'Enemies' Apple and Google ink new deal
Google’s falling out with one-time buddy Apple has become something of a modern legend in the world of technology.
Back when Google was just a search engine and Apple just an alternative computer maker with aspirations in the portable device market, they were great pals, with Google boss Eric Schmidt even sitting on the Apple board.
But then, of course, everything changed. The iPhone put Apple on the fast track to global prominence, Google expanded into, well, just about everything, and the friendship was strained.
Apple thought Google’s move into the mobile space with first the Android OS and then its own-branded Nexus One smartphone was deliberately targeting its business, Schmidt stepped down from the Apple board and we even had rumours that Apple was considering turning to old foe Microsoft and its Bing search engine to replace Google’s on the iPhone.
It’s easy – and fun – to indulge ourselves by imagining these multi-billion-dollar corporations as cartoon super-heroes or dastardly villains plotting each other’s downfall with each waking breath – Google the all-consuming digital monster, Apple the fresh-faced bright young star finally coming good, Microsoft the staid and conservative corporate codger.
The problem is such childish analogies simply aren’t true, regardless of how entertaining – and deserved – they might be. In the end companies exist to make a profit, and if you look at the size of Apple, Google and Microsoft, it’s clear they are fairly good at it.
Witness the news last week – revealed by Schmidt himself – that Apple and Google have penned a fresh deal for the latter’s search engine to feature on all iOS devices. In other words, your next iPad, iPhone or iPod touch will definitely have Google front and centre powering your web searches.
Now Apple and Google are still in competition on a number of fronts, with Google TV and Apple TV set to open a new one, but still… it’s hardly the behaviour of two mortal enemies, now is it?