The old saying, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend‘ applies to many of Apple’s relationships over the past 30 years. Apple’s newest online friend could turn out to be Google’s 2nd worst enemy.
History Repeats History
It wasn’t that many years ago that Microsoft and Apple were friends, complementary partners in the birth of the personal computing era, if you will.
Apple made computers, and Microsoft made software for Apple’s computers. As both grew to fame and fortune Microsoft began making software for other computers.
Apple’s friend in Microsoft quickly became public enemy number one and the PC and Mac wars brought about the beginning of the end for Apple and the Mac.
Microsoft won the operating system wars and Apple was relegated to a tiny niche player with more chutzpah and hubris than anything else. Time has a way of changing the game.
Microsoft’s profitability and market dominance made it lazy and slow afoot while Apple built entirely new industries with the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, and app stores. Along the way, Apple picked up another friend in Google, an enemy to Microsoft’s attempts to carve out some ownership in the search and advertising business.
Apple made mobile computers, and Google made software for Apple’s computers. As both grew to fame and fortune in the mobile industry, Google began making software to compete against Apple’s products, and became the iPhone maker’s new public enemy number one.
Winds Are Blowing Change
Time has a way of changing the game. One of Google’s enemies in recent years is Yahoo!, once the darling of the search engine and advertising business. If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, betting on Yahoo! and Apple’s friendship would get no takers.
Apple’s new online friend is Yahoo!, Google’s 2nd worst enemy. 2nd? It’s Apple which prevents Google from owning the entire mobile industry. Apple is all that stands between Google doing to mobile devices what Microsoft did to Apple and the PC industry back in the day.
What does Yahoo! bring to the table for Apple? Search engine integration. Wait. Isn’t Yahoo!’s search engine really Microsoft’s search engine? See? The technology industry has a strange way of creating bedfellows from former enemies.
Microsoft has a vested interest in Yahoo!’s success, too. If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, where does Microsoft fit in the mix, now that it’s an enemy of Google, something of an enemy of Apple, and the supplier of some of what makes Yahoo! float?
Strange bedfellows, indeed. Yahoo!’s new resurgence and energy have supplied a number of decent apps for the iPhone and iPad, including a great Flickr app (as well as weather, sports, stocks, etc.). Meanwhile, Google has more apps for iPhone than ever, including a very polished and more feature laden Maps app, and the clumsy and slow Chrome browser for iOS.
This friend and enemy dance between industry giants is almost mesmerizing, and not limited to Apple, Google, Yahoo!, or Microsoft. Imagine the glee from Samsung’s chip and screen competitors when the company shipped iPhone and iPad clones to the market and Apple sued their own supplier. I’m sure they had Apple’s phone number on speed dial.
For now, I like Yahoo!’s newfound enthusiasm, most of it brought about by former Google executive Marissa Mayer, now the search company’s new CEO. If only Apple can convince Yahoo!’s CEO not to build their own smartphone or tablet.
Finally, Kate has a perspective on all the recent Apple bashing in ‘For The Sake Of Saying So, iOS 7 Is Really Broken.’ It’s not, of course, but there’s a reason tech pundits say that it is.