Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Apple and Google Becoming Great Rivals

I think as humans we all enjoy great rivalries.  We were pitted to our screens to watch World Cup action, we root passionately for our sports rivals, especially Red Sox and Yankees, and in the corporate world we have had notable rivalries like ATT and Verizon in the cellular world, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts in coffee, and lately Apple and Google. 

The latest indication of this rivalry is the acquisition of Songza, a music streaming service by Google, a month after Apple buys Beats.  Last week Google announced Android based smart watches while we all wait for Apple to finally announce its own iWatch smartwatch.  Each competes with devices and libraries, while Google has gone a step further with a build-out of fiber in a few communities.  It makes one wonder if Apple will turn around and buy a cable company.  And while Google has You Tube, some also speculate that Aple needs to buy a content company (Disney was a suggestion) as well. 

And while their business models and strategies don't overlap completely, it is clear that each looks as the other as a rival in the technology field.  The race is not a two man race.  Amazon makes a significant third leg of this stool.  It also competes with devices and content and may one day announce their own smartwatch. 

Google may be Apple's current rival but certainly not its first.  For many years, the rivalry with Microsoft has taken center stage.  But Microsoft has made a number of mistakes including Zune, its iPod substitute.  The Surface tablet may be out there but it pales in comparison to what Google and Amazon are offering nor is there any real smartphone offering.  And Microsoft has had best success most recently in gaming with XBox, competing much more with Sony and Playstation. 

Rivalries make for excitement and keep the competitive juices humming.  We are in store for more announcements by Google and Apple in the coming months.  Will it last as long as a Red Sox and Yankee rivalry, we will just have to keep watching. 

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