Apple vs. Google: The Future Battlefield of Tech

Whenever we have a news post on CEM that concerns Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google, or any other big tech company, I always frame the world they operate in as one of extreme competition. This view is readily apparent in the Samsung versus Apple patent case that was in the news seemingly every week last month. The types of products and services they release prove there’s competition; each company tries to top the next with a new gadget. We see it year after year.

The competition seems obvious to me. Hopefully it does to you, too. Ultimately, as consumers we should look at this competition in a positive light. Competition means better and cheaper services for us. But how do the heads of these companies see the world they are operating in? This morning, we’ve got a first hand look at how one chairman sees the future corporate battlefield developing.

The Future is Clear to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt

Late last night and early this morning, news from AllThingsD’s interview with Eric Schmidt broke to major media outlets. According to AppleInsider, Schmidt said, “One platform war stands out as ‘the defining fight of the industry today:’ the struggle between Apple and Google.” I definitely agree with this.

Apple and Google interact with society unlike other companies in this country. Google even managed to get its company name into the dictionary! Apple’s innovation and ability to create fans for its products is unmatched anywhere. Meanwhile, in addition to its fabulous search engine, Google offers an incredibly broad and useful set of tools and applications. It’s hard to imagine functioning in the modern tech world without the influence of Apple or Google, both of which motivate the direction of technology. Schmidt did, however, give credit to two other companies that should be included: Facebook and Amazon.

Android and iOS

Schmidt focused heavily on the battle for influence between the Android operating system and iOS. Google currently holds market domination in terms of number of users operating phones with Android, but Apple is certainly performing superbly even with lower numbers.

Alexei Oreskovic with Reuters quoted Schmidt speaking about Android versus iOS and patents, “We’ve not seen … competitive fights on this scale.” We certainly haven’t seen this sort of fight, especially on the scale that Apple and Google operate. Upon discussing patents and the court battles, Apple Insider quoted Schmidt saying, “I think this is ultimately bad, bad for innovation. It eliminates choices.”

Future of Google and Apple (Oh, and Facebook and Amazon, too)

It’s refreshing to see that Schmidt acknowledges and embraces the level of competition between these four companies. I’m also very happy to read that Schmidt is against the patent battles that have been rocking the tech world. Small businesses suffer when big companies with legal armies bully start-ups to stop or take control of their technology. I hope Schmidt can somehow leverage his power at Google. Hopefully, he can push for changes in the patent laws and for improvements in how companies deal with these issues.

Facebook and Amazon shouldn’t be left out of the equation, though. Sure, we use Google and Apple products and systems to interact with the online world more than any other companies’ stuff, but Amazon and Facebook also add value to our lives in other ways. I can see all four of these tech giants mired in competition for the years to come. It’s doubtful that one of the companies will sustain an advantage for too long over the other three companies.

This is, of course, very good for consumers. It’s also very good for each company because it will force them to stay on their toes. It would be interesting to hear what the chairmen of the other three companies think about these topics. Let’s hope AllThingsD can get interviews with them!

What do you think about the Google and Apple competition? Who do you like better?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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