The past few years have seemed like a blur of battles between Apple and Google, each racing to capture the masses with new devices and services, leaving one helpless and forced to choose between which company to follow. Do we stay brand loyal or mix our devices and services between the two? It can make an overwhelming decision for a non-tech savvy individual even more daunting. But, can we really keep comparing these two tech giants as if they were still targeting the same markets? Recently it seems that Apple is focusing more on their line of hardware and software and less on new innovations, unlike Google’s progression into every market possible.
Google is constantly looking for new ways to expand existing markets with technology. From disrupting the auto industry with self driving cars, the internet service provider industry with fast fiber optic internet at cheap prices, the domain registrar industry with the new Google Domains service, and the mobile and television industry by providing the mobile OS for a myriad of phones, tablets, and televisions. Google seems to dip its toes into every pond it can find. What has Apple been doing? Working on its existing services and updating its current technologies with a few new services and devices occasionally. Is this bad? No. But, are these companies fighting for dominance of the same markets anymore?
I feel like each company has taken two very different approaches to their business model. Apple is focused on perfecting the products and services they already offer, occasionally releasing a new product or service that has gained popularity in the market, such as new devices or software features. Most people associate the Apple brand solely with the iPhone and Mac line of products. Although there are rumors of a new Apple music service to compete with Google Music All Access, there’s not much else catching mainstream media attention.
Google, however, seems to take all its resources and throw them all over the map in the hopes of finding all the new innovations hidden behind real and technological problems, meanwhile leaving small teams to stay behind and perfect new services and technology that gain in popularity, eventually increasing the team size after deciding to expand the product.
The only market both companies seem to remain locked in a head to head battle is the mobile market. But, their strategies remain consistent with Apple seeming to add new features to its mobile operating system long after its Google counterpart, while the Android operating system is continuously testing the bounds of mobile hardware manufacturing companies. This may be the biggest factor in the contrast between Apple and Google today; Apple has developed to locking down its hardware and software to ensure a consistent and increasingly polished product line, while Google attempts to develop software and technology for other manufacturers to develop upon and progress.
Although Google attempts to be the jack of all trades in the technology industry, there are some visible downfalls to such a widespread focus. Google services and products that do not gain enough traction with users get scrapped. Services such as Wave, Reader, Videos, and Helpouts have all been shut down and even Google Glass is being redone, leaving those who spent the $1500 on the developer edition to start over when the new Google Glass debuts. This has begun to create an apprehension with users of Google products, fearing that diving into a new service will be met with a disappointing email marking the service’s early end.
Google and Apple may maintain common ground in certain markets, but I believe now is the time to stop comparing them and start combining the technology and services these two companies have developed to produce a complete tool set for your daily needs. Why be brand loyal when you can have a customized experience?