Update: Why Apple And Google Are Squaring Off

Stephen Colbert has done a delicious send up of the News Media’s decided shift towards Infotainment with his Report on Afghanistan
. True to form, Engadget has done today an “Afghanistan story” about the Apple vs Google conflict – its a great parody only capped by the final punchline

Apple has a long enduring rivalry with Microsoft [here is a view on what is currently shaping that competition from Gizmodo]. But as we noted in our original story, Apple is literally striking out and beginning to pick fights with a wider range of competitors and institutions. First, Apple is refusing to use Adobe’s Flash on the iPhone/iPad/iPod line up, pouring scorn on Flash for being too slow, too buggy and too much of a reliability/security hazard even while its own Safari browser garners that same security epithet and is accused by some as being the source of Flash’s performance problems on the Mac [in contrast, Flash works well in Windows with the possible exception of security . Second, there is no love lost between Oracle’s Sun division and Apple over the raw deal that Java has gotten in the last few years on the latest versions of MacOS. And Apple’s App Store has been gaining notoriety for its sometimes arbitrary decisions over who qualifies for App Store inclusion[the latest brouhaha is over censorship of a German “nudity” app].
But the biggest battle is with Google as a weekend 4 page story in The New York Times entitled Apple’s Spat with Google shows in detail. The crux of the matter is that Apple deems the mobile device market to be its domain, pioneered by Cupertino, controlled by Cupertino through the App Store and iTune Store; but most importantly patent protected by Cupertino.
Steve Jobs is offended by the notion that former Apple board member Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, stole Apple’s ideas for mobile devices while being a member of the Apple Board. But Google supporters shoot back in the NYTimes article that:

Apple believes that devices like smartphones and tablets should have tightly controlled, proprietary standards and that customers should take advantage of services on those gadgets with applications downloaded from Apple’s own App Store.
Google, on the other hand, wants smartphones to have open, nonproprietary platforms so users can freely roam the Web for apps that work on many devices. Google has long feared that rivals like Microsoft or Apple or wireless carriers like Verizon could block access to its services on devices like smartphones, which could soon eclipse computers as the primary gateway to the Web. Google’s promotion of Android is, essentially, an effort to control its destiny in the mobile world.

Read the full NYTimes article here. Our original March 7th article is below.

Apple and Google are increasingly squaring off. Apple’s control of all aspects of its share of the mobile marketplace may mean that access to advertising dollars on mobile devices may have to go through an Apple squeeze/tax. To prevent that, Google has bought the major mobile ad agent and has released its Android powered Nexus One smartphone as a high standard edition of Android phones for its many telephone hardware companies to use as a reference implementation . And there are many more phones and devices scheduled to appear in 2010.Also in the process, Google’s Android is attracting developers in a big way for relative ease of development, better tools and much less prohibitive controls over what apps are allowed in the Android app store. But this is Google invading Apple’s private smart device domain. No more of that!

So Apple has shot across the Android bow by taking out the Google’s Android hardware forge, HTC, with a very big cannonade – a patent case against HTC, the major Android phone maker. This is definite a major patent case shot. The mobile market has been shaken. And with a new Windows Mobile 7 needing some extra time to get to market, Microsoft like US Alpine skier Lindsay Vonn who needed to recover from a shin injury with delayed start dates for the downhill and other races, is praying for Apple to rain on everybody’s mobile parade with a shower of patent litigation.

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