If everyone is out to get you, then paranoia must be the right attitude to have. I’m sure that’s what Apple’s Steve Jobs has become. Paranoid. Apple innovates. Others steal from Apple.
Jobs hired John Sculley who stole the company from the co-founder. Microsoft stole the graphical user interface from Apple’s Mac and bolted it onto DOS and called it Windows. Now Google is stealing from Apple’s iPhone.
Back In The Good Old Days
It seems like ancient history, but it was barely three years ago when Apple launched the revolutionary iPhone. CEO Steve Jobs hinted at widespread patent protection and said the iPhone was years ahead of the competition.
Indeed, at the time, there was nothing at all like the iPhone.
That was then and this is now. Today, Google’s iPhone-like Android OS is selling more smart phones than Apple’s highly successful iPhone. What happened? It’s almost simple and it’s also déjà vu all over again.
With the Macintosh, Apple started a revolution in the personal computer industry by mass producing what Xerox could not—the graphical user interface. It took technology thief Microsoft nearly 10 years to produce a comparable GUI for PCs.
How did it happen? Apple, and Steve Jobs, trusted Bill Gates and Microsoft to build apps for the Mac, not build a competing graphic oriented OS for the PC. A not-quite-as-good Windows ‘95 almost shuttered Apple for good back in the mid-1990s.
Fast forward and it’s almost déjà vu all over again.
25 Years Has Wrought The Past
Just a few years ago Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt was a trusted confidant in Apple’s inner circle of board members. Google was a friend and provided Apple and the Mac (and, later, the iPhone) with plenty of technology.
There was Google Maps, Google Apps, Google Earth. Apple responded by making Google the search engine of choice for Safari, Apple’s Mac browser.
Google responded by taking Apple’s WebKit browser advancements and created a competing browser for Windows PCs and Macs. Google responded to Apple’s historic success with the iPhone’s touch interface, and bolted a similar interface on the recently purchased Android operating system for mobile devices.
In other words, Google, just like Microsoft over 25 years ago, betrayed the business trust that Steve Jobs and Apple executives provided, and launched competing products (surely Google CEO Eric Schmidt knew of the iPhone’s touch capability and how it would revolutionize smart phones, just as the Mac revolutionized personal computers).
Just as sales of Windows PCs overtook the Mac nearly two decades ago, smart phones with Google’s Android OS now sell in greater numbers than Apple’s iPhones.
Is Apple just too trusting to win against Microsoft and Google?
It depends on what you mean by win. Even Steve Jobs recognized that Windows won the desktop OS wars, yet Apple’s Mac today sells at record levels, with high margins, a devoted customer base, record revenue and profits.
Meanwhile, ever profitable from Windows and Office sales, Microsoft’s stock price has flat-lined for nearly a decade, and the company is all but lost in the rapidly growing mobile device market. Did Apple really lose? The company’s market cap exceeds Microsoft.
Is Google winning the war against Apple? It depends on what you mean by win and which war is being discussed. So far, Google doesn’t make any revenue from giving Android OS to smart phone and mobile device makers for free.
Meanwhile, Apple records ever growing record revenue and profit and customer satisfaction from the iPhone, iPad, iPod and related ecosystem of iTunes Store, the App Store, and the halo effect for Macs.
That doesn’t sound like Apple is losing anything other than a little pride. Still, with another high level bruising at the hands of Google, it’s safe to say that Apple’s Steve Jobs will not be so trusting of technology partners in the future.