Although Apple’s manifest competitor in the smartphone arena appears to be Samsung, there’s another, more worthy rival that the former is currently facing. It is Google. With its boatload of apps for iOS devices, Google has clearly made encroachments into Apple’s very ecosystem. The question is, how will this battle play out?
Apple has been poignant of Google’s increasing influence on the iOS turf. In the past, we have seen occasional verbal skirmishes between the two companies. But Apple’s decision to ditch Google Maps in iOS 6 is apparently a siren for a full-blown war.
Apple’s attempt to diminish Google’s influence
Apple has tried, in more than one ways, to curb Google’s influence on the iOS platform. The iOS devices tool Apple’s hardware and run Apple’s operating system, yet Google seems to be taking a bite of this cake with its apps, curated specially for iOS users.
Google has been able to leverage this due to the fact that its products are vastly popular. Users, regardless of the mobile platform they belong to, tend to prefer Google search, Google Books, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail and a whole lot more services offered by Google. And try as it may, Apple seems to be failing to change that.
It couldn’t have been more apparent than the recent iOS 6 Maps debacle. Apple tried to push in its own maps in place of Google Maps. The users naturally compared the new offering to what Google offered and were abysmally disappointed. A huge portion of iOS users went so far as to not update to iOS 6 as long as Google releases a Maps app for it.
The removal of YouTube as a default feature in iOS is also another move by Apple to the same end. The move didn’t really pan out as expected since the YouTube app for iOS which was later released soon witnessed a huge traffic surge. iOS users were quick to download the app and get their YouTube experience back.
Will users prefer a Google-less iOS ecosystem?
Apple is essentially moving towards a point when it would eventually remove all Google components from its iOS platform. The big question for the company is: will its users prefer that? The recent episode of Apple’s Maps doesn’t seem to provide an answer in affirmative. Users tend to be fond of Google’s products and are not taking kindly to Apple’s aversion towards them.
Polls suggest that although a majority of iOS users will continue to use Apple’s iOS devices even if they include nothing from Google, a significant portion upwards of 30% may choose to give up on them. And losing such a huge user base may not be what Apple is willing to do.
Is a Google-less mobile ecosystem possible?
What is even more important to think at this point is this: is it possible to create a mobile ecosystem which would be devoid of Google? In my humble opinion, I don’t think so. Google, in more than one ways, rules the web, as of this moment. From online search to online books, videos, images and a lot more, Google is the undisputed king of the internet.
And this power of Google essentially translates to the mobile experience. If a company was to produce a mobile ecosystem which can be devoid of Google, it will have to first create an alternate internet ecosystem which it can then offer to its mobile users. That kind of a feat will require immense resources and a lot of time. And in a way, it does sound impractical right now.
So as much as it may hate Google, it is inevitable for Apple to tolerate Google’s infiltration into its iOS platform through custom tailored apps. Apple can of course refuse to accept Google’s apps on its App Store, something which may be the cause of a delay in Google Maps app, but the company will be doing so at the risk of losing more users.
Thanks to: 9to5mac