Photo: Associated Press
Each move is a direct assault on the other’s primary business.
These moves are mere preludes to bigger battles that will flare up in the next few months.
Apple and Google are big innovators with deep pockets. We expect the two tech giants to butt heads a bunch.
This one feels inevitable, doesn't it? Apple has one heck of a phone in the iPhone. But that's all it is -- one phone.
Android software is being sprayed across so many handsets that eventually one of the handsets will deliver an experience better than the iPhone. When that day comes and Walt Mossberg pens the words 'Android has finally delivered a phone that is better than the iPhone,' expect steam to come out of Steve Jobs's ears.
In a research note released in late March, Gene Munster wrote that Apple will eventually have its own maps offering.
He thinks that surrending maps to Google means giving up location data, one of the key components of a mobile platform. Gene sees Apple acquiring a map data provider like Europa Technologies.
There's a lot of chatter that Bing could take the default spot on the iPhone as the search engine in Safari. Most analysts we've read don't think this happens this year, if at all. But it seems likely someday.
An even bigger attack on Google would be Apple building its own search engine. It sounds strange, considering we've heard Apple gets $100 million annually from Google for search, but Gene Munster Piper's Apple analyst says he thinks there's a 70% chance that Apple builds its own search engine in the next five years.
For a long time Apple and Google were reported to have a secret non-poaching pact. Apple wouldn't pluck Google's employees. Google wouldn't go after Apple employees.
If that existed, it's over now. Apple stole away RJ Pittman from Google earlier this year. Eventually one of these companies will pluck someone big.
Google is building an Android-based set-top box software with Intel and Sony, the New York Times reports. Through this, users will be able to do web stuff and watch television.
Apple has its own TV offering, Apple TV, which so far has bombed. Despite this, Piper analyst Gene Munster thinks Apple's next big move should be in the television market. If Apple builds its own TVs or steps up its television efforts, this will be another spot where the two companies butt heads.
YouTube is working on a rental service for movies and television shows. iTunes already does rentals. When YouTube's service is live, how will the two companies fight each other to get the best terms from studios?
We've ticked off nine battles we can see coming. Obviously, there will be more that we miss. Our best guess is that it happens in the M&A world.
Apple already stole Lala away from Google after Google stole AdMob from Apple. We think there's more battles coming, probably related to cloud computing services on some level. Although, now that Apple is an advertising company, the two could fight for something in that arena.
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