Watching the Google smackdown at this weeks Google I/O was an interesting take on the technology world. I’ve got to admit I’m a little on the side of Kara Swisher on Google’s Laughable–But Not So Funny–Apple Tantrum. However these companies are all run by adults and you don’t get to this level of the game without a little thicker skin than most.
After thinking of some of the comments there are a couple things that are pretty good bets. First, Android as a platform could easily pass the iPhone OS. Second, Apple probably doesn’t care. Now they care a little to be sure. You don’t get to be Steve Jobs or Tim Cook or Jonathan Ives without passionately caring about things. I’ve been in the room when Tim Cook was kicking butts over what was important for Apple so I’ve felt it first hand.
Worse, many will compare the ‘fall of the iPhone’ with the fall of the Mac to the Windows juggernaut. Probably not a bad comparison actually. Apple was fighting IBM (famous 1984 ad), while Microsoft was slowly eating their lunch and they didn’t get focused again until it was too late.
But that is exactly why you can’t expect this time to be the same. Anyone think Steve Jobs forgot what that was like? Do you think anyone that has been with Apple for more than 6 or 8 years doesn’t remember what its like to be on the outside looking in?
Plus, I like Apple’s business model and I think there is no lack of focus. Their business model, like their products, is simple. They build something and sell it to you and make money at that.
Fundamentally Google doesn’t sell anything to the people that use their services. They sell those people to other companies. That is what an advertiser does and that is the business Google is in. They are the new century’s version of Mad Men.
And even if every critic is correct, Even if Apple business model collapses in the weight of a “free and open” onslaught, the next day – whoever is running Apple – is going to get the smartest people they can find and decide how they can make another awesome, magical, or revolutionary product.
In that way Apple has an advantage over Microsoft and Google; who have never really been beaten, and Yahoo and Palm; who have never really come back.
And if we are to speak logically, what better place to go than Mr Spock: