This morning I read Frank Reed’s post, “Bing! is That Apple Calling?” The topic of his post was about how with the recent news of Apple shopping for a new default search engine there’s a “growing battle between Google and Apple” stemming from the mobile market. He concluded his post by posing some great questions for discussion:
What could be lost / gained by Apple in a deal like this?
What could be lost / gained by Google?
Does Microsoft care what is lost or gained just as long as someone is talking about Bing?”
When addressing these questions, it is important to keep i mind the following:
Overlapping Markets – Not only has Google recently pushed its way into the mobile market by acquiring Android, Inc. and teaming up with Open handset Alliance back in Nov. 2007(comprised of all the software, hardware, and telecom companies feeling the squeeze of Apple and AT&T’s exclusive partnership); But also, Google announced on July 7th, 2009 that it would be launching its own web-based operating system (Chrome OS) sometime in 2010. The new operating system will offer users many of the same overall benefits as that that have propelled Apple to where it is today, security and design. This is mostly likely one of the primary reasons that on August 3, 2009 it was announced that Eric Schmidt would resign his board member position at Apple due to conflict of interests and the growing competition between Google and Apple.
The user makeup of these markets – As Cowen & Co. concluded from a survey they conducted on U.S. Intertnet users, Google users as demographics are mobile Internet users, younger, and high-income households. To me this sounds a lot like Apple’s mobile and computer hardware/software demographics.
I can’t say I’d really blame Apple if they do end up teaming up with Bing. I don’t think they are pursuing the idea of swapping their default search engine out of spite, but more so out of necessity for the future. As for who’s to gain or lose? Being how the two have previously reigned kings in different markets with different business models, it’s a tough call. As Google and Apple’s business strategies continue to evolve, with more head-to-head competition, it will be interesting to see who has the bigger brand in the eyes of the consumer. Apple or Google?