Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Google v Apple

The latest write up in the Financial Times about the Google phone again seems to miss the point. The business models are clearly different. Google wants the eyeballs and Apple wants the fingers. Google is selling an enabling technology and Apple and end product. Google is in the service business and Apple in the hardware business. Apple wants your heart, Google wants your wallet.

The FT states:

"The contest appears to pit not only two companies but two approaches to business. On one side is Apple, a secretive endeavour that is seemingly wedded to old, closed ways of competing; on the other side is Google, a champion of open source software and open systems.

“A well-managed closed system can deliver well-designed products in the short-run – the iPod and iPhone being obvious examples – but eventually innovation in a closed system tends towards being incremental at best,” wrote Jonathan Rosenberg, a Google executive.

Yet Apple is not as closed as Google portrays it, and nor is Google as open. Instead, like the proverbial half-empty glass, Google is best regarded as half-open and Apple as half-closed. That is significant because it shows how such companies need to compete in a networked industry."

Yet, the true issue is not closed or open. Google wants to have everyone play as soon as possible. Then they get the eyeballs and then the money, the services revenue. Apple on the other hand is stuck in the closed hardware mindset. Frankly that world has changed, changed forever.