Linked by David Adams on Tue 25th May 2010 04:07 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Over at Daringfireball this past weekend, John Gruber put words to what many people are thinking about after Google's rush of Android announcements and not-subtle Apple-bashing at this week's I/O conference: "all-out war." I agree with Gruber that a good old-fashioned bitter rivalry could be a great thing for the computing world, and for smartphone/handheld fans in particular.
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nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

I think the part about MS was a bit of wishful thinking:

But clearly, in the Google vs. Apple smartphone (and soon-to-be, certainly tablet) wars, the big loser almost certainly is going to be has already been Microsoft. Not only can I not imagine them being able to make up for their lost momentum enough to be more than a side player, there just aren't many people who are really rooting for them to win.


To begin with most people don't buy phones to root for companies. They buy them for features.

I wouldn't discount MS when Zune HD is pretty slick and makes use of their xbox live service for movie rentals and music. A lot of business users will buy Wp7 just for portable MS office.

But the real problem is that there is really no compelling reason to get an Android. Android games suck compared to the iphone and lot of people are going with Google simply because they don't want to switch to AT&T. Google has gained ground due to a lack of competition.

Google has also made a mistake by fragmenting their own market. Google is hyping 2.2 but there are devices that are currently shipping with 1.5. They also have been too loose with hardware specs. Carriers can build basically any type of device with any Android version which causes headaches for developers.

I wanted to see Google put some pressure on Apple but so far I have been disappointed. People aren't leaving the iPhone for droid. Google is mainly picking up Verizon customers and people that don't care about having a bazillion apps.

Reply Score: 3

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Google approach is the anti-apple, and it makes sense... if you try to be like your competitor, you lose if that competitor is established and is large enough. And apple is indeed the 800lb gorilla in the US smart phone market.

Google doesn't want the US market, if they can beat Apple in the rest of the markets. And other markets favor the diverse-yet-from-the-same-source approach of google. Which was similar to what MS did for the desktop over 2 decades ago. MS wasn't concerned on the HW as much as they were in making sure PCs with all sorts of configurations, sizes, and speeds... were running a copy of a Microsoft OS.

Google's model was to give the OS for free, something MS is not capable of doing, since Microsoft's culture simply doesn't allow/support it. Google makes the money in the cloud, which where their traditional revenue comes from. So in a sense they beat MS at their own game, in the mobile space... which was probably their initial goal. Apple's vertically integrated approach is simply not as scalable. But Apple's culture is more focused on profit margins than in massive user bases.

So chances are there will be two established players in the mobile space: Apple for the boutique/upper scale customers. And Android for everyone else. The rest of the world cares first about price, and they have no problem putting up with the annoyances that American customers may feel insufferable. So Android does not look as polished, and using it doesn;t make you shit rainbows.... but the rest of the world doesn't care that much. It is after all a phone, and their purchasing power is smaller, so they have other things to worry their minds with.

Apple will make their revenue from apps and media content they can distribute and control. Whereas google will probably get money the way they always do: via advertisement. I wonder what players which depend on content revenue, like amazon, will pan out on this scenario. And probably Microsoft will be squeezed out of this market, since they are too late and can't really compete unless they really get traction with their mobile office as their main value proposition (since the missed the boat on content delivery, and/or advertisement revenue). It would be interesting seeing MS being so tied to the fate of the desktop they so dominated, in a karmik sort of way.

Edited 2010-05-25 08:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


So chances are there will be two established players in the mobile space: Apple for the boutique/upper scale customers. And Android for everyone else. The rest of the world cares first about price, and they have no problem putting up with the annoyances that American customers may feel insufferable. So Android does not look as polished, and using it doesn;t make you shit rainbows.... but the rest of the world doesn't care that much. It is after all a phone, and their purchasing power is smaller, so they have other things to worry their minds with.
Actually the rest of the world doesn't care much about Android or Apple. The purchasing power is actually higher when it comes to mobile phones in Europe and Asia. They have more models, better plans and they can use whatever carrier they want with their mobile since they all use GSM. Mobile phones are throwable objects. People get bored really fast. That is why they change it every year.

Edited 2010-05-25 09:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Google's model was to give the OS for free, something MS is not capable of doing, since Microsoft's culture simply doesn't allow/support it.


MS can charge 10 or 20 dollars for the OS and make additional revenue from content sales. If forced I think they would give their OS away then allow more market to go to Google or Apple. They had no problem taking a loss on the Xbox for years.

Reply Parent Score: 2

WaltFrench Member since:
2010-05-25

“… Apple's culture is more focused on profit margins than in massive user bases.”

That was true before Jobs came back to Apple. He explicitly criticized the “obscene” 1995-timeframe profit margins on the Mac in a 2004 interview, when the Mac finally faced decent competition with Win95.

There's every indication that Apple is in this fight to take home a majority share of smartphone users. All of its attention is focused on the Android alliance as its only real competitor.

Your insight was true… a decade ago. Today, not at all.

Reply Parent Score: 2