Clash Of The Titans
Apple. Google. Two companies revered by loyal customers and ready to change the world with the next big thing. The billion-dollar behemoths are former friends and mutual admirers who now battle on multiple fronts.
Search: Google dominates traditional online search with more than 70 percent of the market. The term “Googled” has become ubiquitous to search, akin to “Xeroxing” a copy in the 1970s. But, Apple is supposedly developing its own search engine and is considering replacing Google Search on the iPhone with Microsoft’s Bing. Why? Apple probably hopes to keep the iPhone’s search data away from Google to enable Apple to make inroads into the Mobile market.
The mobile market: Mobile computing through smartphones will continue to expand and could ultimately overtake desktop PC’s as the top entry point to the internet. Mobile advertising is currently a tiny market that has enormous potential to grow, driven by mobile search.
Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, has been quoted as saying “Mobile Ads Suck.” His goal is to revolutionize mobile advertising, the way Apple changed music players and mobile phones, making it customizable for each user. Data gathered during mobile searches enables location-based advertising to be tailored to where we are, what we are doing, and what we like.
Google went on the offensive by buying AdMob, the leader in mobile advertising, after learning that Apple was working to acquire the company. Apple responded by purchasing Quattro Wireless, AdMob’s closest rival.
Google has also focused on the Android operating system and selling the Nexus One directly to the consumer to counter the iPhone’s impact.
Both companies have grown dramatically by focusing on the customer: what we want, when, how and where we want it. Then, they develop, offer and promote it. Apple with creativity and style, Google with an engineering, numbers-driven approach.
So who will be the big winner? The customer! Google has contemplated offering free smartphones with payment coming from mobile ads. Apple continues to promote the development of free iPhone applications that make our lives easier. Both companies have a track record of making customers happy while making money. Now, If only we could get cell phone and cable companies to focus on the customer first.