS. It was then visioned to be a Microsoft killer, kicking Microsoft’s Windows Mobile out from the market. But sooner and later Google improved the Android OS and revealed Motorola Droid, which was touted to be ‘iPhone Killer’. Things warmed up at Apple and Google’s continuous attempts to capture mobile market let Apple board directors to decide that they are better of without Eric Schimdt as he no longer is considered a partner for the company.
In the last six months, Apple and Google have fought over acquisitions, patents, directors, advisers and iPhone applications. This month, Apple sued HTC, the biggest manufacturer for Google’s Android operating system, contending that HTC had violated iPhone patents. The step is largely considered to be personally on the Google’s Android than HTC, due to obvious reasons. Admob, the company Apple had been considering for acquiring to drive it’s mobile advertising went into hands of Google.
Google’s promotion of Android is, essentially, an effort to control its destiny in the mobile world. While the discord between Apple and Google is in part philosophical and involves enormous financial stakes, Google’s approach is more open and partners a lot of firms under the OHA.
At the heart of the dispute, Mr. Jobs believes that Google violated the alliance between the companies by producing cellphones that physically, technologically and spiritually resembled the iPhone. He feels that his former friends at Google picked his pocket. At a All-hands meeting to internal employees, Steve said “We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business,” “Make no mistake: Google wants to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them.” Jobs even commented that “Don’t be evil is Bullshit”
However, Apple declined to comment for this article. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founders, have openly expressed admiration for Mr. Jobs, and Google says it isn’t at war with its former ally. “Apple is a valued partner, and we have great respect for everything they have done for technology for more than 30 years,”. Schmidt concurred. “I continue to believe, as many do, that Steve Jobs is the best C.E.O. in the world today, and I admire Apple and Steve enormously,”.
Despite what looks from outside, industry experts predict that it’s going to get uglier. David B. Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School who has studied the tech industry for decades. He says “To beat Apple, Google is going to have to be very aggressive. If they are successful, it will put price pressure on Apple and the iPhone.”. Another expert said “It’s World War III. Amazing animosity is motivating two of the most powerful people in the industry,” he says. “This is emotional. This is the biggest ego battle in history. It’s incendiary.” THE fight features two Valley veterans whose styles couldn’t be more different.
Despite what they feel individually, there are few instances where their business needs each other. e.g. Google pays Apple millions of dollars annually to make its search engine the default on Apple’s Web browser, on the iPhone and soon, perhaps, on the iPad. (Though there were rumors of iPhone switching to Bing, that looks unusual). On the other front, Google employees work and develop product on Apple’s platform: Mac. It’s not hard to see that 90% of the employees carry a MacBook instead of a PC.
The war is on and its almost impossible that anyone would fall. On one side Steve Jobs will continue to vision his company to be a leader in Mobile space, Google will leave no chance either. For the end-user it’s all choice and Openness that they working independently or together will bring. The Latter will bring peace.