With the days ticking down to the January 27th announcement regarding the long-awaited Apple tablet and the newest version of the iPhone OS, the rumor mill is in full swing with media outlets commenting on even the smallest whiff of news coming out of Apple. The biggest rumor: Apple will dump Google as the default search engine in favor of Bing.
Personally, I don’t put much stock in this rumor. Could it be true? Certainly. Microsoft has shown they are willing to throw bags of money at their Bing search engine. They know as well as anyone that the days of Microsoft being the dominant platform are coming to an end.
What I find most fascinating is the reason the media gives for this rumor: Android. If we believe all we read, Apple and Google are about to place flame to the smartphone cold war and start nuking each other’s headquarters, or something like that.
But are they really in competition as much as people think?
The folks over at Apple are smart. And if they realize one thing about the smartphone market, it is that the iPhone will not be the dominant platform. It is simply not going to happen with a phone that locks its software and hardware down so tightly.
Being the dominant smartphone platform is not Apple’s goal.
There’s going to be a little kicking and shoving, but Apple has about as much chance of getting into a full-fledge war with Google as Canada has of attacking the United States. Not that Apple wouldn’t have a chance if they took their gloves off and battled it out for the right to be the smartphone platform of choice. In fact, they’d be the odds on favorite if they chose to do so.
But they won’t. Because that is not their goal.
Apple’s goal is to have the worlds best (and most popular) smartphone. And their strategy is to keep both the hardware and the software closed. That means no Motorolla iPhone. No HTC iPhone. Just an Apple iPhone.
That also means that five years from now the Android operating system very well could own 60% or more of the smartphone market, while the iPhone 9GS is the most popular smartphone in the world. And what we’ll be hearing will sound something like this:
“I like my Droid 2000, but sometimes I download an app and it just doesn’t work. It says my graphics chip isn’t up to date. What’s that mean?”
“I had a Droid 2000, but I had to wipe all my data after it got a virus.”
“I love my iPhone 9GS. It just works.”
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