Competition in business is usually healthy because in the end, it benefits the customer: in lower prices, better service, more options, etc.
But in the case of Apple vs. Google, it's not yet clear whether it's the customer that will win out.
Apple announced June 11
it will be getting rid of the Google Maps app that's always resided on the iPhone since its first generation in 2007. Instead, Apple will be offering its own navigation app.
Further, iOS 6 will integrate more seamlessly with Facebook, allowing users to speak status updates instead of having to type them. No such luck for Google+.
None of this should be surprising. These are two companies fighting tooth and nail to captivate the mobile audience and thus make the future look a little more secure. Steve Jobs made it one of his dying wishes to "go to thermonuclear war" with Android
, even if it meant spending every last penny of the company's impressive profit reserves. And now his successors seem to be making good on a promise to fulfill that wish.
But say you're a user who wants an iPhone, but also wants to use Google Maps? Well, you have to find a workaround for that. Or perhaps you're a G+ kind of social networker, but you dig the iPhone. You're out of luck.
In effect, Apple and Google want you to pick a side. Again, not very surprising — we've been arguing back and forth about PCs vs. Macs for years.
But as our tech culture becomes much more mobile, shouldn't it be less about the BRANDS, and more about the APPS? If it's the best app for the job at hand, you should be able to get it on your phone without a lot of fuss or added expense.
Shouldn't customers be able to easily mix and match the best of what Google and Apple have to offer on one mobile device?