Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Apple: Breaking Free from Google?
During a time of peace, Google sat on the board of directors of Apple, and there was innovation, profit, and partnership in the minds of both companies. Apple engaged Google to provide network application services such as mapping, then Google betrayed Apple with this inside information. Apple has been trying to break free from Google, ever since.
Apple started conceptual develpment of the iPhone, but Apple had a few gaps. Google sat on Apple's board of directors, so they made a good partner, to inquire about how they could fill some gaps. An agreement was struck, Google would provide mapping, instead of Apple going to other third-party mapping providers like Yahoo, who would not compete with them.
Google used this private information and purchased a development company who owned Android operating system. Google created a parallel development track, for their own Android based smart phone, without Apple's knowledge - the CEO of Google, who sat on Apple's board of directory was engaged in corporate espionage.
Apple released the ground-breaking iPhone, while Google put the finishing touches on their own smart phone. 6 months later, Google released their own smart phone, containing the same features, with a simlar look and feel.
Apple was stuck with having to return back to Google, as their mapping partner, Apple funded Google's mobile mapping through the iPhone revenue, while Google could take Apple's investment to compete with them into the mobile phone market. Google had clearly broken Apple's trust by using inside information from their CEO's participation in the Board of Directors, to gain an unfair competitive advantage to the rest of the market.
Google provided Apple with key functionality: mapping.
Unfortunately, mapping is a lot more complex than one might think. Roads are built & rebuilt. Continents shift. Earthquakes happen. Houses are demolished and turned into shopping malls. Farmland is turned into office parks. Progress occurs daily on a world-wide basis.
Apple's movement towards mapping independence started, not long after Google betrayed their business parter:
[2009-10-01] - Apple buys GigaOM "placebase", to gain location information
[2010-07-14] - Apple buys French-Canadian mapping Poly9, to have a world map
[2011-10-31] - Apple buys Sweedish 9to5Mac, to have a 3D world map
Freedom at Last?
The question in everyone's mind should be: when will Apple finally be able to claim freedom from Google, the company who double-crossed them, placing a bullet in Apple's leg, and crippling what could have allowed Apple's innovation to compete fairly in the Smart Phone industry?
Other companies, like Nokia and Symbian, had no chance to compete fairly with Google, who had left them with no way forward. Seeking partnership with Google, who so clearly betrayed Apple, would be likened to "making a deal with the devil" - phone vendors would know that Google would likely later cripple them in a similar fashion (Google stealing intellectual property while holding them prisoner with their own.)
One can only guess when Apple might break free. It might not be, until iPhone IOS 6, since it might take Apple a year to consolidate their 3 purchases over the past 3 years - unless Apple has another acquisition in mind, to surpass the capabilities of Google - the traitor in their midst.
Apple, Nokia, and Symbian were not the only companies crippled by Google's corporate espionage. Sun Microsystems had cooperated with Google with their central processor independant Java platform, with the understanding that Sun would receive license fees for Google's usage of Java in the mobile phones.
In the end, Sun received no license fees, as they did from other mobile vendors (like Motorola.) This placed mobile phone who licensed Java at a pricing disadvantage in the mobile phone arena, with those vendors who used Google's technology... thus encouraging those vendors to switch to Google's technology. Sun Microsystems continued to bleed money, until they were purchased by Oracle. Oracle filed law suits against Google.
Apple filed files law suits against third-party phone vendors, who used Android, in other knock-off Apple products. Google purchased Motorola (mobile phone company), undercutting Oracle's future revenue stream and gaining patent protection for their double-dealing. Sony broke their smart phone partnership with Symbian, who basically created the smartphone market.
When wondering about corporate morality, it is pretty clear - Google did evil...