Should Apple worry about Google?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| November 24, 2012



Apple has been through many ups and downs, starting somewhere in the 80’s when it was doing quite well for itself until Microsoft came around and steamrolled Apple. Many people thought it was the end of Apple – until it wasn’t. Apple kept on keeping on, and eventually rose back to the top with its line of “iProducts”, including the ever-so-popular iPhone. Now that Android is a comparable competitor, and with Apple’s less-than-willing to change attitude regarding their interface, should Apple be worried about Google?

Former Apple engineer Patrick B. Gibson points out on his blog that “Almost anything Apple does which involves the internet is a mess,” and cites a few examples to support this statement. He mentions that iTunes and Apple’s infamous App Store is “a mostly dead framework written almost 20 years ago,” and also that Notes still requires an e-mail address to sync. He points out that Apple still needs to take down its website in order to update its online store (which I thought was a “mysterious” business tactic for releasing new products for a while, little did I realize it was just the result of shoddy framework. I mean, they only update their store once every six months or so anyway, right?) This could just be a case of a bitter ex-employee, but I feel that some of his points here are pretty valid.

Gibson does go on to say that Safari is Apple’s pride and joy, and the one thing he mentions they are doing right. He also shared a colleague’s insight that “Google… is getting better at design faster than Apple is getting better at web services.”

Google constantly changes Android at the drop of hat, but always for the better. They are constantly improving, revamping, redesigning the way their interface looks in order to stay ahead – something Apple seems unwilling to do. It just seems that BlackBerry went through the same dip at one point once people realized that BlackBerry just released new phones with basically the same software time after time. If something doesn’t change on Apple’s end, I fear that they might meet the same fate, especially when companies like Google are willing to keep their interface up-to-date.

Safari hasn’t changed much, and although it is a nice browser, I don’t feel that a simple internet browser can save an entire phone line. You have to take into consideration that most platforms with app stores offer several different browsers and you don’t have to stick with the stock one. I hate Android’s native browser, and I hate BlackBerry’s native browser. I like Opera Mini and I like Chrome, though. At least one of those is offered in each app store. Even Safari isn’t my browser of choice on my phone, but I know many who wouldn’t use anything else.

Although Apple is starting to make way into what’s considered “modern” now, it still took them more than two years after 4G had been introduced to release a phone with 4G capabilities. They only release a phone once a year, and it’s only a matter of time before they are so behind they’re not even in the running anymore. If things keep going the way they've been going, it’s likely that Google will monopolize the industry sometime in the future. I think Apple is afraid of changing because at the moment, they do have a extensive fan base. After all, they do still control the majority of the smartphone profits, making around $17 billion per quarter as opposed to $4 billion for Google per year. So they’ve done something right, but I think they’re living on borrowed time. I don’t think Apple’s fire will burn out anytime in the near future - but it might only take a couple more years of this minimal change for people to start wanting something else.

What do you think? Do you think Apple should be concerned about Google, or do you think they have it figured out by sticking with what they’ve got? Let me know what you think in the comments!