An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Android versus iPhone – Getting Google right

android.jpgThe future of computing is heavily dependent on the present and near term of the phone world. And in this space, it seems that Android is the one which is leading the space in terms of how many phones are adapting the operating system. But is Google really a winner because of that versus Apple? Ron Enderle doesn’t think so.

“No single Android phone has ever risen up to challenge Apple. In volume, there were – before Apple moved to Verizon – more Android phones sold, but Google officially reports no revenue or profit numbers from its effort.” – Rob Enderle, Unfiltered Opinion, IT BusinessEdge

According to him, the alliance between Nokia and Microsoft should have Apple’s iPhone in their sight. Google and Android is not even worth a look. He cites how the people are lining up to buy iPhone5 now and how Apple is making money off of those customers.

Of course, Nokia and Microsoft, both need each other. Microsoft has to forward its platform, while Nokia has to have break-out offerings.

Maybe Rob – and his ilk of “experts” – are right. But I think they completely miss the point! Google and Apple are NOT in the same “business”. Google is NOT in the business of Phones/Telecom or even communication. Its in the probably in – foundationally – the business of integrating and enabling interactions. It makes money off of that. On the way, it pushes various companies who have been in traditional businesses under the bus. But that is not its main intention.

Microsoft had the most omnipresent platform for enabling the interactions – the Windows Operating System. FIghting Micrisoft on its home turf was stupid and suicidal. So, Google took the battle elsewhere. It created a new battlefield and brought all the players there. Microsoft was soon standing on its battlefield all alone. Its canons and guns all ready to shoot but no one to shoot at!

Meanwhile the Operating System and Applications battle was taken to the smartphones and their derivatives – Tablets. Apple seems to be a competitor to Google but Apple is to Google today as Apple was to Microsoft when personal computer movement started.

Having the most prevalent operating system is not going to make Google money directly as MSFT made. But it will provide it with the ability to harness that platform across all phones, computers, tablets and small devices one day to make money. It doesn’t fancy making money off of giving the road to run the data on – as fancy as those roads may be – as Apple and Microsoft do. It instead is in the business of making money off of MOVEMENT of data and mining of that data. Contextualizing the data with Semantic relationships and using that intelligence to help businesses access the customers and manager their business is Google’s forte!

If Apple becomes a casualty on the way.. then so be it. And that is how it will be! Apple will at best be a Yahoo to Google in the Phone market. Some people will be die hard fans of its style and chutzpah, but when it comes to utility and usefulness, Google’s Android will beat the heck out of iPhone and iPad one day. Even if Android may be an ugly child.

So, people like Rob, who are looking for Google to make money from its Operating System, are not even getting the new world! Google doesn’t make profit from Android because its dumb.. but because it thinks its essential to its business model! But then people like Rob have brought on the diet of old ways of thinking!

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