First off, I would like to provide a brief history on both Google and Apple. Apple Computers was introduced on the 1st of April 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and its first ever product was the Apple 1 which was hand built by Wozniak himself. Later, Steve Jobs observed the birth of Xerox Alto which was the first mouse-driven GUI (graphic user interface) personal computer and applied this knowledge to the production of Macintosh in 1984. A year later, Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple only to rejoin the corporation in 1997. Bill Gates then decides to invest 150 million in Apple when it reaches its lowest point and the iMac was produced in 1998 which includes a mouse and keyboard, along with a series of successful products. Nevertheless, the most revolutionary was the birth of the iPhone on the 9th of January 2007:
This was the turning point saying a phone has got to be beautiful; a phone has got to be functional. – Nafis, F 2012
Google on the other hand, was introduced on the 4th of September 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page as a search engine brand. There were other search engine brand before Google, namely InfoSeek, Excite, AltaVista, Lycos and Yahoo. Page and Brin did not know much about HTML at the time so their website had a very simple layout but it turns out people preferred the simpler interface and not long after, Google became the top search engine. In response to Apple’s iPhone launch, Google came up with a statement saying they will not be producing a G-phone but will be launching the Open Handset Alliance and Android and they did in fact launch it on the 5th of November 2007.
The brief history of mobile devices started with the first ever mobile cell phone in 1983, the Motorolla by Dr. Martin Cooper. Then came the first 2G phone, the Nokia 1011 in 1992. Followed by the first ever smartphone, which is the Philips Ilium Synergy launched in 1997. In 2001, there were the first 3G networks in Japan and South Korea. Finally in 2007, the iPhone which has revolutionized the course for mobile communication. I quote Steve Jobs himself at the iPhone premiere on January 9th 2007, “Three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls; a revolutionary mobile phone; a breakthrough internet communications device” (Mitew 2012) on a single platform; iPhone. The iPhone lets Apple have complete control over content and user, because everything is controlled. For example anything from iTunes has to be paid for and only Apple products can work with Apple products, be it software or hardware. This is one limitation of Apple products.
One limitation which Google has exploited by excluding that limitation in the creation of the Open Handset Alliance, otherwise known as Android. The Android software on phones have no control over content and users because any Android phone can use the software and download applications such as games from the store for free. Google’s concept was to make browsing and using applications easy and fun, because they feel the easier it is to utilize, the more fun people have using it. “Christmas Day 2007… That morning, people unwrapped their iPhones, powered them up, clicked on the easy-to-use Safari browser — and pointed to Google. In 24 hours, the iPhone, which accounted for fewer than 5 percent of all smartphones worldwide, drove more traffic to Google than any other mobile device.” (Roth 2008)
As we can observe from the graph above, Google’s strategy seems to be working just fine. Mobile web usage on Android phones have not only surpass usage on iOS, but is also rising in numbers. On the other hand, mobile web usage on iOS seems to fluctuate. What we know for sure is, that since Android was launched and in the five years it has been in use, it seems to be doing fairly well thus far. Lets hope Google can keep this up, but my question is whats next in store for Apple?
Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Apple vs Google, lecture notes, accessed 31/10/2012, http://prezi.com/nbpulyal3pvo/digc202-apple-vs-google/
Nafis, F 2012, Apple vs Google, lecture, DIGC202, Global Networks, University of Wollongong, delivered 29 October.
Roth, D 2008, ‘Google’s Open Source Android OS Will Free the Wireless Web’, Wired Magazine, accessed 1/11/2012, http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/16-07/ff_android?currentPage=1