Dissociative Identity Disorder? Yeah, that’s Google alright. It’s the company with the multiple personality disorder. There was a time when Apple struggled to deal with Google. Not any more. Here’s why.
Marginalize The Beast
On the one hand, the company was once a valued partner, but as the search engine giant’s personality began to unravel, Apple was required to distance itself from Google.
Google’s internal motto was ‘Do no evil.’ Those are high and mighty words but when it comes to money, ethics ends up in the back seat.
Apple introduced the iPhone, and a year later the iTunes App Store. Both helped to move the smartphone industry into a new direction, one dictated by Apple.
Google saw the iPhone and apps as a threat to the company’s massive search engine advertising profits, dominated by Google on desktops and notebooks, but not in the rapidly growing mobile space.
Android was launched as a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone. Google was so desperate to catch up technologically, it gave away Android OS for free.
Whatever happened to friendship? Or, partnerships? Or, ‘Do no evil?‘ Instead of remaining Apple’s valued partner Google became a direct competitor.
The motto should be changed to Do Know Evil because the leader in search engine advertising spent tens of billions to compete against Apple.
How did Apple respond? First with outrage. Second by kicking then Google CEO off Apple’s board of directors. Third, by getting even.
The Best Revenge
At every step Apple has worked to marginalize Google’s influence on iOS devices, starting first with iAds, Apple’s in-house mobile ad agency, then with Apple Maps, now a qualified competitor to Google Maps and the most used maps app on iOS devices.
Siri doesn’t use Google to search for you. Results come from, among others, Microsoft’s Bing. Yahoo came courting Apple with search engine incentives.
With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple further distanced itself from Google by adding multiple search options in Spotlight, on both iOS and OS X, and selected upstart DuckDuckGo as a search engine option.
Google, once a friend and partner, became a desperate former lover who jilted Apple to protect the company’s revenue and profit stream in a failed attempt to diversify the business model.
On the one hand Google displays innovative new products to help prop up the inflated stock price, and on the other had has failed to bring successful new products to market. Those with dissociative identity disorder have multiple personalities. So does Google, preaching ‘Do No Evil‘ on some days, but obviously has little trouble espousing ‘Do Know Evil‘ on other days.
While Apple champions customer privacy, Google takes private information away from users and sells it to their true customers, advertisers. ‘Do No Evil?’ Hardly. Apple is wise to keep Google at a distance because, like Microsoft, the company cannot be trusted as a friend or a partner. Is it any wonder that Apple prefers to go it alone wherever possible these days?
What About Android Users?
Finally, Google’s Android user base* is made up of two distinct groups. The first group is very small and made up of technorati elite who love to tweak their smartphones and appreciate all the flexibility that Google bolted on to Android OS.
The second group is made up of the great unwashed masses of smartphone users who treat their Android devices as mere feature phones. They make calls and texts, maybe do email and some browsing, and have downloaded a few games to pass the time, but those hundreds and hundreds of millions of users just don’t use their Android smartphones the way the vast majority of iPhone and iPad customers use their devices.
*Note that for Google’s Android devices I use the term user base vs. customer. For the most part, users of the Android OS are customers to a cell phone company or Samsung, HTC, et al– not Google. To Apple, you’re a customer. To Google, you’re a device user. That’s a big difference.