Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why Can’t Apple and Google Get Along?

The new iPhone came out a few weeks back.  Again thousands of Apple aficionados stood in line in front of the Apple temples to be the first to spend handsome sums to be able to have the state of the art product.  For sure the new iPhone, and all its previous iterations, is a marvelous product and has forced other manufacturers to develop innovative designs to compete.  For the most part this competition has benefited the customers especially the ones that can wait a few months for the prices to drop and the other phone makers to find legal ways of cloning Apple’s features.

All is not well in the Apple orchard, however.  Some iPhone users are getting lost.  The new iPhone does not have a built in app for Google Maps.  Instead Apple has included its own Map app.  It was only a matter of hours after the first new phones were in consumers’ hands that it became apparent that this app was not ready for prime time.  Even die hard Apple acolytes complained that the software was lacking.  David Pogue of the New York Times, perhaps the most respected technology writer in the country and not one to mince words, wrote, “It may be the most embarrassing, least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed.”   

So what’s up here? Why did Apple decide to drop Google Maps?  It comes down to (you guessed it) MONEY.  The two companies once got along quite well but that was when Google was essentially a search engine and Apple a hardware manufacturer.  Today Google has branched out into all sorts of software, provides email service to millions and has aggressively moved into the smart phone and tablet computer business.  Apple certainly continues to make outstanding products but other services like the iTunes Store and several proprietary apps like FaceTime and Siri are aimed at Google’s sweet spot.

So Apple  decided that they should ignore Google Maps on the new iPhone.  You can install it yourself.  They also decided to do the same with the YouTube app.  YouTube is another Google product.

Competition has always been a part of American business.  Apple has been and continues to be fiercely competitive and often this competition has benefited the consumer.  This time I think that Apple’s decision has been a real negative for the consumer.  I disagreed with the decision a few years ago to refuse to allow Adobe Flash to run on new Apple devices.  I agreed that Flash was old technology but that decision made the consumer have to scramble to find a way to play a Flash formatted video from the web.  At that time Flash was almost the de facto standard.  The decision to eschew Google apps is the latest example of putting competition before customer service.

Go ahead Apple and Google…have your fight.  May the best company win.  Just don’t let your fight make my life difficult.



Post a Comment

<< Home