“The Android-Apple platform fight is the defining fight in the industry today,” said Google Chairman Eric Schmidt while speaking at the AllThingsD event broadcast at New York.
Schmidt expects more than a billion devices across the globe to be running Google’s Android Operating System in a year, heating up the battle with Apple Inc. He also said that platform fights at this scale have been unprecedented, and ultimately benefited the consumers due to rapid price drops.
A lot of people might not be aware that Google and Apple worked very closely once upon a time, with Schmidt being a part of Apple’s board of directors during his term as Google CEO. With the meteoric rise of Google’s Android OS, and the pace at which it was adopted by manufacturers, Android is now the leading smartphone platform in the world, and poses a direct threat to Apple’s iPhone and iPad lines of business, which were ruling the roost before Android came along to spoil the party.
Apple subsequently dropped its dependency on Google products by removing Youtube from the pre-loaded apps on the new iPhone. Apple’s default maps application used to use Google data, which has now also been changed. Apple’s decision to change the data sources for its mapping application seems to have backfired with users complaining about geographical errors and gaps in information.
“What Apple has learned is that maps are really hard,” Schmidt said. “We invested hundreds of millions of dollars in satellite work, airplane work, drive by work, to get the maps accurate.”
With 2013 almost upon us, and both companies poised for some big releases – iPad Mini for Apple and a wide range of Android based smartphones and tablets including Nexus devices, the coming year could well give us a glimpse of wherethe “industry-defining” battle is leading.
Who do you think will win? Our answer to that – people like us, who find joy in all the wonderful devices that both these giants dish out, and if the battle causes more price-drops, we certainly don’t mind it continuing.
Let us know your thoughts in comments below.