In what seems like a Galaxy Far Far Away (sorry George Lucas) in my misty distant past, there was a format war between rival companies aiming too control the extremely lucrative home video recorder / player market.
It got messy over a very long drawn out period during the early nineties. There were winners and losers in the Corporate side, and mostly losers in the home consumer area.
The reason I’m drawing on these memories is to point out the similarities between then and the OS war about to engulf the mobile works. Steve Jobs, as one of his dying wishes, stated that he would expend every cent of Apples Billions of Dollars in crushing Google Android and everything that it stood for. Many must have thought if this threat would come to fruiting following his tragic death. But who now can doubt his sincerity? With the announcement that Apple has emplyoed a fleet of drones to build its own mapping content to rival google, this, I believe, is only one of many warning shots ready to signal an all out offensive by Apple Corp. on Google in its home turf. Combined with Apples rumoured partnership with Facebook, this surely aims to be a Google Plus / Circles killer.
But lets look at possible outcomes from this affray…
1: Google wins and Apple expends all of its Billion Dollar reserves
If this were the case, and Apple ran out of equity, this would deny the world of amazing new innovative products that we have come to expect from Apple. Could google deliver cutting edge hardware AND software in an end to end approach?
2: Apple wins and crushed Google as per Steve Jobs’ wishes
Mmmm… then would’t this mean that that Apple would have a complete monopoly over mobile hardware and software.
3: Neither side has clear victory and spends endless sums in patent lawsuits and stealing each others innovations, but in a way that makes each system completely incompatible with the other.
The main loser in all of these scenarios my tech friends are US. As in the betamax wars of the 80s, it’s the consumer who ultimately gets lumped with incompatible hardware, or ends up forking the bill for overinflated tech to the victor to pay for all those ad campaigns and legal patent arguments. Watch this space. The war between Apple and Google – and its fleet of drones – is only just the beginning.