In the mobile business, Google and Apple get all the attention. And although RIM is easily besting both companies to this point, it's becoming clear that going forward, only the iPhone and Android-based devices will lead the way.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. Both companies have a strong desire to be the best in the market. They also seem to understand what both consumers and enterprise customers are looking for in their products. In other words, Apple and Google are becoming awfully similar.
But that's by design. Thanks to Android, Google is becoming the next Apple in the mobile world. The company has used Android to show the world that it can do more than offer a search service and deliver advertising to Web companies. It has shown that if it wants to branch out into the consumer market and take on a juggernaut like Apple (or Microsoft, for that matter), it has the ability and vision to do so.
It's commendable. But it also speaks to what Google has become. Gone are the days when the company was content to be the big name online. Today, Google wants to be bigger than Apple and Microsoft-combined.
And it's trying to achieve that by becoming the next Apple. This is how:
1. It has the feature set
Google's work in the mobile business should be commended. Although it trailed Apple in touch capability, it quickly caught up. And now, as the company prepares to release Android 2.2 to the masses, Google and its partners are selling more Android phones than Apple has sold iPhones. Of course, it should be noted that Android OS is more popular today because it's available on many more phones. But Google's success should not be underestimated. By delivering a high-quality operating system, it followed Apple's lead. And now, it has established itself as the company that can offer the software that people want. Does that sound familiar?
2. Google is a household name
If nothing else, Google has become a household name. And it has done so by offering one of the best services in every single market that it competes in. That said, Google was arguably a household name before it released Android. But now that Android is out and more consumers are using it, the search giant is becoming known for more than just its online efforts. The same thing can be said for Apple. The company was originally a computer maker, but thanks to the iPod, iPhone and now the iPad, it's more than that. And that has only helped it become an even more well-known and respected company in the industry.
3. Innovation is here
Apple made a name for itself over the past 10 years by being the most innovative company in the industry. While Microsoft, Yahoo and just about every other prominent company were toiling away with the same boring products and services that they had at the beginning of the century, Apple was coming up with something new and fresh that appealed to consumers. Google is following that path. The company has stopped trying to just offer iterative updates to its services and products. It's now taking cues from Apple's innovation strategy. Not only has that helped it attract more consumers, but it has also helped it get closer to achieving Apple-like respect in the marketplace.
4. Consumers are taking notice
If Apple is good at anything, it's being able to appeal to consumers. Google is quickly achieving that same feat. The company is now able to appeal to consumers and finally understand what they want. When Android first launched, Google was a little lost. The company didn't seem to adequately understand the desire of consumers. But it has caught its stride. Not only is Android more user-friendly, many of its Web services have been improved to make them even more appealing to the average person. It seems Apple's influence has helped it with that.