Apple vs. Google – Celebrity Death Match?
Forgive the MTV reference to the once-favored cult classic program, but the notion of these two icons ceasing to work together seems so ridiculous and far-fetched, even more so than claymation celebrities killing each other. Obviously, the latter is more entertaining and the former more newsworthy. Obviously, Celebrity Death Match wasn’t worried about federal investigations.
The latest news is that Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from his position on the board of directors of Apple. It may be news to many that he was actually on the board in the first place. As Google is moving to expand its reach beyond the search engine and online advertisement monopoly (Google Voice, Google’s G1 phone on T-mobile, Android, Chrome, Chrome OS, etc…), it follows suit that there aren’t too many issues left on the Apple plate which wouldn’t necessitate Schmidt recusing himself from discussion.
Apple’s recent rejection of the Google Voice (which allows users to utilize the internet as a phone company, similar to Skype but WAY more advanced) applications from its application store was no shock to the system as they are married to AT&T for providing iPhone users a network on which to surf. The FCC is currently “inquiring” as to the basis of the rejection and are particularly concerned with any concerted action betwixt Apple and AT&T. The FTC is continuing its investigation of the relationship between Google and Apple for anti-competitive practices and Schmidt’s resignation has not showed signs of slowing the hunt. Arthur Levinson, formerly of biotech giant Genentech, still sits on both boards. Don’t expect Mr. Levinson to enjoy both positions for much longer.
The blanket rejection of Google Voice apps, while expected, still sent a message about the future of telecom and the once symbiotic relationship between Apple and Google. I would like to think that Steve Jobs is angry that we can’t all just get along. I imagine Steve playing with the Google Voice app and routing his calls to his iPhone 5.0 beta model just to see how well it works.
You can only have one leader of the pack and it would seem that the pack is developing factions with competing pack interests. Perhaps there are greater things to come from the packs and Schmidt’s resignation was necessary to avoid further “inquiry” and distracting governmental interest. It doesn’t really matter. Competition drives innovation, even if the competition is forced by Big Brother. Perhaps we will all reap the technological rewards as the icons take a step back from each other and return to the playground for another round of tekky tether ball.
Stay tuned for more as the saga unfolds.