Are Google and Apple Mobile Competitors?

by Matt Klassen on September 27, 2010

It’s a strange question to ask, as at first glance one would probably say that Google and Apple are probably the biggest two competitors in the tech world right now. But do they compete with each other is the real question, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt doesn’t seem to think so.

While it’s clear that both Google and Apple are competing for market share in the mobile world, there are very few points where the two companies are actually pitted head-to-head with each other, as both still retain their own technological foci, which, interestingly enough, are quite separate from each other.

What this means is that the two tech giants see the benefits of working with each other, at least for the foreseeable future, and to that end signed an extension to the agreement to use Google’s search engine as the default choice on both Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Consider this; Google has never made much of a foray into the mobile market. Its Nexus One was originally touted as a potential iPhone killer, but Google’s revolutionary direct marketing plan and the fact that faster, more powerful Android devices were available shortly thereafter meant the Nexus One was nothing more then a blip on the radar, nothing for Apple to ever need to worry about.

Beyond that, it’s clear the two companies compete in the mobile operating systems market, but even here it’s a bit of a strange situation. While Google is more than willing to make Android available for any and all takers, Apple has never wanted to license its iOS, and so has little to fear from Google directly. Sure the overwhelming quantity of Android powered phones may be a minor inconvenience to Apple, but so far Android has not hurt the sales of the iPhone.

But in what was otherwise a bland tech announcement of the continued relationship between Google and Apple there was one surprising revelation; the name of Google’s primary competitor. While Schmidt was adamant that Google had little to fear from Apple and vice versa, he did mention that the greatest extant threat to the search engine was from the likes of Microsoft’s search engine Bing.

What made me laugh about this, however, is the fact that Bing isn’t a competitive threat to anyone or anything, and if it’s all that Google has to worry about there seems to be nothing standing in Google’s way towards complete tech domination.

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