Saturday, July 10, 2010

For Apple, Google, the Stakes Are Sky High

Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platform are on top of the smartphone world right now.

Any one who has been watching both Apple's and Google's rise in the smartphone, music, and video businesses knows that the two tech titans are headed for a high stakes showdown in the sky.

Apple's approach to smartphones, and the entire iTunes ecosystem, is a walled garden that takes care of your every need; as long as you are using iTunes on your Mac or PC and an iDevice running iOS 3 or 4. Google, following in Microsoft's desktop footsteps, has flung open the doors to their Android operating system and allows anyone with the ambition and the know-how to develop a new phone or develop applications for their smartphone platform.

For both companies, streaming content over the Internet, or the "Cloud" as some like to say, is the next battleground for the hearts, minds, and dollars of gadget lovers across the globe.

A recent online Baron's Technology Trader column, How a Droid Could Eat Apple's Lunch" talks about how Google's and Apple's approach to "locking" customers into their ecosystems have taken divergent paths toward the same goal. Right now, Apple is sitting pretty as the undisputed king of the kill. The number of Android smartphones being put on the market is staggering when compared to the number of carriers selling the iPhone, which is only available from Apple.

It's hard to say who will be the winner of this show down. Barron's columnist Mark Veverka writes:
"There are other reasons why Android is gaining momentum. Many Silicon Valley veterans envision Apple's repeating the mistakes it made during the rollout of its first personal computers, when it chose to keep a closed proprietary system over a more pervasive operating system pushed by IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC). The WinTel collaboration took Apple to the brink of bankruptcy, and some fear that Apple is going down the same path with the iOS. "Android attacks Apple at its weakest point, which is its walled-garden ecosystem[.]"
You can read the full article on Barron's website.
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